The Waylanders (PC) Preview

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 23.07.2020

Review for The Waylanders on PC

Entering into early access The Waylanders is a new game being developed by Spanish studio Gato Salvaje Studios and ex-Bioware developers. They bring talent that worked on Dragon Age, and it certainly feels like their aim was to create something akin to that; to relive the glory days and create a big epic new western RPG game. Here's a brief look at their creation.

Dialogue, a key word, especially considering the parallels in this game with Dragon Age: Origins; the game that claimed to have as much text as The Lord of the Rings. It might come as a surprise to find that the dialogue, while well voice acted, is bizarrely out of place with lots of modern references, memes, and cringe humour that it not only makes you glad the opening is skippable, but it also tears you out of the world. In a word it is cringe, but it lacks the charm that came with Resident Evil's campy delivery. That aside, the story is pretty interesting, with the main character accompanying the king and his army on a new venture exploring new territories "Waylanding" if you will.

Visually, this has an interesting style with plenty of colour, and some interesting stylisation. This means that the environments and characters pop. Players can design their own protagonist, but the choices are quite limited, and every race shares the same body shapes, with very, very limited changes based on creature. For example, the werewolf people are just the humans, but with a flat woolly bit on each shoulder. Not teeth, fluffy ears, different eyes, claws, etc… a little barren for this reviewer's tastes. Amusingly many of the female characters seem to have their breast revealed which made for an interesting almost tribal clothing design.

Screenshot for The Waylanders on PC

It plays a lot like Dragon Age: Origins on PC, with an isometric camera angle - click to move and with auto-attacking once the command is given. It even has the tactical pause functions, so players can strategize when needed. This is all serviceable, but the combat has made no changes to that Origins formula, and is arguably less varied and slower. The fighting felt like pushing through a sea of molasses, and that made it incredibly unenjoyable. General movement is good, letting players use either mouse controls via clicking, or by using the WASD buttons. Dialogue choices felt very superficial, but that may become deeper as the game goes on.

Levelling up and using skills is fairly satisfying, with lots of interesting secondary attacks. These spice up the combat a little, but still don't quite do enough to remove the slow tedium of the standard attacks. It's something that would have benefited from the parry animations, and more varied standard attack movements from Knights of the Old Republic. Instead of a singular hit animation, replaying over and over a bit of pissas and sparkle could really make the game feel livelier. Luckily the entire game is backed by a sublime soundtrack that is very filmic and epic. It does it's best at bringing the world to life and building an atmosphere for players to get lost in.

Screenshot for The Waylanders on PC

Final Thoughts

To be honest, it's hard to recommend this in it's current form to anyone except the hardest core of action strategy RPG fans, and, heck, even they might find the hip and happening dialogue and lack of interesting character interactions, unappealing. The systems are needing some polish, dialogue and conversations need some more lively interactions visually. The game is serviceable overall and for some it will hit the right notes and they'll sing it's praises. It's easy to see that the developer is working hard to reach their vision, but this needs more time to flourish and a focus on the combat would be beneficial.

Developer

Gato Salvaje Studio

Publisher

Gato Salvaje Studio

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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