The Waylanders is a story-driven top down/third person RPG. Following the mythical folklore of ancient celts you can select from a series of races to create your own unique story. Disclaimer, this game is still early access so there is time for many of these issues to be resolved, with this in mind I have tried to keep this review as honest and fair as possible.
The story follows a group of ambassadors and the king of the celts on their way to meet their gods for the first time, internal struggles within the group begins to surface, with tensions between the prince of Ireland and the King growing.
You arrive on the island of the Gods, however, something in the meeting goes horribly wrong and the gods free themselves from their binds and attempt to reclaim all the realms for themselves. In a battle with the gods you are mortally injured and brought back from the brink of death, disconnected from your original timeline. Now your future is unknown and you are dubbed by your companions Mil Espaine, the chosen one who is to save the realms from doom.
The story follows a traditional ‘Heroes Journey’ format, you start the game as a nobody and are thrust into your destiny as the saviour of all. Although this is a traditional storyline, the story can be varied in many ways. For example, depending on the class and race you chose for your character the starting story will also change, with the game giving you various background options. The story is really engaging and the characters are genuinely funny and interesting but it does seem to follow the traditional heroes story line, which can be a little boring for those well traversed in the RPG genre.
The gameplay has many, many issues. But I will talk about some of the positives first. The game is customisable in so many ways, the starting menu has options for class, race, background, gender, pronouns (which was particularly awesome) and many more which is great for creating an interesting character. However, there aren’t many physical customisation options especially for the female characters who almost always didn’t have functional armour options, with their breasts almost always being exposed which is frustrating as a female trying to play this game.
The terrains are interesting and instantly recognisable from eachother however movement across these is awkward and you often get stuck on small ledges and raised pieces of ground because the game does not recognise you can move over these.
The combat system is based on top down battles where you have access to the many skills of your team to beat groups of enemies, however,most of the time these controls simply didn’t work and the overall combat is very repetitive and can jump between challenging and easy depending on how well the combat controls are working.
The general controls are a nightmare. The camera does not follow the character and has to be rotated by your mouse, an option that at points makes this game unplayable. To be honest, this is a major issue when traversing the terrain and simply interacting with characters and really brought my opinion of this game down.
The controls themselves appear to be relatively easy however, they simply do not work half the time. In battle the mouse functions barely operate (the key combat functions) and I got stuck in one terrain and had to reload the entire game as the game would not respond to my clicking to try and leave an area.
As stated before the errains are interesting and varied and you instantly recognise which realm you are in based on your surroundings. However, the terrain was very polarising with some parts being extremely detailed and three dimensional other parts being basic, blocky and untraversable.
The graphics for the characters lack overall detail with bits of clothing clipping through bodies both in game and in cutscenes and the characters lacking shading overall, making them look very flat and two-dimensional.
I feel that the graphics have so much potential in this game but there is just something missing overall with small bits of detail lacking everywhere. Even the graphics for special attacks and spells would only show sometimes and were often very repatitive.
The soundtrack was genuinely interesting. It changed depending on the setting of the mood and terrain and reminded me in some of it’s themes of both Star Wars and Lord of The Rings. However, this game falls very easily into the same repative combat music, which considering the amount of combat in this game is extremely repetitive.
The voice acting was overall pretty good but the script lacked naturality at points with a lot of the jokes feeling forced and falling flat. I felt this way about the combat sounds as well, they were very repetative and the voice acting in these parts got very boring very quickly.
I really feel this game has a lot of potential. I did genuinely enjoy playing a lot of this game but it just has so many issues that it eventually became a chore to play. I’m hoping that a lot of these issues can be resolved by the very helpful and responsive developers over time and as I got this early access I obviously can’t comment on the completed game.
This game has a great, classic RPG story and I would recommend if you have a passion for the genre, however, if that’s not your thing this is definitely not the game for you.
Available on Steam
Pros and Cons
Classic RPG story
Unusable Gameplay Controls
Broken Combat Controls
Flat Character Models
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Lots of potential but controls make it almost impossible to play
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