Saturday , 18 May 2024
First Look/Hands-onPCVR

EGX Rezzed 2018 | First Look At Windlands 2

I was really happy to see the announcement that Windlands 2 was going to be at EGX Rezzed 2018, as a massive fan of the first one on the Playstation VR – and it was really the first game on that platform that made me go WOW!. So, I was really eager to get my hands-on with the next instalment and see the changes the team had made. I ended up visiting the stand all three days while I was down there, as I just wanted to play more and more of the game.

Day One

I had a planned play test and interview with Jon Hibbins (at bottom of the article) on this day, and I made sure it was my first appointment of the expo. As soon as I arrived at their stand I could instantly see one change and that was the four people playing seemed to be playing together – so does it offer co-op this time?… I was very pleased to hear that it was going to.

After having a talk with Luke for the team I was very pleased to hear about the multiplayer, and to take in a lot more details about the game – but these are covered in the interview, so I won’t write about what was discussed.

Anyway after the people in mid-game were finished it was my turn to jump into the world of Windlands 2 with three other players. Now one thing I was really pleased with was that they had stuck with the art style of the first game, and that was one thing I really loved. However, one thing that had changed was everything seemed a lot smoother on the edges and there was more detailed in more stylised objects – which for me moved the game forward in the visual sense as well. As with the first one it was really a game world that dragged you into it and offered some great immersion despite its artistic look.

Had much changed from a gameplay perspective?… Well there was some nice little touches other than the aforementioned four player co-op. One problem I think a lot of people had with the first one was there was walking and jumping sections to the game that was offering this great Spiderman-esc movement system, and maybe too much of it as well. I am happy to say the team have taken this on-board and there is a lot more greenery about to attach yourself to – and if you get the movement and momentum right you can eliminate all the walking practically. The only time I found myself walking with playing the first so much and knowing the movement mechanic was when needing to talk to a non-playable character, or if I missed my hooks and landed on some ground where I need to move to find the next tree to attach myself to. This move made the game feel that much more fluid and fun as you soared through the level.

The next addition is a bow, because you are going to come across enemies and boss fights in the game. In the demo they had at Rezzed, you did get to take on one of the bosses at the end of the level. This gave you ample chance to try out the bow and arrow combat, and I was so pleased they have gotten it responsive and really accurate after falling in love with the more attachable trees for the locomotion. The bow or arrow was also assigned to different triggers, meaning when you felt ambitious you could swing around the boss area taking pot shots at it while in mid-air. Well to be honest I say ambitious enough this is something you want to try straight away, and the feeling it gives you when you land your shot is great.

Those are the main changes when it comes to gameplay, when it came to the level design you can go your own way to the boss area, but some are quicker than the others – meaning if you are playing with friends it can certainly become a race inside the campaign. Your objective is marked on the map, meaning you will always have an idea of where you have to be, it just depends on the way you want to get to it, there is a lot of options for exploration.

There is also other modes planned for the multiplay aspect, like the time attack mode from the first one, and also a separate race mode for you and your friends to test out your skills. Little additions like this outside of the campaign will really make the game offer a huge amount of content on the full release

Day Two

On day two me and JavaBart went to have a go on it, as he was at the event for the day. After meeting him we headed straight to the stand, so he could not only speak to the team himself, but also have his first experience of the Oculus Rift (he’s a Vive person).

We played the same mission as I had on day one, but even knowing someone I regularly play with was in the same room automatically gave me that I need to be at the boss before him feeling – especially given he was shooting arrows at me in the lobby. Even being sat next to him I could hear him talking to me, and it just made me realise once the comm system is in place (was not activated for expo) and playing it with friends/others it will be so much fun doing the campaign in co-op.

Day Three

On day three, I thought I would go back and try another one of the levels before I had to leave. I was set-up on a level where it was a collection mission, where I needed to collect ten parts. In order to gain access to the room first I had to shoot out a number of panels out in ten seconds – this again to highlighted the importance of them getting the bow and arrow accurate. After getting into the room, wow the area looked vast and like it was going to need some figuring out to make sure I got the path correct to each collectible part I needed.

Believe me this got really tricky, and the momentum was key to get to areas, but it was really fun that was a high level of thought needed and it was just not a straight forward path. Like in the original game after easing you in the levels became more and more complex and it seems like this going to be an element of the second instalment to – which is great.

That was it for my time with Windlands 2 at EGX Rezzed 2018, and the experience really has got me itching to get my hands on the full release, but until then I will certainly be hitting those time attack levels on the first. I would defiantly say if you have not played the first get it downloaded and keep you eye on second – which was certainly my game of the show.

Read my review of the original here

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