I’ve been following the development of The Waylanders for at least a couple of years now and was eager to play it when it went into early access on Steam this week. There was reportedly a Celtic flavor that piqued my interest and I can tell you what I’ve played of the alpha build is quite promising. This is our initial impressions review of The Waylanders for PC.
There may be a slight bias here since Dragon Age is probably my favorite RPG series of all time and some Bioware staff has worked on this title. The art style is surprisingly fresh and slightly cartoonish, which puts it in contrast to games like The Witcher and Dragon Age for example. I didn’t feel lost at all during the opening character creation, thankfully; since this is the alpha build I hope more customization options will be present at launch. As is par for the course in RPGs like this, you have a robust amount of classes and races to pick from; I still can’t decide between werewolf and human for my playthrough. Trans and non-binary readers should happily note you can pick your pronouns and voice tone if you need to; I thought it was a nice, inclusive addition. All standard RPG classes (warrior, ranger, mage, rogue, healer) are also present and accounted for.
From what I can gather in the game’s opening–as I write this, I’m having technical difficulties–the setting is similar to the real world with some fantasy tweaks. Hercules from Greek mythology is apparently in your party, which I’m sure will certainly make things interesting along the way; you are the freshest face in the party at the beginning of the game. Since I’m unable to progress very far at the moment here is a description of the plot from The Waylanders Steam page–
“The first meeting between the Celts and their gods, the Tuatha de Danaan should have been a time of celebration and enlightenment. But, when the negotiations go catastrophically wrong, you find yourself near death- and untethered from time! The land has been overtaken by magickal corruptions, and the kingdom, once peaceful, has splintered into multiple factions warring for the throne. The Celtic culture- a complex tapestry of different religions, cultures, mortal and immortal human races, werewolves, druids, goblins, and monsters threatens to tear at every seam. Will you support the immature yet rightful heir or the pragmatic general? What alliances will you forge, what friendships will you foster, what romances will you pursue, and… what will you do when you are suddenly thrust into Medieval Spain?”
All in all my experience with the alpha has been very positive in spite of the obvious rough edges. Gato Studios is a fresh, interesting voice in the RPG genre and as a history geek, I am 100% on board for the adventure to come.