amazon The Pathless reviews
The Pathless – The game is made by the Giant Squid team, the studio that made the ABZU game in 2016.
After releasing the introductory trailers, the writer’s feeling at that time was very much looking forward to because the game’s graphic style was very similar to Shadow of the Colossus, with massive and majestic monsters.
So can The Pathless really bring that feeling when you can play and discover it with your own hands?
The story of The Pathless is quite simple, still inspired by Shadow of the Colossus but in a bright direction, but without any unexpected “twist”.
The game takes us in the footsteps of the unknown “hunter” in the land that is engulfed in darkness.
The journey begins when she discovers who is behind it all and joins forces with the eagle – who appeared after a mysterious being vanished before her eyes.
In addition to the main plot of simply eliminating the usual darkness, The Pathless is also quite commendable in creating more depth by providing small background stories when players take the trouble to explore in the ruined areas accumulate.
The stories are also quite good, telling us more about the history of the land, the beasts that rule, as well as different perspectives on the reason behind the whole thing.
The gameplay of The Pathless is as minimalistic as possible.
As a professional marksman next to Marvel’s Hawkeye, all the player needs to do is raise the bow and shoot when the red sign appears on the “Talisma” appearing on the road to increase the “Dash” bar – this bar will slows down if you don’t recharge in time – or aim for fire pylons and squares in the map’s puzzle levels.
The reward for the player in the discovery is to obtain the golden gems, to upgrade the high launch ability of our Eagle.
The Pathless does not allow the player to aim freely like the modern Tomb Raider series or like in Horizon Zero Dawn.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen this Auto system back, reminiscent of third-person shooter titles from the PS2/pre-PS3 era.
This also partly helps the game circuit to be relatively smooth when there is no lag.
Unlike current open world games, The Pathless does not have a map, players must turn on the Eagle’s sense mode to notice interesting points (shown in red), similar to the style of the game of later Assassin’s Creed games.
Throughout the course of the game, the player will also collect golden puzzle pieces to unlock all three sealed towers, when there is enough light at these three towers, they will “partition” and unlock bosses for the player to chase by war.
Giant Squid optimizes smoothly between regions, especially using the power of PlayStation 5, so moving back and forth between areas does not fluctuate in frames, even when running at high speed.
At the same time, thanks to the application of the Adaptive Trigger feature in yang bow, it partly helps to increase the player’s experience to be more integrated.
Speaking of bosses, sometimes when you’re on the move but haven’t faced them yet, players will randomly encounter them while stuck in the red spread!
At this point, the Hunter girl will be temporarily lost to the Eagle, and the player’s task is to stealthily avoid the eyes of these large creatures, aiming to reach the place where the Eagle is calling.
If you’re unlucky to be discovered, don’t worry, The Pathless doesn’t have a heavy penalty except for losing a few golden gems.
The boss battles are done quite well, with different fighting styles and ways of solving puzzles. Must admit they are very epic and intense, creating a sense of excitement, quite tense when encountering in the initial moments!
And then, the game approaches the player with silences that are “washed” from the night. Now you can freely explore without worrying about being threatened.
Sound is another extremely commendable point, which is also the highlight of The Pathless with peaceful music, sometimes a bit “threatening” but blending well with the natural environment.
The background music when in battle knows how to cause “flash”, creating a catalyst in the eloquence of eye-catching effects.
Thanks to that, the exploration of the world of The Pathless becomes full of glitz, or at least with the initial moments.
That is the feeling of the writer after experiencing The Pathless in its entirety.
From the graphic style to the interpretation of the plot and even the potential gameplay system that has yet to be realized.
Let’s take a look at a case in point: the real difference between Shadow of the Colossus and the “trying” titles it presents – offering a true challenge when encountering giant creatures.
where can you get a The Pathless online
The Pathless – PlayStation 5: Buy it now
The Pathless (PS5): Buy it now
Shadow of the Colossus is not afraid for players to lose all their blood or have to try, try again from the beginning, or there are almost no obvious hints, forcing players to try and pay close attention.
In contrast, The Pathless’s defeat in a boss fight has no proper punishment other than just being knocked out of the arena… and then the player just climbs back up and continues!
Invisibility generally makes the difficulty drop drastically when the player doesn’t need to bother about the “game over” screen.
Not to mention, the company was “stuck” in the idea at the last screen when the player seemed to “play for fun” in the true sense. A rather strange decision in design that should have been the toughest match!
I think, the game feels a bit like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild if anyone has ever seen Ganon in his final form, that battle is easier than the “mini” boss battles or when fighting the Lynels.
The second feeling that the writer sees in The Pathless is the boredom of just jumping, shooting, dodging, then jumping.
At first, such a move is quite cool, but this repetition and feeling of “surfing” will quickly disappear in later levels because there is not enough variety in the terrain for players to “create combos” to surf wind.
It’s rare that any game can do the feeling of flying, then doing tricks in the air but still ensuring the challenge if you want to be as smooth as Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4) and Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales have done.
Even the system of these two Spider games also gives a bit of experience and achievement points every time the player performs these poses.
Unfortunately, there is nothing in The Pathless to encourage or increase the excitement for players.
One mechanism that the writer wants to mention is that the Auto aiming system (not allowing free aiming) is sometimes unstable, annoying, especially in puzzles.
This system brings a disadvantage in objects that need to be shot close, sometimes when you want to target the next one, but the Hunter keeps aiming at the other one, or the system does not aim itself despite trying to rotate the camera correctly direction!
Referring to puzzles, the puzzles also don’t have much variety to interest or make players squeeze their brains at all.
Many times it literally means “shooting one” and it’s done, otherwise, find the crate and put it up and then as long as you stand in the right position, shoot one shot and the arrow will stick to the target!
Another reason The Pathless doesn’t arouse much curiosity: the art direction and setting aren’t unique and unique enough to keep players hooked and curious.
It is easy to see that the “cleansing” of the land brings only light, as if turning night into day and the landscape unchanged. Turns out, the game Prince of Persia 2008 does this much better!
And if compared to ABZU – Giant Squid’s previous game performed too well, The Pathless is not bad but not impressive enough even in the style of scene design, characters, or big bosses.
As for the leading story line, there is nothing to say, it’s actually quite normal, not outstanding, not much emotional and the ending brings the writer to feel a bit rushed and disappointed.
The writer absolutely hates the design after the game is over, the player who presses “Continue” in the menu screen will be returned… before the last mission!
This design makes the writer feel that he is not complete forever. The same thing happened with Horizon Zero Dawn.
Why doesn’t the company let players play after the end of the story line to fully solve 100% of the unsolved puzzles right away or have “New Game+” to start the journey again with existing skills?
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