Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie, RPG
Developer: Rain Games
Publisher: Rain Games
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Edited by KnightAvenger
World to the West is a very colorful indie, top-down, 3-D puzzle-focused action and adventure, reminiscent of the older Zelda games, set in the universe of Teslagrad. It is standalone from Teslagrad, so the story is largely independent from it. It is actually a pretty ordinary story in that there is some big, important prophecy, meaning there is some great evil and some great heroes destined to stop the evil. That’s where you come in and take control of those great heroes. While a pretty usual setup for the story, it’s told nicely.
The heroes that you control are Lumina the Teslamancer, Knaus the Orphan, Miss Teri the Mind Bender, and the gloriously mustachioed strongman, Lord Clonington, all of whom have their own special skills and ways of fighting and getting through the obstacles in the form of puzzles as well as their own ways of traversing the land. I won’t go into too much detail on their powers, but it’s enough to say that they are all rather unique as compared to their fellows, and all of the powers are cool. The basics are that Lumina is able to control electricity, Knaus is able to dig his way around, Teri can control the minds of the enemy creatures, and Clonington is very strong.
The gameplay is very similar to the older Zelda games with a large surface and underground map with relatively open and often large spaces but ultimately enclosed, puzzles and battles, some areas closed off until new abilities or characters are unlocked, etc. One obvious difference is that there are four characters, and while the presence of those four characters makes the game a bit longer and, in some regards, more interesting, the fact that you only control one of them at a time, they can only be switched at a save and fast travel spot, Totem Pole is reached and the fact that each character has to unlock every single totem pole on their own before they can fast travel to it, even if another character has already unlocked it, makes the whole thing a bit annoying at time, albeit not extremely so.
There are enemy creatures that roam the areas and they can be fought in a variety of ways, depending on which character you are controlling at the time. Obviously, the most combat-oriented character is the strongest one, Lord Clonington, but the others also fight, with the exception of Teri who takes control of the enemies and uses them either to fight the other monsters or help her solve a puzzle. The only enemies that you have to fight are bosses but they can be easily beaten because their patterns are pretty simple and easy to spot. It can, sometimes, be a bit tough to pull off the execution, even if you manage to figure out the pattern.
The graphics are very cartoony, colorful and bright, which is a bit of a contrast to the darker aesthetic of Teslagrad. To me, everything looks sort of similar in appearance to a little blockier version of World of Warcraft and, like in WoW, despite not looking extremely good, the graphics are pretty nice. The music and the sound were okay but not really anything special. There are some tracks that are better than most but, overall, the soundtrack is pretty mediocre.
The game differs from Teslagrad in not only the different look but also in the fact that it’s not a side-scrolling metroidvania platformer. Sure, there is the aspect of unlocking a new character or a power to go through something you couldn’t before, but that’s it. That’s why, unless you’re really invested in the story of the Teslagrad universe, I wouldn’t outright recommend the game to fans of Teslagrad. I would, however, strongly recommend this game to any fans of the older Zelda titles as well as generally to those who are interested in action-adventures of this kind, as it is a good game in its own right and I believe it, largely, achieves to be what it aspires to be.
- Good looking graphics
- Very nice Zelda-like gameplay
- Four different ways of playing the game
- Nicely told story
- Pretty uninspired story
- Music is kinda “meh”
- Quick travel points are a bit of a pain
- Switching characters is also a bit of a pain
Mileage May Vary:
- Graphics are “brighter” than Teslagrad
- Gameplay differs greatly from Teslagrad
Faris gives World to the West a Drastik Measure 7.6 out of 10 (76)
World to the West is available on Steam for $19.99 (USD).