Wander: A World Waiting To Be Explored
An open world game to explore at your behest. Back of the box marketing speak is typical, yet annoying. The open world is always a bit more corridored than anticipated, or exploration is constricted to task completion. But what if a game existed that was solely about exploring? What if you could explore a vast open world organically? What if you and your friends could learn about the world through exploration instead of thick, dull dialogue? Wander aims to appease your appetite.
Wander, as explained by the devs is, “…a collaborative, non-combat, non-competitive MMO game focused on exploration and joy.” The idea of a game not focusing on combat or competitiveness is quite mind-boggling. The evolution of games has led to more of these over-the-top, edge-of-your-seat experiences, often with little to no actual story. Action sequences are sporadic, characterization is poor or non-existent and the leaderboard-chasing competitiveness has become a staple to many games. Almost every game has some form of multiplayer and many more feature leaderboards, forcing you to play numbers instead of an experience.
In Wander, your goal is to explore and discover the wonders, and ultimately the plot, of this strange land. Your exploration will be shared with others; and with them, you will uncover secrets of the land. You will begin as a tree, but through your adventures you will be able to transform into five different characters.
As explained on the official game’s site:
Oren (Giant Tree), Hira (humanoid), Griffon, Azertash (sea creature) and Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger).
Wander, if the vision is achieved, could be a huge step in the gaming space. The risk of creating a game that breaks almost all current-day trends is a surprise, especially on a home console. The PC space does a great job of facilitating games that don’t fit the norm as stated above. Games that won’t necessarily sell like gangbusters and experiences that blur that line between art and game are easily found on the PC. But, having said that, Sony has been doing a great job bringing those Indie experiences to its platform since the PS3 days and Wander is making its way to PS4
Wander is a game that may lack a clear, definitive direction at its onset but it may be able to break the trend of hand-holding us through levels. Just maybe it will harken back to days of old where playing a game actually meant experiencing it and not just chasing a leaderboard number.
Wander is currently in development by Wander MMO and is set to release mid 2014 on Pc/Linux and PS4.