World to the west is a 3D adventure game that focuses on exploration, action and environmental puzzles. Featuring four playable characters, each with their own abilities, should you take a trip to the World to the West? Read our review below…
Developed by Rain Games and published by SOEDESCO, World to the West is the follow up effort to their earlier hit, Teslagrad. Whereas Teslagrad was a 2D puzzle platformer, Rain Games have allowed World to the West to stretch its wings by branching out into the 3D open world action adventure genre. With an all new cast of characters ready to tell their own stories of action and adventure, World to the West brings a lot of “new” to the Teslagrad universe in which it is set. Thankfully, this allows players who are unfamiliar with the story of Teslagrad to pick up and play World to the West without feeling lost.
World to the West offers a motley crew of four playable characters, each on their own mission for their own reasons who are inexplicably brought together by fate to fulfill an ancient prophecy. Lumina, the teslamancer, wields a lightening staff and has the ability to teleport over short distances. Knaus, a young orphan forced to work in a mine, puts his small stature and handy shovel to good use to navigate obstacles in his path. Miss Teri is an adventurous mindbender who uses her trusty scarf to traverse gaps, stun enemies, or take control of her adversaries minds so that they will do her bidding. Lastly, Lord Clonington is available to plow through anything standing in his way with sheer brute force.
Conjuring up memories of open world adventure games from yesteryear, World to the West makes use of an overhead camera angle so that players can get a good view of what they’re walking into. If that’s not enough, its possible to nudge the screen a smidge to glimpse what else may be coming your way. The game’s expansive world covers everything from nitty gritty mines to the bright and colorful country. There’s no shortage of environments that just are just begging to be explored, but how World to the West pushes that exploration is one of its greatest faults. The four playable characters all travel independently of one another. As the player progresses through the world, they will find totems adorned with the four heroes faces.
These totems serve for health regeneration and as save points, but also unlock Fast Travel. Each individual character must trigger these totems on their journey in order to have access to it as a fast travel point, though. So if the player triggers a totem with Teri in the countryside or Knaus in the mines, that totem is available only to the characters that triggered it. The three remaining characters can not use that fast travel point until they themselves have activated it, even though players have the ability to switch to characters on the fly. This hiccup is most noticeably frustrating when players discover a secret or collectible in one area of that map but are unable to reach it with their current character. Rather than being able to fast travel the character that could reach the area, players must actually progress that character to the area. Since there’s no way to mark waypoints on the map and discovered items do not show up, either, its entirely likely you’ll forget what you were going after long before you get the useful character to the right section.
World to the West does allow for players to swap between the characters on the fly provided they are at a totem. Unfortunately, even when the characters individual paths intersect, there’s no benefit to having two characters in the same area simultaneously. If the character currently in control enters combat, they’re still just as on their own as they would be if their ally wasn’t anywhere near due to the inactive character just standing by idly. For the most part, World to the West’s combat is effective enough, although some of the characters are better played with a “stun and run” technique than actual combat. That said, the absence of any means for dodging attacks from enemies is notable and can make combat scenarios more frustrating than necessary.
In spite of its navigational and combat flaws, World to the West still offers an enjoyable original story filled with quirky characters that are easy to like in a beautiful world.