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Review by Wildermyth. Random Quenta Generator

 

One interesting hypothesis in the theory of probability states that if an abstract monkey bangs on the keys of a typewriter for an infinitely long time, then sooner or later it will accidentally print one of Shakespeare's plays. And while the essence of this theorem, in fact, has nothing to do with scripting, the developers at the indie studio Worldwalker Games seem to have decided to entrust such a monkey with all the narrative in their game WildermuthThe result, as expected, is far from Shakespeare, but the result is still curious.

Workshop of Hercules

A small procedurally-generated fantasy world is being attacked by an ancient evil. Bloodthirsty monsters from forgotten legends have invaded fields and villages, and therefore the population of peasants is rapidly approaching zero. For some reason, there is nowhere to wait for help in such trouble, so three young brave men decide to unite in a group and repulse the advancing enemy. This trinity will become our first wards, who will go from completely green farm laborers with pans and pitchforks to glorified heroes with divine artifacts, demonic mutations, and hundreds of feats in their account.

Wildermyth uses such a banal plot consciously. The global storyline here just serves as the backdrop for the random events that are the game's main feature - they await a group of heroes at every turn and shape the narrative right during the adventure.
The gameplay of Wildermyth consists of a series of turn-based battles and actions on the global map. Initially, the player has access to a small territory where detachments of monsters roam and strategically important points are located - cities, resource sources, dungeons with useful loot, and so on. A squad of heroes needs to get rid of enemies, capture objects of interest and build defensive structures because every few game days there is an "invasion" - especially strong armies of monsters go to storm cities. To contain the onslaught of monsters, it is necessary to repel several such sieges, but the defense is complicated by the lack of resources and time. All actions on the global map spend precious days before the next invasion, and the to-do list never gets shorter - the territories under the guardianship of the heroes are gradually growing, and it becomes more and more difficult to defend them.


Wildermyth's turn-based combat system turned out to be quite good, albeit without any special frills. The importance of positioning and cover, destructible environment, a variety of opponents with their own characteristics, and even primitive stealth - all the basic mechanics are in place and are well combined with each other. Maps (also randomly generated) now and then create interesting conditions and scope for creative use of the environment. Lock the monsters in a makeshift gas chamber? Split an enemy squad with controlled fire? Organize the defense of a cramped maze using traps and barricades? Please - the interactive environment here is not just one of the options, but the most important element of tactics around which a separate class is built.
The heroes of Wildermyth have only three possible specializations - warrior, hunter, and mystic. This is not much, but within each class, there is room to unfold to create a unique build, including a hybrid one. Barbarians who become invisible, hunter-demolitionists, mages with huge hammers - the progression gives the player a lot of room for experimentation. But in the course of the adventure, each hero can acquire new features that can organically supplement his arsenal, or completely break the long years of development. An archer who has grown a scorpion tail in his wanderings will receive a useful tool for close combat, but if instead of a tail he grows a claw, he will never be able to use the bow again and will become a burden for the group.


Mystics stand out especially from the rest of the classes: the magic system is perhaps the most unique mechanic of Wildermyth. The fact is that the local wizards do not know how to create magic out of nothing, so they cannot, for example, take and throw a fireball into a crowd of enemies. First, the magician must connect his soul with some object on the map - a tree, a pile of stones, a dining table. And then the linked item can be activated at any time in one of several ways; which one depends on the type of item and the leveling of the magician. So, for example, conditional wooden furniture can be blown up with a cloud of sharp chips, a solid wall can be created from a pile of bones, and a giant boulder can both fly into a crowd of enemies and protect an ally from enemy attacks.
A variety of options with such a strict dependence on the environment makes magicians extremely unusual fighters. In an empty field, they are absolutely useless, but as soon as the wizard gets to some house, a fire, or at least a bush with berries, the sorcerer turns into a formidable force capable of single-handedly changing the course of the battle. At least for the first few battles, as the enemies in Wildermyth are evolving too, and frighteningly fast. After each battle (or just like that, by timer), the enemy army gets one or more upgrades. It can be either a new monster or a strengthening of some of the old ones - for example, an increase in characteristics or a new attack. The player can cancel some of these improvements for a special currency, but it is impossible to completely stop the enemy's progress - the required resource is always in short supply, and monsters are pumped too often.


At first, such a progression evokes entirely positive emotions. The development of the enemy is visual, and the ability to influence the process adds strategic depth. However, this snowball sooner or later gets out of control, and the monsters begin to grow stronger at a too active pace. This would not be a problem if the bulk of the improvements opened up new abilities to enemies, but in most cases, the game simply increases the damage and health of opponents. Therefore, the difficulty in Wildermyth is always either too low or too high - the fact that the authors challenge the player does not make the battle that much more interesting.

Tales from the neural network

However, even with most of the game to be spent in combat, the heart of Wildermyth is the development of the party and the storyline events. Before starting the adventure, the player chooses one of the five available campaigns (or sets up his own); each, in fact, determines only the faction of the invading enemies and the duration of the game in generations - almost all the rest of the narrative Wildermyth generates on the fly with the help of random encounters and the characters of the wards.
By analogy with some Battle Brothers or Rimworld, the characters in Wildermyth have a set of personality traits and relationships, but there are noticeably more of them, and they can manifest themselves with different strengths. The personality of the hero directly affects how he behaves in random events and what actions will be available to the player - the same scene for two different groups can unfold in completely different ways. At the same time, random events are extremely common - literally, every player's action can cause a new sketch.


Spontaneous adventure stories are Wildermyth's biggest success. They can be funny and touching, depressing and life-affirming, epic and painfully every day: it all depends on the composition of your group. And these small stories, in turn, make up a great chronicle of the life of the party. For example, a gambling character will urge his comrades to place bets on the outcome of the next battle, an eccentric will offer to attack enemies naked (as a method of "psychological pressure"), and a rogue may try to deceive the gods, for which he will receive a curse in the form of a rat's tail. Moreover, all these situations do not go unnoticed: they can change the characters of the characters, and sometimes in a very unpredictable way. For example, a merry fellow who has lost his brother can turn into a gloomy and cruel avenger, and the romantic will try to save his beloved from death - and not always at the cost of his own life. At the same time, after decades of hardships that have befallen him, a noble kind-hearted man will become ... An even greater kind-hearted man and will begin to inspire the party to great accomplishments with a vengeance.
It turns out that the heroes in Wildermyth affect the outcome of random events, and random events affect the heroes. This vicious circle generates a spontaneous narrative that replaces a full-fledged plot: the fate of each character over time becomes overgrown with details and, in the end, grows into a long story full of victories, defeats, joys, and disappointments. In this case, the name of the game very accurately reflects its essence - Wildermyth really creates myths about living people, sometimes completely spontaneously, but humanly.
And heroes are mortal here. They die from enemy swords, fangs, claws, or old age, they leave behind a legacy or, on the contrary, go into oblivion without a trace. Generations of characters are constantly replacing each other, and during one race, a dozen fighters may well pass through the player. New campaigns open as you progress, but they will not offer anything fundamentally new - even more procedurally generated destinies, only in slightly different decorations. Alas, at some point, this form of narrative ceases to amaze, and the player begins to miss the hand-written plot.
No matter how hard the writers try, a random sequence of random situations will never replace the work of a living screenwriter. There are no plot twists or high-quality drama in Wildermyth, many events will go nowhere, and others will be repeated too often. This is very striking already at the beginning of the second campaign. Prepared events, combat situations, locations, personalities of characters - all this is barely enough for a couple of playthroughs, although the game counts as much as five. By the time you start paying attention to the shortcomings of the virtual screenwriter, the charm of Wildermyth's little stories is rapidly dissipating. And without it, there is simply no decent motivation to return to the game over and over again. The number generator is not able to create the same absurdity as in Rimworld, and the combat system itself, even with all its nuances, is not deep enough.XCOM.
To be fair, the lack of content can easily fix the time: the developers have already done everything possible to make their creation easy and convenient to work with custom modifications. But even in its current state, Wildermyth easily drags on to the finale of at least the first campaign - she really has something to surprise and delight. True, it's a pity that there is nothing to keep the player for a long time.
  Pleased
Review by Wildermyth.  Random Quenta Generator
  • nice visual style;
  • memorable and varied events;
  • interesting progression;
  • original magic mechanics;
  • pleasant combat system.
  Upset
Review by Wildermyth.  Random Quenta Generator
  • the absence of animations noticeably spoils the picture;
  • annoying music;
  • lack of a real plot;
  • uneven complexity curve;
  • noticeable lack of content.
  How we played
In what: The key is provided by the publisher.
What: PC.
How Much: About 26 hours to complete four campaigns.
  Achievement of the editorial office
Review by Wildermyth.  Random Quenta Generator
"I always asked for this!"
Replace all the limbs of all the heroes in the group and understand that the party has become completely useless.
  About localization
The game is completely in English, but the developers have posted all the necessary tools for amateur translation in open access.
Wildermyth generates amazing characters and captivating scenes with them but is not able to tie it all into something more. On the other hand, if you don't need anything more, then it is definitely worth paying attention to.

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