The beautiful ruins of a fallen civilization are your playground. You will swing around gorgeous floating islands using your grappling hooks in Windlands, a VR adventure developed by Psytec Games.
I must admit that I was nervous when booting the game for the first time. I sometimes have vertigo, and I was afraid it would affect my game experience. Luckily, it didn’t! Find out more in our Windlands review.
Windlands – Gameplay Trailer | PS4
Playing Windlands in VR is really immersive. I get butterflies in my stomach each time I land a jump from a high ledge. Be warned, though, that depending on your tolerance for motion sickness, it could definitely make you feel discomfort. Fortunately, the game offers multiple comfort options to better suit the game experience to something you can be comfortable with.
Your journey in Windlands starts with a brief tutorial level. It introduces the story and teaches you the game’s mechanics. You will learn how to wall-jump, use the grapplings hooks and quickly respawn when you fail a jump. Using your new acquired skills, you will soon find your way to the game’s main hub area.
From the hub, you are able to use portals to reach different areas in your search for the crystals. Each crystal you place in the tower at the center of the hub will open up gateways to other areas and challenges.
In these challenge areas, you must either find a set number of orbs or quickly make your way to the finish. Your best time is saved to leaderboards, so you can try to improve your time by going back to the beginning of the area.
Apart from the nine crystals, there are 120 hidden tablets to collect. So prepare yourself to spend a lot of time in the world of Windlands if you are a completionist. Some of these tablets are in really hard to reach places!
While exploring the jungle, the lost city or the sky area, you won’t be bothered by any enemies. It’s just you and the environment. The beautiful world, the music and the sound of the wind make it easy to lose track time, and this is what makes Windlands a very zen-like experience.
The game controls are fluid, but I found that the jump and movement are a bit floaty. It’s sometimes difficult to stop since you build so much momentum before landing. After a while, I got the hang of it and was using my grappling hooks to soar from island to island without issue. I would have loved to see an option to use Move controllers instead of the DualShock 4.
There are also different difficulty settings to choose from. In Normal and Hard mode, your grappling hooks can only latch on bushes and tree leaves. This can make the game particularly challenging and sort of like a puzzle: What is the best route to get to that island in the distance?
I started my first playthrough on Normal, but it became very challenging once I got to the city area. At that point, I decided to try Easy mode… and I’m glad I did because it is so fun! Easy mode allows you to grapple onto any surface. Windlands feels like a different game on Easy – reaching all the different parts of the map becomes effortless and more fast-paced.
While playing on Normal, I felt like Tarzan swinging from tree to tree. On easy, I felt like Spider-Man! I was shooting my “webs” as I grabbed onto any surface I wanted to, swinging around just like the superhero. It really is an amazing feeling, and I recommend that you give it a try.
This Windlands review is based on a PS4 copy provided by Psytec Games.