Written by: Martine Alette Narvesen
Name: Windstorm the Game
Developer: Aesir Interactive
Publisher: Eurovideo Medien
Released: 27.07.2017 (06.11.2018 Gold Edition)
Platforms: PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch
Reviewed on: PS4
Acquired: Provided by a publisher for review
Windstorm the Game is based on the books and movies by the same name. In this game, you will meet a variety of characters and you will get different missions to complete. Mika is the name of the main character, and the person you play as. You will also meet her horse, Windstorm.
The story is about Mika as a horse whisperer. Mika and her horse Windstorm get different assignments that they must overcome together. It’s hard to say what the exact story of the game is, as you get different assignments, without getting that much of a story around these. Just a lot of assignments without much reason. And the story doesn’t get told well enough through the assignments alone.
The graphics of the environment is……
The other persons in this game are drawn instead of being animated like the animals in the game. Also, they don’t seem to appear unless you’re getting a new assignment. The dialogue is done without any movement of change of facial expressions, which makes the dialogue somewhat long and tedious to follow.
The graphics on the horse is good enough. The movements, on the other hand, are not that great. The movements “Walk” and “Trot” looks natural, but “Canter” and “Gallop” are not good at all. It turns into an unnatural movement that looks more like the horse is lagging around, or flying above ground. The horse can also jump super high, and way over any hurdle and any obstacles nature can give you, which looks strange and it gives a negative impression on the horse.
Other animals around the game also have unnatural and strange movements. If you ride over to them, they will first jump into the air, before landing in unfortunate positions. Sometimes they will run away with their forelegs up in the air, while the hind legs will drag behind them without moving.
The sound of the game is good. The sounds that the animals make seem natural and fit the environment. The voices in the dialogues are also good. The voice actors do a good job at getting into their respective character. The only thing is when you skip any of the dialogues, the voice doesn’t cut out immediately and you will get to hear the end of the skipped dialogue while the new dialogue starts up.
What’s good about the game is that you have the opportunity to explore the big area around the farm Gut Kaltenbach. It is in this area you perform most of your different tasks. When you’re just riding around not doing anything specific, you’re able to find different hidden objects in the area. There are many of them and they are not easy to find. Finding the items can be a good break from the rest of the game, and assignments, if you think the tasks are too repetitive. Riding around and exploring the area can actually be quite fun. The only thing is that one should be able to find the objects when performing tasks as well, as there are many objects to look for.
What’s negative about the free roaming area, is that even though you’re riding in the middle of the field, you’ll still be stopped by clusters of trees, streams, and hills. That takes away some of the “open world” feeling they try to give us in the game.
This means that you can get very frustrated by the game as you continue to get stuck in stones, trees, streams, fences and other elements of the game. This makes it difficult to perform missions and can create a lot of irritation while exploring.
Along the way, you’ll get the opportunity to skill up your horse, Windstorm. For each level Windstorm get, you will have the opportunity to improve one of the skills. Which is good as Windstorm’s movements start out pretty poor. The improvements should have come a bit sooner, as several of the tasks require Windstorm to have better skills than what is possible early in the game.
The good thing about Windstorm getting experience and leveling up is that you can see the change and improvement every time you can put in more points. Managing Windstorm is difficult at first as he starts out more or less as a wild horse and will sway to the sides as you break him in. But as said, this will get better as you get further.
The tasks you get are fun at first, but after playing the game for a while, the tasks get very repetitive. It doesn’t take long before catching loose cows and horses, taking pictures of different things and riding from one point to another becomes tedious. There’s not enough variation and missions where you feel that you’re actually following a story.
I feel that the training you get, where Windstorm practice jumping, both on a course, and out in the terrain is the funniest. That’s the only place there’s any progression on the tasks you’re doing.
I think the game would have been much more fun if you played as Mika the same way you play as Windstorm. It would be fun to be able to physically walk around the farm and talk to people and go to different places and explore. This would have created a little more meaning to the game than what you got now, with your character more or less idling on top of her horse.
The controls are easy to learn. Every time you perform an action that involves carriage of the horse, you have a user manual for what each button does. The same goes for every time you start a mission. There is also an overview inside the pause menu. This means you don’t have to press all the buttons to find out how to control the horse. The negative with the controls is the slow response time, especially when using L2/R2 to accelerate or decelerate the horse.
Windstorm is a game I can play again, although not right away. Unfortunately, there’s no online mode that allows you to find new challenges. This is something that forces you to take a break from playing the game, in order for it to become interesting to play again.
Story - 2/10
Graphics - 3/10
Gameplay - 5/10
Controls - 6/10
Replay Value - 5/10
This game is best suited for younger kids who are interested in horse riding, and who think it’s fun with a game where you only do tasks and you do not have to follow a story. If that’s the case, the game is absolutely perfect.
For my part, there are too many repetitive tasks and it is difficult to get an idea of the story in the game. This makes the game boring, at least in the long run. I would probably recommend this game for younger children, but not for people over the age of 16.
- Features an open world where you can ride around freely
- Great voice acting
- A nice and calm atmosphere
- The training for Windstorm’s skills
- Too many repetitive tasks
- Clunky animation for the movements