Last time I looked at Wayward Souls, at least a year ago now, I felt it was a game of no in between. It was soft, until it was very hard. It was hellishly dark, except for when it was brightly lit. Overall, it felt oddly arbitrary. Well, it’s been over a year, how does it shape up on release?
Not… Really. A lot of my criticisms remain completely unchanged. The dark levels are super dark, and then… Oh look, lots of brightness. Bosses remain, on the whole, easier than the actual enemy encounters, incremental abilities remain… Frankly unimpressive, and the procedural level design… Well, it appears to be using some pretty loose rules, which make the difficulty even more variable than it usually would be.
Sometimes, you will find the exit right away. And, apart from gathering coins, maybe some items, there’s no real reason you can’t just take those stairs, with most characters. And there is always a teleporter near the exit. Teleporters, as an aside, apparently work in some sort of sequence, perhaps discovery? But it’s not “select a place to go”, it’s the somewhat tedious “Teleport, nope, teleport, nope” until you hit the “Yep” you were aiming to go.
Which, considering teleporters can generate right next to each other, not just in the example given… Well, that makes it more annoying. Speaking of that, there can be big ol’ branches in the dungeons which… Don’t lead anywhere, or at least, don’t lead anywhere that’s useful to you. Oh, a healing fountain. Very close to… Two healing wells. After two fights I’d aced. Huh.Well, er… Thanks for having no confidence in me, level generation?
Each class, as you’d expect, has their own quirks, their own abilities. The mage is… Well, to call her a glass cannon is somewhat disingenuous. More a glass .22, if anything, because everything in her arsenal is either reliant on mana, or spell inventory. Whee. The rogue, meanwhile, has the backstabbing you’d expect, and a dodge that passes through enemies that… Honestly, seems too fiddly to do just right for the gains. Oh dear, you overshot, just a little? Enemy turns around. Of the four I’ve unlocked so far, Warrior has been, of course, the safest, vanilla bet, and the one I’ve gotten farthest with, but…
Overall, I feel like the buy in, in terms of skills, how long you play to get abilities, what you find in levels… It’s frustration versus reward, and, for me at least, frustration wins. The first area is dark and drab, and it’s going to be a lot of what you see for the first few hours of the game, and… It wears.
The Mad Welshman appreciates an adventurer’s life is a hard one. But he mostly plays games to get away from that.