When legendary video game designer Michel Ancel revealed his latest brainchild, an ambitious open-world survival game titled ‘WiLD’ at Gamescom 2014, it got a lot of tongues wagging. Some of what was shown off in the trailer happened to be downright breathtaking, and the timing was impeccable. ‘WiLD’ was teased mere months after the launch of the new (at the time) consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The promise of next-generation processing power and game design coupled with a concept as novel as ‘WiLD’s’ truly ignited the imaginations of fans like nothing else.
The involvement of an esteemed industry veteran such as Ancel only served to lend further credence to the project, and many of us were ready and willing to board the hype train. However, in the ensuing five years since the initial reveal, we have heard a scant little about ‘WiLD’.
Meanwhile, Ancel himself has gotten rather preoccupied with another highly anticipated project – Ubisoft’s upcoming multiplayer action-adventure game ‘Beyond Good and Evil 2’. This has led to plenty of speculation about the future of ‘WiLD’ and whether it even has one. Will the game ever see the light of day, and if it does, what can we expect from ‘WiLD’? Read on to find out everything we know.
WiLD Gameplay: What To Expect?
When ‘WiLD’ was first revealed, gamers were particularly struck by its unique core concept which involved possessing various animals across a vast arboreous landscape sometime in the Neolithic Period. In case you’ve forgotten your history, the Neolithic Period lasted for 5,500 years from 10,000 BC to 4,500 BC and is marked by the advances in metallurgy and domestication of animals. Of course, this was a good two years before the release of Ubisoft’s ‘Far Cry Primal’, which had a somewhat similar theme as well as a heavy emphasis on domesticating the wildlife. Of course, you could only tame and indirectly control animals in ‘Far Cry Primal’ (with a few exceptions), whereas ‘WiLD’ promises much more granular control of the beasts.
The webpage for the game describes it as follows:
“Use your instincts and intuition to thrive in an incredibly hostile environment. Learn how to control living creatures, and venture into your friends’ game worlds to help them survive.
Experiment with your surroundings in your quest for survival – a simple plant could just as easily save your life… or bring about a swift death.“
In ‘WiLD’ you play as a shaman who possesses the power to gain control of animals and acquire their skills in the process. Possessing a wolf makes you fearsome, possessing a bird gives you an enhanced line of sight and so on. The game also hints at certain fantasy elements with creatures like giants and animated skeletons. During the possession spell, the player plays from the point of view of the animal, gaining its own unique skills, characteristics and deficiencies.
The game world of ‘WiLD’ is reportedly procedurally generated. Personally, I’m a bit skeptical of this decision; while procedural generation can be great for certain game types and provides a potentially infinite stream of new content and locations, it can often end up making the game world feel excessively prosaic and lacking in meaningful content. This is pretty much what tanked Sony’s impossibly hyped space exploration game ‘No Man’s Sky’ when it launched back in 2016.
Based on the official description, it seems that ‘WiLD’ is an open-world survival game. Of course, the survival genre is a very popular but exceedingly saturated genre of video games these days and there is always the possibility that player fatigue could affect interest in ‘WiLD’ when it finally does launch.
Like most survival games out there, I expect there to be a huge emphasis on managing your player character’s vital metrics such as health, stamina, body temperature, and so on. The player has to collect valuable resources such as food and raw materials such as wood, stone to keep their character well-fed and alive. Of course, since the game is set in the Neolithic Period, I wouldn’t expect any advanced weaponry or fancy shelters. Nevertheless, crafting is bound to be a huge part of the game, as it is in practically every other survival game out there.
The developers also mentioned “venturing into your friends’ game worlds to help them survive”, which all but confirms that ‘WiLD’ features a cooperative multiplayer mode. This is a fantastic addition to any survival game and is bound to enhance the player experience greatly. What we’re not sure about is if the game will feature any sort of PvP competitive element.
Most popular modern survival games such as ‘ARK: Survival Evolved’ and ‘Rust’ place a heavy emphasis on organized, clan-based competitive gameplay and the developers of ‘WiLD’ will definitely be considering the merits of adding such functionality into their own game.
WiLD Developers: Who Are the People Behind It?
‘WiLD’ is being developed by Montpellier based French game developer Wild Sheep Studios. Wild Sheep is a new studio formed by industry veteran Michel Ancel. The game will be published by Sony Interactive Entertainment.
WiLD Release Date: When And Where Can I Play It?
After the game’s announcement back in 2014, we have heard precious little about it since then. The latest bit of news was a screenshot posted by Michel Ancel on his social media. For now, there is no certainty about when ‘WiLD’ will be released, or whether the game is even being worked on. Even if development on the title has been proceeding behind the scenes, the earliest ‘WiLD’ is expected to release, is in 2021.
Although originally announced as a PlayStation 4 exclusive, it is looking increasingly like ‘WiLD’ could debut directly on the upcoming PlayStation 5 instead.
You can watch the reveal trailer for ‘WiLD’ right here.
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