The Pathless, the new game from the studio which made Abzu, is set in an open-world which has no map and no “game over” state.
“The Pathless is all about finding your own way forward,” said creative director Matt Nava in a post to the PlayStation Blog. New gameplay of the stylish adventure game debuted in yesterday’s State of Play showcase, and its fluid movement and sprawling setting will be familiar to those who’ve played Abzu. This time, the character’s mask highlights environmental points of interest, and their eagle helps them cross this treacherous land.
“The eagle is also central to movement—its ability to carry you while flying is a key component of the way you get around,” continued Nava. “As you discover secrets in the world, you will collect crystals-which let you upgrade the amount of times you can flap in the air. This allows you to reach higher areas and glide further-as you increase the area of the world you can traverse, your ability to traverse it also increases. This means that fast travel is never really needed.” And, with their magical mask, there is no map needed in The Pathless. It’s an interesting approach, and quite refreshing, in my opinion.
On this island, a curse poisons the wildlife and afflicted spirits hunt the archer with frightening ferocity. These enemies are invulnerable, but, failing in battles against these entities will not lead to a “game over.” Giant Squid felt that this would be “immersion-breaking,” and opted for a different way of generating white-knuckle encounters. “We changed the resource you risk to lose: instead of your time, you stand to lose the crystals you’ve collected,” explained Nava. “If the cursed spirits get the better of you, they will knock your crystals out of you, hampering your progress towards future flap upgrades.”
The Pathless will arrive on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC, and iOS later this year. Watch the new gameplay recorded on the PS5 below.