First revealed back in August last year at Gamescom 2022, the open-world action-adventure roleplaying title that is Where Winds Meet certainly made a splash with its masterful trailer that pointed to an epic in the making. Now, here at Gamescom 2023, it was finally time to put that theory to the test and see if Everstone Games and NetEase Games could back up the promise.
We walked away with mixed feelings, because in some way, it does show promise of an open-world RPG that will give players much freedom in determining what they can do. The problem is that in being overly ambitious, there could be issues in keeping the player interested throughout, which is something the genre has always struggled with.
After getting through the robust character creation sequence, we were thrust into a combat tutorial that is perhaps the most solid of all the systems in Where Winds Meet. Familiar wuxia tenets are well presented, with martial arts inspired by the animals a common sight. Players can block and parry attacks like a true master, and make the enemy pay in all sorts of ways.
Faced against a boss enemy in the preview, it was clear that Everstone Games is aiming for a nice balance between being challenging and also making the player feel powerful. Utilising the various skills takes good timing, as does proper defence, but enemies hit hard and fast as well. Combine all of that with a variety of weapons that come with their own techniques, and no one hero will likely be the same.
Out in the open world, Where Winds Meet takes on a different guise. Exploring towns and engaging with NPCs reveal other activities to get busy with, and yes, you can even become the world’s best pickpocket and risk going to jail for your transgression. The path of the hero is not a mandatory one, and players are free to choose their own path of fun. Whether that holds up, in the long run, is the key question, with the main narrative likely providing more of an impetus for players to keep progressing compared to the life of a highly skilled hermit.
Another way Where Winds Meet appeals to that wuxia fantasy is the inclusion of Qing Gong, which sees martial artists seemingly bend the laws of gravity and physics alike to manoeuvre through the world. Essentially, that means jumping to great heights and maintaining elevation through flight is a nifty trick to have in the arsenal to navigate this world. While that won’t help much in combat, it does do wonders when it comes to the open world stuff.
At this stage, it is hard to say just what Where Winds Meet will amount to. The scope and scale of things that the team is aiming for sounds like a tremendous idea, but putting all of that into action can be a difficult and challenging task. The hope is that they pull it off and shatter expectations, with the gaming world more than ready for yet another fantastic action adventure. Until we get to see and experience more of this game, fingers crossed that we won’t be disappointed.
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