Wildermyth Review: Tradition Meets the New Generation of Creators

Wildermyth Review: Tradition Meets the New Generation of Creators

Wildermyth gives you control of a party of heroes as they fight against dangerous enemy factions. Instead of taking control of one protagonist, you see the story unfold over the course of the party’s entire career. You watch as generations of characters take on the mantle of heroes and adventurers.

In-game Main Menu. Featuring characters from you Legacy.

Wildermyth is a party-based, procedurally generated RPG developed and published by Worldwalker LLC and WhisperGames. In Steam early access and is planned for full release on June 15th, 2021. (Image: WhisperGames)

Wildermyth is an adorable and accessible game that weaves together various elements to create something unique. The game is composed of various campaigns, with more to come in future updates. Campaigns are composed of 3 or 5 Chapters. These are long segments of gameplay that weave together an overarching story for each campaign.

Its 3 chapter campaigns are shorter and self-contained. These usually consist of 10 hours of gameplay. Meanwhile, 5 chapter stories are significantly longer, usually spanning generations of heroes, with increasingly larger maps and significantly tougher foes.

Each campaign focuses on a different foe the game has, though you will face off against the other factions. Additionally, each campaign feels distinct from one another. However, they do have many similarities. Throughout the game, you will inevitably come across the same random events. Despite these similarities, each campaign maintains its own identity. Each chapter will have a different objective. This could be wiping out enemy strongholds, or repairing ravaged towns.

An Expanding World, Made to be Discovered

In-game capture of the Overworld, showing both settled tiles and unknown and unexplored tiles.

The maps of Wildermyth are also procedurally generated. No two maps are the same, and feature various obstacles like rivers and mountains that you must circumvent to reach you destination. (Image: WhisperGames)

The majority of the game takes place on the map of the world. This phase of the game is where you manage your party, recruit new members, and more. You will explore the world by sending your party to unexplored regions, engage in fights, and manage the safe havens you’ve unlocked. The map itself is composed of various tiles, with new tiles being unlocked after completing a chapter.

While on the map, you will discover a massive amount of random events. You discover these by simply exploring the world and getting into fights. Nearly all events will involve a decision for you to make. Some of these decisions will be based on chance, represented by a percentage.

These events involve some or all the party gathered on the tile, and very greatly. You might run across an ancient altar that grants a character powers that stay with them, extending beyond the campaign. Alternatively, you might come across an evil entity that could grant you magical armor or weapons if you defeat it in combat.

In-game capture of the event titled "The Scattered Self" written by Douglas Austin.

Wildermyth scatters humor throughout the stories liberally. Even in otherwise sombre or serious situations, moments like this offer levity and laughter. (Image: WhisperGames)

These events and stories make up the bulk of the game. They’re also one of the most interesting elements of the game. Each one of these stories unfold like a storybook, and are all lovingly authored by different writers on the team. Over time, you’ll see your characters develop their own personalities. They will grow based on the aspects and previous events. 

Fantasy Classics with a Twist

Wildermyth uses a strategic, turn-based combat that focuses primarily on the party. While you may go into combat with just one person, combat will prove exceedingly difficult, even on lighter difficulties. You will pit your party of heroes against one of the game’s five enemy factions.

There are three archetypes to select from: Warriors, Hunters, and Mystics. Warriors are durable, frontline fighters. Hunters sacrifice health for potent attacks and stealth. Finally, Mystics use “interfusion” to bond with the scenery; once bonded they can cast spells based on the object.

Wildermyth’s combat involves synergizing your party and the environment. You can use the environment for both defence and offense. After each fight, your enemies grow stronger.

Luckily, you can choose your own pace. During campaign setup, you can go into depth with what kind of challenge you want. You can focus on the amazing writing and character development, without the risk of losing one of your members or getting overwhelmed by the endless hordes of enemies.

Alternatively, you can speed up the game by increasing various aspects. Doing so can make the game feel like an intense race against time, where unlikely heroes must struggle against a foe that grossly outweighs them.

The game offers a variety of weapons, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. However, it is always exciting to find a rare artefact weapon or armor that differs from others of its type. These artefacts are rare, however, and are found in special events while exploring the world.

A Little Chaos in Everything

Each class has a list of abilities to choose from, as well as a pool of “neutral” abilities that are available to all archetypes.

In-game capture of the leveling up process.

Certain Quests give characters an extra level up, and allows them to continue adventuring for longer. Leveling up provides overall stat bonuses, and an new ability. (Image: WhisperGames)

Even the leveling up system is random, meaning two characters of the same class will be significantly different. You can choose one new ability from three randomly selected options. Given the size of the potential options for each character, this method truly makes each character’s role feel distinct. 

Regardless of specifics, fights go much smoother with a diverse team of at least one character of each archetype.

Your Legacy Unfolds

Wildermyth uses a Legacy System that allows you to save heroes for use in later campaigns. After completing a campaign, you can select heroes to move into your Legacy. Then, in future campaigns, you can select from your Legacy. Doing so allows you to start with a few abilities from the previous campaign, giving you an edge in combat.

A Party of Quirky Misfits

Characters in Wildermyth are all procedurally generated. Though you can alter things during creation, like their backstory, their looks and pronouns, and hooks. Hooks are three key aspects of that character’s personality. These play a major part in how they act inside of the game’s many stories. Lastly, each character has a randomly picked subtitle, such as “the Compassionate Leader”, or “the Hotheaded Poet”, and many more. Unlike other aspects of a character, you cannot change the subtitles.

One of the most interesting aspects of the game is the main concept – you watch the party’s entire career. The campaigns take place over decades. They are broken into chapters and times of peace (which work a lot like intermissions between the chapters).

Especially during the longer five chapter campaigns, you will likely have heroes retire. They pass their knowledge to the next generation of heroes and spend their twilight years in relative peace. Eventually, you will see your entire starting party leave. This is both a boon and bane. You may lose valuable fighters that formed the backbone of your party, but you can now focus on training the next generation. And there is no shortage of people with dreams of being heroes.

In game capture of the retirement event for one of the characters. In it, your retiring character walks off into the sunset as the game informs you they will leave the current campaign to join your Legacy.

Characters will eventually retire as the grow older. However this is not a bad thing, as you can then play them in future stories. (Image: WhisperGames)

Wildermyth, Where No One is Straight and the Points Don’t Matter

In addition to seeing your characters grow old, you see their relationships develop with other characters. Characters can become friends, lovers, or rivals over the course of their adventures together. Naturally, traveling and fighting together will forge powerful bonds between your characters. 

Each relation type has its benefits in combat, and will grow stronger with the time spent together. Friends increase their defences when they fight side by side. Rivals grant each other a higher chance to perform stunts, which are powerful bonuses that deal critical damage. Finally, lovers will deal more damage to a foe that hurt their partner, a lover’s vengeance is a vicious entity.

However, relationships are one of the only things that do not stay in the Legacy. This means that each campaign is a fresh start for new relationships for old heroes. 

The Next Generation of Storybook Heroes

In game capture of events that happen during the years of peace. In which, one character builds a shrine to the party and says "I wouldn't say it does us justice, but at least you know you're somewhere special."

In between Chapters, your characters will alter the world in a number of ways – usually to reflect what happened during the Chapter. (Image: WhisperGames)

Between chapters, you learn what each of your heroes do during the span of years of peace you won for them. Some might take up wandering the wild lands, others might become a famous blacksmith, and yet others might find a family. Sometimes, you will recruit a new hero as a child of a hero joins the party.

This child might be the child of two characters in love, or of just one character. The game never goes into detail about the child, so it is up to you to fill in the gaps. 

In addition to children joining the campaign midway through, you will find possible recruits dotted throughout the map every chapter. Investigating these recruitment events allows you to add a new hero to your roster. 

These new heroes are young, between the ages of 18 and 25. The result is that your band of adventurers will grow and vary greatly in age. Your party will include heroes as young as 18 and as old as late 80’s.

Conclusion: Wildermyth is an Ingenious Addition to Fantasy Roleplaying Games

Wildermyth is a charming and playfully witty game. It weaves together beautiful art and backgrounds, procedurally generated elements, and engaging story-telling. The creators have managed to create a lot of content with relatively few base tools. The game also is ripe for modification using the Steam Workshop.

It combines many aspects that you’ll see in different games, but it does not fail to make it all feel unique and special. The combination of familiar elements, like warrior, mage, and rogue archetypes, make it easy to jump into. However, the changes to these classic tropes, like the Mystic’s Interfusion ability, give a refreshing new take on otherwise traditional components. 

Much of the game is procedurally generated, but gives enough precise control that allows a comfortable mix of team management but limits boring mechanics. 

However, you will inevitably run into the same events and short stories across the game’s many campaigns. While this might get repetitive, this isn’t necessarily bad. First, this means you can explore a different route than previous times, potentially finding a new story to indulge in. Secondly, if you know the story, you can skip to the end and move onto the next new event. Lastly, even if you saw the same story, you didn’t see it with your current characters, with their own personalities and relationships. Although a general story might be the same, the way your characters react might differ.

If you enjoy party and character driven stories, Wildermyth is a great game to put on your wish list. The game will add new gear, a new campaign focused on one of five enemy factions, new events, and more. It is a great time to try out this innovative indie game.

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What new releases are you excited about? Let us know in the comments below! Looking for more reviews? Check out this article on Assassin’s Creed Syndicate!

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