Classic action role-playing games like the Souls games have enjoyed continued popularity for years. However, if you prefer an Asian-inspired setting, you also have a large selection – especially Ghost of Tsushima from Sucker Punch.
The developers at Everstone Studio now want to combine these types of games with the history of their homeland. We stay in the Asian region, but move across the East China Sea and go from Japan to China. Because not only developer Everstone is based there, but also publisher NetEase. We took a look at some test sessions and will tell you what you can expect.
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Where Winds Meet: Gameplay-Trailer zum Open-World-Spiel
Where Winds Meet is set during the Ten Kingdoms period in medieval China, as the Song Dynasty was nearing its end. As a swordsman trained in various Chinese fighting techniques, you must decide whether to follow your sense of justice and fight against the old rulers. But you can also go to war for the outgoing empire, or don’t take sides and protect the innocent. The developers promise a huge open world filled with typical Chinese flora and fauna. In the gameplay trailer from Gamescom 2022 you get a first look at the world of Where Winds Meet.
Focus on Chinese history
While many action role-playing games are set in fantasy universes, Where Winds Meet is set in classical China at the end of the so-called Tang Dynasty. We experience the political turmoil of the time, which is reflected not only in the story, but also in our main character. This period, in which modern-day China was divided into up to ten different empires, provides an excellent starting point for a story full of intrigue, betrayal and, of course, heroic deeds – although we start off as an inexperienced swordsman just trying to make ends meet.
Where Winds Meet: Like Ghost of Tsushima… but from China (7) Source: Everstone Studio
Classic combat system
We go into fights with large, but not ridiculously oversized, swords, which are well explained to us in several tutorials. The focus here is traditionally on a mix of well-timed attacks and quick dodges. If you have particularly nimble fingers, you can not only dodge attacks, but also parry them and, with particularly good timing, counter them with a counterattack.
Where Winds Meet: Like Ghost of Tsushima… but from China (10) Source: Everstone Studio
In addition to the classic melee attacks, there are also a few more magical abilities here and there. But these remain rare, so that you don’t feel like you’re in a fantasy game during the fights. Instead, they tend to lighten up the fights.
In the end, as we get access to more and more weapons and abilities that can also be combined as the game progresses, we end up with a combat system that doesn’t blow experienced players off their feet, but doesn’t leave them bored either.
Where Winds Meet: Like Ghost of Tsushima… but from China (11) Source: Everstone Studio
Visually a pleasure
Given the manageable amount of playing time so far, we haven’t been able to verify whether Where Winds Meet can also convince with its story outside of the fights. The passages we played can’t quite keep up with the genre greats, but they’re by no means bad.
Where Winds Meet: Like Ghost of Tsushima … but from China (9) Source: Everstone Studio What is clear after just a few minutes: Where Winds Meet looks pretty chic. Here again, you don’t have to set any new standards, but you certainly don’t have to hide from any other action role-playing game either. The whole thing is then accompanied by shallow sounds, traditional Asian music, so that a well-rounded overall result is created.
It will still take a while until the release, which was actually supposed to take place this year but has now been postponed to 2024. Then it will be seen whether the talent system, the open world and the multiplayer are also convincing. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to see much of it yet. Fans of the Souls titles or Ghost of Tsushima should keep an eye on Where Winds Meet.