5 Lives Studios survival adventure doesn’t come to the harbor that your good intentions wish. Since its introduction, Windbound: Brave The Storm has weighed the comparison with Zelda: Breath of the Wild for its aesthetics.
Very colorful graphics, very ancient scenarios in which nature and mysticism come together, a silent protagonist, means of transport such as a rudimentary paraglider or a boat, a system of hunting and cooking to obtain sustenance … The points in common made the inevitable comparison. However, in MeriStation we were able to test this new title a few weeks ago and we found that, beyond its appearance, it has nothing to do with Link’s adventures. 5 Live Studios and Deep Silver propose a survival adventure for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch. Named one of the biggest indie promises of this August, we get at the helm of a beautiful ship whose journey leaves something to be desired.
Beauty is not everything
The premise of the Windbound story is a classic heroine journey, filled with discovery, wonders, obstacles, and magical elements. Our protagonist is Kara, a warrior who is shipwrecked in the Forbidden Islands. The young woman, far from her home, must adapt to an inhospitable world while discovering its secrets and reuniting with her tribe. The story, divided into 5 chapters, has a very simple structure integrated into the game: in each episode, we arrive at a different section of the archipelago and we must locate and activate three watchtowers to later access an ominous water temple. In each phase, the challenges will increase, as the seas are increasingly impassable and the beasts more powerful. The estimated duration of the game is about 10 hours, which will be prolonged due to the times we have to restart a chapter, although there will also be castaways who wish to invest a lot of time in exploring and improving the character and their ship.
After the end of each episode, we discover a little more of the story through frescoes, although throughout the game we obtain fragments of lyrical texts with memories of ancient civilizations. Thus, the narrative is presented in a poetic way, without great cutscenes or text overload, and it feels like a simple and captivating legend. However, it is easy to lose connection with the plot when we have to spend a few hours collecting and managing resources. For her part, Kara turns out to be a pretty flat and forgettable character, who feels like a more empty cute avatar.