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Wander Review

Wander is a non-combat, narrative based exploration MMO. There are 4 forms to explore with, The Oren, Azertash, Hira and the Griffon. 

Developer: Wander MMO
Publisher: Wander MMO
Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online
Format: Playstation 4
Release Date: June 4th, 2015
Copy provided by publisher
Make like a tree...

Wander is a fitting name for this game. When you first begin, you are the Oren (tree). The narrative tells you that you are confused and are wondering about what's going on but that's about it. You aren't given any objectives or direction to head in and are free to go in whichever direction you want. That's how this entire game is. You wander around the different islands with no objective other than pure exploration.

You will find lorestones along the way, pretty much pre-written journal entries from an explorer, that are the narrative of the game. You will also find different stones that teach you the Rozhda language which as far as I can tell, is the only way to communicate with other players. The problem for me is that I didn't run into any other players during my time with the game to test it out. So I'm not sure if the other players have to know what you're trying to say by the sound of the word or if subtitles come up. These stones only teach you one word or a small phrase at a time also.

As I said in the beginning, you start off as tree and if you want to try out the other forms, you have to find the transform stones for them. You can tell when you're close to one by the sound of opera singing. Once you unlock a form, you can go to the lore cave and transform into it at any time by pressing the triangle button. No need to find the stones again but you do have to find your first transform stone to be able to access the lore cave.

The Oren seems to be the slowest of the bunch and was the least fun of the forms to play with. It didn't seem to have any special ability either. My main objective in the beginning was to find a new form in the hopes of finding one that moved faster. And after about 30 minutes of wandering around, I found the Hira (humanoid) form. Luckily, it does move faster than and took away the boredom that began to set in while using the tree. Besides faster movement, the Hira also has the ability to skydive, more like freefall, from great heights.

This comes in handy when trying to get down from somewhere fast but it would be much more useful if gliding was also part of her ability. I also jumped down, or walked of the edge rather, from a great height with the tree and received no fall damage upon landing so I'm not really sure how this ability stands out besides the barrel rolls and flips you can do while on the way down.

The Azertash (amphibian) doesn't seem to have any stand out ability either. I swam on the surface and under water with both the Azertash and the Hira and didn't notice a difference in speed. There wasn't any indication I was going to run out of air with the Hira either. The one thing that I did notice is that the Azertash moved slower on land which prompted me to change back to the Hira and search for the Griffon form.

After about 3 hours of searching high and low for the Griffons transform stone, I finally ran into it and thought ok, now it's time to hit the skies and cover some real ground. Nope. The Griffon flies slow as shit. Now the Griffon does allow you to get to mountain tops faster than you would by following paths or climbing up the side with the other forms but that's only because it's a straight shot. It also allowed me to finally get to the floating island on the map but it took about 4 minutes from where I started and I didn't find anything on the island to make the trip worthwhile.

During my 7 hours with Wander, all I did was explore by myself. I found empty buildings, lorestones, Rozhda stones, empty caves and dead ends but no other players. I will say that Wander MMO built a beautiful world though. There's just not enough to do in it. Some kind of activity or objective would benefit this game. Especially when you're the only person around.

Overall, I feel it's impossible to give Wander a fair or accurate review because I was unable to experience it as intended due to lack of finding any other players. That presents a huge obstacle for me when it comes to enjoying the game. It is an MMO afterall. But players being unable to play with anybody outside of their region is probably a big part of why I didn't see anyone else during my travels. The devs are looking into fixing this though. The price point is probably another reason why I didn't run into anybody. $25 seems a bit steep for a game in which all you do is explore and I feel it hurts the chances of someone taking a chance on this game.

Based on my experience with Wander, I can't recommend this game for the price. I do plan on going back to it to get the full experience when/if a future patch allows players to play with others outside of their region but as it stands, I don't feel there's anything more to experience with it.

+ Gorgeous Landscape
+ Relaxing Atmosphere
- Lack of Activities
- Lack of players
- Price
- No Map 

Score: 5/10 "Mediocre"

What I played: 7 hours unlocking all forms, exploring as much as I could & unlocking 13 of 31 trophies
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