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Where Winds Meet: A Vast and Ambitious Open-World RPG

In the world of gaming, there are few things as exciting as a new open-world RPG. When Winds Meet, developed by Everstone Studio, has the potential to be one of those games. From my brief gameplay experience at gamescom 2023, it was clear that this game is massive in scope, offering a richly detailed open world that combines elements of Zelda and The Witcher.

The gameplay of Where Winds Meet is immersive and diverse, featuring a wide range of activities and quests. During my time with the game, I engaged in intense sword battles, solved riddles, performed acrobatic feats, and even embarked on a quest to hunt down a runaway goose. This variety of experiences showcases the game's ambition to go beyond being a traditional swashbuckler.

One aspect that stood out to me was the RPG system that underlies the game. It is divided into two layers: combat and adventure. The combat system allows players to showcase their martial arts skills, ranging from the familiar to the bizarre (such as summoning a charging goat). On the other hand, adventure skills enhance the player's ability to interact with the world and NPCs, opening up new possibilities for exploration and storytelling.

What sets Where Winds Meet apart from other RPGs is its unique character stats, which offer a different roleplaying experience. These stats, such as ‘Eloquence', ‘Sight', ‘Imagination', and ‘Erudition', promise a journey unlike anything seen before in the genre. While my hands-on experience didn't reveal much about these stats, the game's creators have hinted at a job system that allows players to become anything from a thief to a doctor.

Combat in Where Winds Meet is fluid and enjoyable, with a rhythm that is easy to grasp. While it incorporates familiar mechanics like strikes, blocks, and dodges, it doesn't punish players as harshly as the Soulslike genre. The boss fight I experienced was a thrilling display of swordplay, emphasizing the game's fun and swashbuckling nature rather than endurance.

One feature that caught my attention is the game's more whimsical side. The ability to pull out a megaphone and shout damage numbers at enemies adds a touch of humor to the combat. I'm excited to see how combat evolves as players unlock more abilities, potentially leading to flashy animations and satisfying combos.

While the open world exploration showed hints of its potential, it also felt slightly disjointed, lacking a cohesive feeling. However, the prologue provided a glimpse of a more engaging and cinematic experience, featuring intense horseback battles and slick QTEs. I hope to see more of this level of excitement and a seamless blend of these elements in the final game.

Everstone Studio has shown great ambition with Where Winds Meet, and I commend them for that. However, I also have concerns about the game's scope. The vast array of skills and stats, coupled with the studio's first major release, raises questions about the game's overall cohesion and execution. Nonetheless, if Everstone Studio can successfully create an open-world RPG that caters to a variety of playstyles and professions, Where Winds Meet has the potential to be truly special.

Sources:
– Original article by author [Name of Source] – Everstone Studio [Name of Source]