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  • Writer's pictureBhuvanesh Tekavade

Walden - A Game

Walden, a game is a first-person open-world video game developed by Tracy Fullerton and the USC Game Innovation Lab for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

(Walden, Travey Fullerton, USC Games, 2017, [Game], Available on Windows, Xbox & PlayStation)

Henry David Thoreau is George Orwell, Mark Twain, F. Along with Scott Fitzgerald, it is arguably one of the most famous classic novels in American history. Throughout the history of art, many things adapt across different media that inspire each other, such as games being made into movies, books being made into movies, TV shows leading to comics, and more authentic works such as biographies and paintings have been done. You can refer to it to inspire music, architecture, philosophy, and more. All of these complement each other regardless of whether the source material is intended or not, but one of the less common things to see in mainstream light like The Witcher is adapting the book to video games. That is back in the 1850s, Thoreau's Walden may seem like the last thing expected to be a video game, but a small team at USC Games managed to put out a decent game that adds depth to the book that can serve as an educational and interactive companion to make Walden a more personal and intimate experience.

Usually, when you hear the word "survival" in connection with video games, most people immediately go for a horror game or something that follows a title such as permadeath, roguelike, "don't starve" or "forest." I think of it. You can have food, shelter construction, and weapons to prevent nearby evil, but for Walden, "survival" is something else. The survival aspect is to see if Thoreau can really survive in the woods, which may not be as resource-rich as the more civilized places, as they don't actually die in the game instead they perform normal survival tasks in other games, such as collecting food. Work such as fish from Walden Pond, wood for the fire, caring for cabins, caring for small bean fields. Really ignoring this has no effect, except that you lose the "inspiration" of walking slowly, getting tired fast, getting sluggish overall, and getting fatigued. Rather, surviving in Walden means adapting to a new way of life.

Walden advertises itself as an open-world simulation game, but it is not. Most of our time is spent around Walden Pond, and although it's a pretty big place to walk and explore (including boating on the pond itself), there isn't much to see beyond it. There are two more locations you can visit outside of Walden Pond, the town of Concord and the home of Thoreau's best friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. A pond that proves once again that this is not a completely open world. Concord is not a very big city visually, but it feels very small when you realize that only two buildings can be entered - the parent's house and the post office - and the rest are all locked or blocked off. Each part of the map has a sign telling you where to appear the next time you pass, and walk about 10 seconds to the opposite side from the Concord entrance and you'll see everything before you teleport. to the next location. Unfortunately, there isn't much to explore and it's also a bit disappointing to look at in terms of depth. For more inspiration, your job is to basically keep a journal, looking at the environment where everything you can see has a record. From fauna to flora, from landmarks to structures, and everything in between, zoom in with the R2 or Circle button to log everything in your journal as you explore the creatures around you. Basically, this is a major part of the game as it is essential for recording the events of the day. The light narrative surrounding it collects scattered arrowheads to provide a brief monologue of the current situation, or, when illuminated in orange, evokes memories related to the location where it was found.

I usually don't attach much importance to graphics. Because I firmly believe that gameplay is the most important thing. Because no matter how beautiful it looks, if it's not good, I don't want to do anything about it. But for Walden, the graphics are particularly unobtrusive and don't help fade, and for Walden, it's particularly problematic because it puts a lot of emphasis on nature and beauty. Meanwhile, the low-quality textures, outdated animations, and poor drawing distance (among other technical aspects) make me feel disconnected from the world and want to turn my gaze away rather than dive into the landscape. There isn't much gameplay in Walden, the sound design is fantastic, and you actually feel like you're in the middle of the woods (especially with headphones on, the sounds of birds chirping, crickets, the wind rustling the trees in the leaves, etc.), but at least memorable and pleasing to the eye. It was possible to create a pleasant beautiful environment. The dull colors lack inspiration, and instead of being stuck on the outskirts of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, you want to escape back to the city. Not only Emerson's model but also some of the townspeople I meet don't look very good. The UI that appears when talking with other people or buying things in the village also occupies most of the screen, leaving a lot of disappointment about the fonts. Papyrus and Chiller are like a strange combination of Times New Roman, which makes you want to take a clue and leave. The visuals aside, the performance is solid at a steady 60fps and the gray fog in front absorbs the distance entirely, but mostly has no issues other than drawing distance issues where trees and other leaves can appear or disappear at any time due to distance issues. forest.

Walden is primarily regarded as a doctrine work that does its best to adapt source material that should not be flexible enough to transform into the spectrum of the game. It achieves what it's trying to achieve, and it's not for everyone, but it's certainly appreciated to see a game like this, even for someone like me who likes to run sims. It is a feeling of. It sheds new light on potentially forgotten moments of entertainment and history as we consume more and more information each day, which the brain has only enough information to process. However, although educational, it's a bit steep to charge close to $ 20 for a short experience with a very small number of gamers' demographics that may be related to this. I'm not a professor of literature, not a professor of "classical" like Homer's Odyssey or Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, but I love the different interpretations of art and most of the genres I'm involved with. The door is open to the medium. That said, Walden is very attractive somewhere between $ 7.99 and $ 12.99, with lower entry costs for interesting genre combinations that can create an immersive and somewhat unforgettable experience. You can see that there is.

It's pretty amazing to see a book like Walden grow into something playable, and there's no doubt that USC Games' efforts should be praised. If you're a fan or have read Thoreau's original work, it's a fascinating experience, but you should always be aware that you're playing something that shouldn't be interpreted that way. Hmm. Repeating the same thing over and over for days, weeks, and literally, seasons can be quite boring and boring, lacking its slow walking and fast travel, and strangely lacking this. In addition to such a simple gameplay mechanic, it makes Walden feel outdated, but from a real-life perspective, and experiencing the moments when a very real person experiences those very real moments. From doing so, it opens your heart to see how things were for Thoreau in the 19th century while we live in the modern century, and Walden does so in a way that respects the original work, As mentioned earlier, you can serve as a companion to the history of literature, the people who read Thoreau, or the book itself. Walden serves as an educational work rather than a more traditional one in the gaming industry.


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