The first person perspective has had an interesting year so far. There’s a butt ton of new IP’s attempting to take your money, early access adventures selling like hot cakes and the likes of Superhot bringing with them fresh and exciting new ideas. And while I’m really excited to play the next Mirror’s Edge later this year, I think I’ve come across its cool cousin.
Welkin Road combines parkour inspired movements, grappling hooks and puzzle solving in a world that’s seemingly floating somewhere in the sky. It’s like if Spider-Man was stuck in a mysterious world created by Mysterio and you have to swing and run your way out to freedom. Or something like that.
Here’s how it works. Each level is a series of platforms broken up by grappling points dotted around. You’ll have to create your own momentum and take control of your swing to jump from one platform to the next, or combine multiple grappling moments to get across larger gaps.
I mentioned Mirror’s Edge earlier and it does have a similar feel to it with its parkour moves, running along walls and the like. It’s becoming a more common trait in shooters these days, Dying Light also comes to mind, but it’s rarely been used with puzzle solving in mind, which is why Faith’s adventures are a more appropriate comparison. The visuals, however, feel like a mix between pastel flavours and an emphasis on clean, concise shades and shadows, not unlike another indie game in The Witness. It looks way better in motion so check out the trailer below.
As is also customary, there’s a speed run mode to test your running skills against others across the leaderboards. There’s also the promise of intelligent checkpoints, so if you do happen to find yourself in a sticky situation or accidentally miss a platform and go sailing into oblivion, there’s a good chance the game will place you back at an appropriate point. That means the game won’t be mean to you if you experiment with different routes to find the fastest way to the goal.
Welkin Road just hit Steam early access, but unlike most early to rise games, developer Gregor Panič states on its Steam page that the single player is just about finished. The early release allows a little more refinement based on player feedback, especially important for a game that’s based on speed and accuracy. So don’t be afraid to plop down the dosh, the likelihood is you’ll be playing the final product and your thoughts can help shape its future.