Windbound is an interesting adventure survival game where you’re left to explore these big expanses of ocean and kind of figure out the secret of these islands to progress further and further and try to get back to your tribe. It’s a really interesting take on the adventure/survival genre and I have not heard of Windbound before it was released on PS NOW this month until now. Windbound is a really nice chill kind of experience for the most part.
The way that the game starts off is that you and your tribe set out to sea and this giant “Kraken” like creature thing comes in and disrupts everything and sends you in one direction and your tribe in another. Afterwards you’re out to survive on these islands collecting these orb-like things and there’s 3 of them per chapter that you have to collect that allows you to progress in the story.
You’re trying to find your tribe while out and about and also while trying to survive and the sea has this unique feeling to be out there because when you get too far and the wind starts to really pick up it can really throw you around as well. For the most part it was really chill and then when it came to the combat I kind of struggled to be honest as it was a little harder than I anticipated.
The combat has this interesting blend as there is this duality as you explore the oceans at your leisure and going to these islands with a nice friendly experience and then the opposite happens with fighting some of the creatures that you come across on these islands. It’s almost unforgiving as you have to be careful with your offensive nature and you have to very methodically pick your battles especially at the start when your weaponry is low and you feel pretty underpowered as you are just trying to survive.
At the very beginning of the game there is a lot of collecting resources and crafting that you can do and that opens up your possibilities further on in the game and it kind of gives you a more of an edge in combat. I thought that was really interesting and a lot of the fighting you do is to get some special items that you need to get the higher-level gear so it’s all for a purpose and it doesn’t feel like you’re just grinding away at nothing as it’s all working towards something.
The art style of Windbound really drew me in and it allows everything to feel this calm warming effect when you’re in the game and the art style is so unique and charming. I’m not sure what the style is actually called for it’s not quite cell shading and being out on the ocean that really blended well. When you set out to sea one of the issues, I had was actually the sound.
The piano music that plays in the background just became really dull and repetitive and that is my only gripe with this game. It could have used a little bit of a push based on your discoveries like coming up to an island could have had an interesting sound like a horn or something like that. Overall, I had a good time with the game as the art style is so unique it kept me engaged.
The music to me was a little off putting to be honest when I was out at sea as the piano was just repetitive and I didn’t think it was the correct sound when you’re out there, maybe something with wind chimes or strings would have worked better. Other than that, Windbound runs really well and the combat can be punishing at times but it was fun to figure out how to take down each of these creatures. If you enjoy games like Subnautica or Stranded Deep then you will almost certainly enjoy this game.
Windbound has been permanently added to the PS NOW service.
Windbound has some interesting exploration on land and sea. The combat can be difficult but it was fun to figure out especially after you unlock more crafting options. Only downside of this game is the music when you are on sea as it doesn't quite fit so well.