April 3, 2023The Pathless Review (2023 Game Review) – Should You Play It?

Looking back at Giant Squid’s games, you can definitely tell that they have a knack for developing some of the most beautiful and attractive games on the market, and The Pathless is one of them. Curious? Then go on ahead and read our The Pathless review below!

word image 100484 1

Photo Credits to Steam

Release Date: November 17, 2021
Developer/Publisher: Giant Squid/Annapurna Interactive
Genre: Action-Adventure, Archery, Exploration, 3D-Game
Platforms: iOS, macOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S
Metacritic Score: 81%
Steam Review: Very Positive
Nominations ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards 2021

  • ASCAP Composers’ Choice Award: Video Game Score of the Year

International Film Music Critics Award (IFMCA) 2021

  • IFMCA Award: Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media

The Webby Awards

  • Technical Achievement
  • Best User Experience
  • Adventure
  • Best Music/Sound Design
  • Eurogamer Recommended

The Pathless Review

The game lives up to its name as you venture into the beautiful world of the Pathless as a mysterious archer-hunter. This game intrigues me with its open-world setting with literally no NPCs, no minimap, no actual player deaths, and no other means of travel aside from by foot (and on your eagle companion).

But what it does have is a whimsical world full of different engaging landscapes with environmental puzzles. Moreover, it’s paired with an engrossing mechanic that will have you high on the game’s mythical qualities. The Pathless is definitely a journey you should definitely not miss!

The Beginning

The game begins with an evil curse that has overtaken the magical realm of the Pathless, and it’s up to you to be the hero and clean up the mess that surrounds the island. With that big of a task, you must use your only weapon, a bow and arrow, to shoot talismans and gems on the island of the Pathless in order to advance through the game and keep your flow.

How To Play

How you play the game is quite simple: you shoot the different talismans and other floating targets around your environment using your bow and arrow. You can go as slow or as fast as you want, but who would want to go slow in a game where you can let loose and go fast? The world becomes your oyster, and because of the feeling of running, gaining speed, and gliding through the air, you turn the world of The Pathless into your own personal playground to shoot things with your bow and arrow.

Photo Credits to Steam

Also, to add to the game’s intrigue, you are always accompanied by an eagle partner that flies beside you and can even carry you to help you glide around the world and help you reach higher talismans to shoot.

One mechanic that might make or break the game for different games is that Giant Squid removed the complicated precision aiming other games have. The Pathless has a very forgiving third-person camera that lets you auto-shoot your targets. When shooting the talismans or targets, since you don’t have to worry about precision aiming, all you have to do to select a target when you are fairly close to it and/or point your device in its direction is to press and hold the trigger for a brief period before letting go; it will automatically hit the target with ease.

This mechanic might be enjoyed by certain individuals because it makes the game simpler to play. But, some individuals might not appreciate this feature because they would rather play the game without the auto-shooting mechanic and instead enjoy the difficulty of target shooting.

The Pathless fully embraces the idea that traveling from point A to point B should be entertaining, fluid, and with the least amount of obstruction possible by doing away with the challenge of aiming and replacing it with button timing and quick reflexes as you determine the route you wish to carve out. With that in mind, you must have good timing because it does have a meter that you should be aware of—though, admittedly, I have a hard time mastering the half-fill shot to get more speed.

Nevertheless, because of the auto-target shooting, it allowed me to focus more on how to navigate through the breathtaking surroundings in front of me in order to maintain forward momentum and less on the precise targets I was aiming at.

Instead of enemies, the world has puzzles for you to solve. They challenge you intellectually without being annoying. This is not an indication of overly simple puzzles but rather more evidence of the game’s commitment to fluid, steady movement. In these puzzles, your eagle and your bow usually play equal roles. You’ll have to arrow through a series of targets. You can also rely on your eagle for assistance in your ventures.

Exploration At Its Finest

The whole point of The Pathless is to explore the world on your own terms. Even if you can roam around aimlessly, there are many ways to find your way and satisfy your curiosity about the world around you.

Considering that The Pathless lacks a minimap, you can scale tall towers to observe the area around you, but you can’t label a mountain or a structure so that you can track it afterward. Although moving to a new area can be a little confusing at first, especially when I moved from flat, easily navigable woodlands to more hilly territory with poor visibility, you’ll soon come to appreciate how it makes you pay attention and be aware of your environment.

The core of the Pathless’ strength lies in this freedom of exploration, but you aren’t just mindlessly wandering across its breathtaking landscape. The Hunter’s Path uses some well-worn themes from fantasy fiction about a person who kills gods and adds some fascinating details.

Photo Credits to Steam

As you travel through each of The Pathless’ four major areas, you’ll get to encounter different bosses that you have to defeat that may cause you to stray off from your original route. But, once a boss has been killed, there is absolutely no time restriction on how long you should spend looking through every crevice of the area for gems.

Final Verdict

I had no trouble navigating Giant Squid’s breathtaking open world while playing The Pathless. Its mechanics were easy to understand, and I didn’t have a hard time figuring out the puzzles or beating any of the bosses. The story, on the other hand, comes to a definitive resolution, at which point I eagerly dove back in to begin solving the remaining mysteries.

Overall, The Pathless is a stunning video game masterpiece that, no doubt, joins my list of one of the best indie games on the PS4.

We hope you enjoyed reading this review! Happy gaming, everyone!