Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles - PS4

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Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles (PS4)
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Adventure: Free Roaming
Media: Blu-Ray Arcade origin:No
Developer: Prideful Sloth Soft. Co.: Prideful Sloth
Publishers: Merge Games (GB)
Released: 18 Jul 2017 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
No Accessories: No accessories

Summary

If you had to guess at what high concept developer Prideful Sloth had in mind for Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles, you wouldn't go far wrong with 'an all ages Skyrim'. It certainly goes toe to toe with the Bethesda classic in terms of scale, but the mechanics have been dialed back and streamlined somewhat for the sake of accessibility. The biggest difference, though, is that one of open world RPG gaming's biggest features has been very deliberately ditched - there's no combat in Yonder.

As you fire up Yonder you find yourself in Gemea, a lush and beautiful frontier. Despite the beauty, however, an evil murk has cloaked the land and its inhabitants in despair. It's up to you to solve the mystery of the murk and restore happiness to the land.

The game world is split into eight distinct areas, ranging from sunny beaches to snow-capped mountains. Visually, it's a bit reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, with all the pastel colours and accompanying charm you'd expect. But while you get all the story and exploration of Zelda or Skyrim, the mechanics are closer to the likes of Stardew Valley. To make your way through Gemea you'll farm, fish, cook, craft and brew, helping the island inhabitants and spreading happiness as you go. There are plenty of recipes for crafting, but it's never shoved down your throat. Likewise, the story's certainly there but if you prefer to spend your time farmsteading and exploring that's fine too.

Yonder isn't about forcing you to do anything, really, it's about presenting you with a rich, engaging world and giving you the opportunity to play in it.

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