Review: The Pathless - Slick, Open-World Traversal Transitions To Switch Solidly

A Link to the Path.

Having hit it out of the (water) park with its debut ABZÛ in 2016, Giant Squid landed The Pathless on PS5 just as the console launched in November 2020. The game provided the kind of audiovisual spectacle that would satisfy early adopters hankering after something to show off their next-gen kit, so you’d be forgiven for thinking a Switch port was entirely improbable. However, here we are, and Giant Squid, together with publisher Annapurna Interactive, has brought us yet another enormous open world squished lovingly onto a handheld screen.

The plot of The Pathless is not the most fantastically original, but provides just enough of a pretext to run really fast around a field doing cool stuff. In short, an evil force has overwhelmed a mystical land and your job, as the standard-issue saviour of everyone and everything, is to un-overwhelm it by firing arrows at huge cursed creatures. There’s a bit more to it, of course, but for all the snippets of text found on stone tablets or fallen NPCs in Breath-of-the-Wild-like remnants of battle, the story does feel rather contrived. The upshot of it all is that the creatures you must kill/save are each roaming their respective part of the world in the eye of a giant red fireball of a storm. To battle them, you must first collect magical tokens by solving puzzles around the region. These tokens can be used to unlock three towers, which will then enable you to start a hunt. Clearing the boss then grants access to the next region.

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