Parents' Guide to

The Waylanders

By Jesse Nau, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Mature fantasy adventure plagued by bugs.

Game Windows 2022
The Waylanders Poster Image

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This mature RPG (role-playing game) features a fantastic setting but stumbles in its execution. The Waylanders' choice of Celtic mythology as its inspiration provides a unique set of story beats, monsters, and locations that sets it apart from many of its peers. Unfortunately, the writing is inconsistent and characters often use language that feels too modern and out-of-place in its much older setting. Excellent voice acting papers over some of this issue, but it can't fix bigger problems with the story. The first half of the game is intriguing and sets up an interesting adventure for players to engage with, including a lot of side quests, but as timeline-jumping enters the picture, the plot is spread too thin for its own good. Effectively doubling the cast halfway through the game doesn't leave enough room to fully develop the more interesting initial characters.

Tactical real-time with pause combat is a key combat element, and it provides interesting strategic choices despite clunky interface issues. Characters are given plenty of options to tackle different combat encounters, but managing equipment is awkward and confusing. Many encounters are challenging even on lower difficulties, but the clunky method of giving orders to your team can make tough fights frustrating as well. At least customizing and leveling-up characters provides meaningful choices that can impact combat, particularly with the formation mechanic that allows different party members to temporarily join together as one unit and gain new abilities. Unfortunately, The Waylanders features a lot of technical issues as well, particularly in the back half of the game. These can range from minor text issues to progression-breaking bugs, which can completely derail the player's experience. There's some real charm in the characters and particularly the setting, and the combat is occasionally enjoyable, but issues with the writing and technical problems make it hard to recommend.

Game Details

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