I played “Gedonia” this week, a game that, after suffering through “Outward,” was a breath of fresh air.
“Outward’ was a game that I believed stockholmed me into this bizarre state of hating the game to the point that I thought there was no other way to review it besides writing everything I thought was okay and all the big issues I had with the experience as a whole. However, during my research into the game and the community, I stumbled upon a different game. That game was “Gedonia.”
“Gedonia” was released this year and was frankly a fantastic experience. While it certainly has flaws that I would be happy to get into, I cannot stress enough how amazing the game felt after the broken glass, barbed-wire hurricane that was “Outward.”
The games actually follow a similar structure to one another on a couple of levels. The games have a focus on combat that has a variety of ways to attack your enemies with swords and magic among other techniques and tools. The games also wish to be more open with their worlds, with incredibly few quests or storylines in both games. At only a glance, these games mechanically seem incredibly similar. The differences only seem to rear their heads once you dive in.
One of the major differences between the two games are the survival mechanics. In “Outward,” the management of meters such as health, stamina, mana, temperature, food, water and a couple of other variables of survival was almost the whole point of the game besides combat. In “Gedonia,” however, there are no survival mechanics. Without these mechanics, the game feels much faster-paced because you’re not stopping every couple of steps due to your character is tired or forced to eat something. In “Gedonia,” everything that is required to be done in “Outward” is optional but improves every aspect of the game if you do it. Instead of putting a gun to your head and constantly worrying about survival, you can instead eat food when you want to with only benefits.
Combat in “Gedonia,” while lacking some of the depth of “Outward,” is, in my opinion, far better because of the wide range of options shown to you at the beginning of the game and slowly given to you throughout the play through. “Outward” attempted “Dark Souls” combat in an open world with mixed results, leading to an experience that is, while fun, rather sobering. “Gedonia”’s combat progression is obviously heavily leaning toward a power fantasy in comparison to “Outward”’s attempt at realism. However, when considering which one I was more entertained by, I found “Outward” to be a rather miserable experience, with “Gedonia” being a, while easier game, much more fun product to experiment and mess around with.
Both games have quests. The major difference is how each game handles them. Outward’s mission structure is incredibly linear and often ridiculously shallow, with usually the only way to solve an issue to be hitting the issue until whatever the problem was, stops being one. “Gedonia,” on the other hand, has unique and interesting quests that were fun and rather flexible depending on how you build your character. Unlike “Outward,” many quests in “Gedonia” can actually be completed by simply talking to the enemy. Charisma is taken incredibly seriously and often can save you the hassle of difficult combat by talking your way out of troublesome situations. Some of the quests that you can do also can have moral dilemmas, where certain characters lie to you to get what they want, with others telling you the actual truth, further deepening their troubles with other scenarios that sometimes can conflict with how you have acted in the game but may for this one situation believe is the right choice. “Gedonia” has these interesting, flexible and sometimes funny quests that are well worth doing.
Both “Outward” and “Gedonia” have their own merits. While both are indeed decent products, I personally feel that “Gedonia” is definitely where people would get their money’s worth. Even with all that I’ve said about the game, one thing that I consider very important is that “Gedonia” is still in early access. A game with this much content already is going to be getting more while baseline “Outward” has been a finished product even with DLC. “Gedonia” is a game that shows a plentiful amount of promise, and I can’t wait to see how the project goes from here.
Edward Park is a third year student with a BsED writings track. EP909767@wcupa.edu