By Nathan Grayson on February 19th, 2013 at 10:00 am.
Oh, huh. So remember the part where Arcen Games was making a sequel to A Valley Without Wind, in which I very much hope they managed to add wind this time around? Well, it’s out. You can buy it and play it right this very second. Not just one or the other. Both! Unless you purchased the original version of the (perhaps too) tremendously ambitious sidescrolling platformer procedural role-playing co-op adventure – in which case, A Valley Without Wind 2 is completely free. Alternatively, if AVWW 1 (which my brain desperately wants to read as “Alien vs Wind Waker,” because I’ve been doing this job for far too long) flew under your radar, tossing a few of your coins into the sequel’s clinking cup will nab you a free copy of the original. I can’t say for sure yet whether or not AVWW 2’s everything its predecessor wanted to be, but I have to admit that all this generosity’s pretty darn cool.
This one seems to be a bit less freeform than the original, but that might not be such a bad thing. Here’s the basic idea behind what Arcen’s going for:
“Gameplay alternates between two modes that complement each other: brief, tightly-designed platforming segments where your character customization and equipment can be tuned to meet the tactical needs of the current stage; and quick strategic turns on the world map where you order your troops to fight, scavenge, build, recruit, farm, and use special powers. Demonaica and his armies pursue your forces directly on the world map, while his five henchmen have been sent to recapture you in the platforming segments.”
Combat’s also been revamped this time around, imbuing everything (including spells) with mass and other physical properties. Oh, and of course, the art style’s gotten a gigantic facelift, though I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it. Certain areas look absolutely gorgeous, but meshing them with scrolling cardboard cutout backgrounds and stiffly animated characters makes my eyes want to recede into their respective headcaves.
Still though, there are some very, very big ideas underlying AVWW 2, and Arcen’s dedication to its community is undeniable. Unlike many scrappy indies, A Valley Without Wind 2’s actually not without a Steam page, so check it out thereabouts if you’re feeling so inclined.