I’m not really sure what Wander is, which is a rare treat for me. I’m familiar with all the words in its official description – “a non-combat, non-competitive, collaborative multiplayer game” – and their meanings within video games. I have read before that it’s an MMO about shape-shifting to explore rainforest, undersea, and the air. I cannot even remotely imagine what one does in it from second to second, minute to minute, so it’s an exciting idea for me. A new twenty-minute trailer/machinima/…thing doesn’t explain much, but now I want more than ever to be a treeperson.
Wander starts players as one of these treefolk, but magic afoot means we can later also morph into a humanoid, a griffon whose flight is affected by air currents and weather, a Murlock-sorta undersea creature, and a Tasmanian tiger. A look into the lives of elves before the world-ending evil makes them all stop larking about and arm up, perhaps.
I do wonder quite how directed the wandering will be. I like a good walking simulator, but when someone’s telling me, or even suggesting, where to go, I find it difficult to, you know, wander. One day I will revive Alice’s Evening Walk to explain why we should expel Dear Esther from the walking simulator canon.
Wander’s due in March 2015. It’ll be a one-off purchase for $25 with no fees or microtransactions.