Watch Pretty Wandering In The Lost Valley’s Trailer

Total Alicebait.

I watched all six minutes and twenty-two seconds of The Lost Valley’s [Greenlight page] trailer expecting a jump scare. I’ve come to associate pretty ‘realistic’ natural landscapes with sandbox survival and jump ’em ups, and appropriately expect cannibals, sharks, and Slender Men. No, not here. It’s simply six minutes of someone wandering down forested paths, wading through streams, and poking around scraps of abandoned civilisation.

Curiously, the makers’ last game was one of those pretty world spookfests, Lex Mortis [Steam page], which seems to be praised for prettiness but cursed for many of its gamey bits. Sorted!

The Lost Valley sees a cyclist tumble into a forgotten place, needing to reach the shore and a boat to escape. And, as far as I can tell, that’s it. No monsters, no crafting, no combat. Splendid.

The Russia developers say, “In case you are tired of zombies and shooters, and you wish to enjoy amazing beauty of nature and calm atmospheric environment then ‘The Lost Valley’ is the very game you need so much.” I’d stress that you can enjoy all these things – half my favourite games might not even have a protagonist, while the other half have revolvers bigger than your torso – but yes, I’m certainly up for wandering.

I’m actually curious about how a non-surreal walking simulator will even feel. The dreamy quality of many walking simulators encourages drifting into them, going deep into imagination space. Might I end up tutting at pop-in and wondering whether that stream flows too fast to draw dragonflies? I hope not.

It’s on Steam Greenlight now and apparently due for release between April 6-10.

I’ve also got my eye on another wandering sort of game by a Russian developer, 35MM. It does have a spot of gunplay and a few goals and whatnot, but along a long trip walked with a friend and your trusty camera. I am keen to see more of it.

25 Comments

  1. SigmaCAT says:

    J.J. ABRAMS, LEAVE THIS BODY, I COMMAND THEE!!!!

    Seriously, that’s a lot of flares. My bionic eyes don’t even make that much.

  2. AdamDenton says:

    More of this sort of thing! The ability for games to transpose the player to other worlds is one of their biggest draws for me. Down with intrusive UI and down with shooting people in the face because reasons. Hopefully this can become a bonafide subgenre outside the HTML covered walls of RPS.

  3. Koshinator says:

    What engine is that? Usually I can tell if it’s one of the major known engines.. I guess it could be their own.

  4. grimdanfango says:

    After The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, I actually find the scenery in this looks pretty bland and repetitive. One game features photogrammetry-sourced mossy rocks and ground textures, and I just feel like I can never see a traditionally-produced gaming wilderness the same way again.

    Also, what’s with the massively steep, but quietly ambling stream half way through? Water wouldn’t bumble down a sheer incline like that :-P

    Overall, a lot of making stuff look fancy by slapping magic-hour lighting effects over it all, but actually pretty unrealistic looking underneath the post-processing.

    • DanMan says:

      I’d have to agree. Very repetitive and not very convincing.

    • KwisatzHaderach says:

      I’d also like to add that, while it does look visually stunning in places, these guys could really use an advisor on how botanical and geological features behave in real life. They are aiming for a realistic reproduction of nature and I have to say they fail utterly. Take as an example the birch trees at 3:13. There is no way that in real life they would grow to be that tall (and straight) when they are overshadowed by that big oak. Not to mention the really weird, smoothly seceding slope. With that kind of gradient you’d rather have features like pool-sttream-waterfall-pool-stream-waterfall… There are many of these flaws in just a few minutes of video. In games like these these details matter immensley and it is not just the small studios that are doing them wrong.

      • dahauns says:

        I’d go even further and say compared to, say, the Elder Scrollses and Witchers (yes, No. 3 as well, from what I’ve seen in the previews!) out there, this title does rather well…

  5. seroto9 says:

    The trees are gorgeous, yet the ferns are shonky.

  6. DanMan says:

    Holy moly! Did you see that lense flare?

    • Psychomorph says:

      I was blinded by something for a moment, so, what lens flare?

  7. Generico says:

    Honestly, the “OMG look at our lens flare shader!” ruined it for me. This would probably be really pretty – especially for early dev work – if it didn’t suffer from devs making absolutely sure you see all the post-processing effects they’ve spent so much time on. Too much depth of field, too much motion blur, too much flare, overpowered crepuscular rays (google it): these things are supposed to be subtle details that convince you the seen is real; not jarring visual effects that remind you it’s fake.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Dukey says:

    Only slightly related but…

    Has anybody made a photography game? As in, wander around some beautiful environment with a camera and take photos of stuff, adjusting shutter speed, aperture, iso, manual focus etc. to suit different lighting conditions and subjects, use different lenses, a tripod for long exposures, flash. . .

    If not, why not?

    • maninahat says:

      The closest I can think of is those aquatic diving games in which you photo the fish, but nothing about the specific skill of taking a good photo.

      I was wondering the other day if there are any games that actually feature a good simulation of dancing – I don’t think there is, outside of Wii games.

  9. Nibblet says:

    Meh. Looks like my skyrim installation with uglyer grass and water. Lense flares are about the same tho.

  10. mattlambertson says:

    Oh my god yes please.

  11. onodera says:

    Bad botany and lens flare aside, what all these walking games need is a body. I want to see my hands and feet trying to clamber up the slope, slip and slide down another slope on my arse, tumble down the third, steep slope, carefully climb over a boulder. The games are unable to simulate the sun shining through the branches and warming your neck, neither can they give you the smell of pines or summer flowers, but that doesn’t mean a walking game should remain a floating camera game.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      I agree. Does look like this has that, though.

    • April March says:

      Bad Botany would be a great name for a game. There are many ways it could go but all of them are awesome.

    • Aardvarkk says:

      At the stream I wanted the character to pick up a rock and throw it against the boulder..

  12. simbo says:

    Why to the game trees have to sway like that? I only every see trees move that much during hurricanes.

  13. keithzg says:

    “no collor correction, no post production WERE MADE”

    Ouch. Probably would’ve been better off using Google Translate than whoever at the office happens to claim to be great at English.

  14. foxhandybread says:

    Time to Crate: 3 mins!

  15. zeekthegeek says:

    Stock CryEngine stuff, I don’t think the Devs of Lex Mortis have what it takes to make something like this without the Crytek preset stuff. Lex Mortis was so bad you guys. Like unplayable trash.