Man vs. Wild, the television show which features survival expert Bear Grylls demonstrating survival tactics in extreme situation is a pretty entertaining watch. I took some time to check out the upcoming game based on the show while at E3.
In the game, you control Bear Grylls in a 3D environment. In the demo I played, I was in a forest but other locations in the finished game will include the Sahara and the Everglades. The core objective in each area is to survive, traveling from your starting location to an extraction point.
You’ll have to eat to keep Bear’s stamina up, which means finding food. Searching around a log, I was prompted to collect millipedes. This resulted in a minigame where millipedes skittered in and around a log while I used a cursor to grab them as quickly as possible. It was neither interesting or challenging to perform, and I found little else in the limited playtime that really captured my attention.
From what I’ve seen, Man vs. Wild appears to be a minigame collection cleverly disguised within an action-oriented environment with health and stamina limitations. Actions you can perform in traveling the environment are simplistic and contextual, requiring activation to climb a wall or even walk across a log while maintaining balance. Even coming across wildlife went into a QTE sequence where I merely responded to prompts.
Interestingly, the version of the game which I played was for the Xbox 360. Both the Wii and PlayStation 3 versions of the title will make use of their respective console’s motion-controller. I severely doubt that my experience would have been dramatically improved by the application of either of those devices as the mini-games I played were more of the same, basic junk we’ve seen a thousand times before on the Wii.
It’s not all bad. I have been told that the game will allow players to gut a camel and hide inside it to ride out a sandstorm, which isn’t something you get to do every day in a videogame. That said, it’s hard to get enthusiastic about the game at this point, even if it does take a bit more effort in trying to give the appearance of complexity.