In among the early morning storm of announcements at this year's Game Awards was one particularly nice surprise: a reveal of The Pathless, the new game from Giant Squid, developer of wonderful aquatic adventure Abzû.
Giant Squid Studios was founded by Matt Nava, formerly art director on ThatGameCompany's astonishing Journey, and Abzû carried much of that game's delicate artistry and spirit, if not quite its lasting emotional impact. As such, I've been eagerly awaiting news of a follow-up, and we now know that The Pathless trades Journey's deserts and Abzû's watery depths for the verdant expanse and imposing mountain backdrop of an endless forest.
Here, players take on the role of the Hunter, a master of archery, attempting to dispel a curse that threatens the world. Key to the experience is your bond with your eagle companion, and together you'll scour secrets in the forest's shadows, solve puzzles in ancient ruins, and engage in epic battles. It looks, as you might expect from Giant Squid, absolutely beautiful, and undoubtedly reminiscent, stylistically and tonally, of its forebears.
The Pathless is due to launch in 2019 on PlayStation 4 and PC. As far as the latter goes, it's so far only listed for release on the Epic Store, as appears to be the case with all new offerings from publisher Annapurna Interactive on the platform. It's unclear if that's a permanent arrangement or if PC players will be granted more purchasing options as time goes on.