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Beautiful exploration game Shape of the World releases wondrous new trailer

Coming to PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac in early 2018.

Shape of the World has to be one of the most visually striking games on the horizon. A relaxed adventure about exploring an alien planet, Shape of the World combines the dreamlike shimmering vistas of something like Proteus, No Man's Sky, or Journey with the world-building hook of Bastion wherein environments are constructed as you walk through them.

By day, lead developer Stu Maxwell is a VFX artist at The Coalition, where he worked on Gears of War 4. Prior to that, he worked at Relic on Warhammer 40K: Space Marine.Watch on YouTube

"Shape of the World is about being on a visually and musically stunning journey as an outsider in a surreal world that reacts to your presence," said lead developer Stu Maxwell of Hollow Tree Games on the PlayStation Blog. "You won't only be lost because you're not certain of your location... you will be lost because this world does not feel or behave as you expect it to. You won't just be walking on this journey, you will drift, swim, and even fly with the whales if you're lucky."

It doesn't sound like this will be purely procedurally-generated either, as there are rules that govern this strangely shifting landscape, even if it's not clear what they are. "Each step you take leaves a mark on the world you're exploring," the developer teased. "Your choices alter the world in vibrant and unanticipated ways, leaving you wondering what will happen with each path you take and every hollow you stumble upon."

This sounds like it will give Shape of the World a light puzzle feel, as you tinker around with your bewildering surroundings. Maxwell noted that there won't be much in the way of usual stressful video game chaff involved, like a scoring system, combat, or timed challenges.

Even the music will adapt to the player's input, with sound designer Brent Silk's score dynamically changing in tune to your travels. Just yesterday the developer discovered some cool emergent wind chime-esque sound effects while strolling through one of the game's many alien forests:

Shape of the World has been in development for quite some time, as it raised $79,367 Canadian dollars on Kickstarter back in the summer of 2015. At the time it was shooting for a 2016 release, but hey, you can't rush quality.

Shape of the World is now planned for an early 2018 launch on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac.

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