Wild Earth (PC)

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, April 10, 2006

Wild Earth should be out later this spring, but I’ve been playing a near final beta of the title for a little while now. The game is arguably like nothing else on the market right now, as it takes players on a photo safari through Serengeti National Park in Africa. Honestly, the closest thing that this probably compares to is Pokemon Snap, although Wild Earth appears to have a lot more substance to it.

The game is divided up into assignments, giving players a general idea of what their overall is going to be for that particular area. One assignment can take awhile to complete as one will witness a ton of different events between each different type of animal that is seen, and there is a lot of variety to be had. Every animal’s behavior appears to be authentic, and when combined with the near photo-realistic realism produces a very realistic experience.

Everything in Wild Earth looks absolutely incredible. It is very obvious that Super X Studios spent a very long time researching and photographing wildlife and the environments that they inhabit. For an independent title, these are arguably some of the best looking graphics that have been seen in awhile. It’s almost like a National Geographic special come to life with the player as the photographer. Players won’t stop marveling at the level of detail packed into the environment or even how big they are (environments can stretch on for ages).

One selling point of the game would be that it is family friendly. Environmental safety is encouraged as you take various assignments. If a player comes too close to a particular animal or begins to disturb their natural habitat, the game will penalize you. Do this too often, and the assignment will be failed. Gameplay is non-violent as all you are doing is taking pictures, making this a great game to play with your kids. Every picture that one takes is organized in a portfolio, allowing you to view them at your own leisure and organize them how you wish. Although Wild Earth is borderline edutainment, it’s still very addictive in the sense that many will want to see what happens next in each scenario.

A lot of emphasis also seems to have been placed on the game’s sound. Every creature that the player encounters will sound as one would expect it to, which adds to the immersion the game provides. Your character and her guide also have voices that match the game’s educational emphasis. In addition, the background music is light and laid back, as Super X has decided to put the emphasis on the real noises made in the wild.

Wild Earth should be available fairly soon, as the game makes it out of the beta stage. The title so far is a very innovative and addictive experience that is educational and fun to play. This type of game may not typically appeal to a wide audience, but an exception should be made for Wild Earth. Super X is clearly putting all of their energy into making it the most authentic and interesting experience possible, so don’t miss out on that.

http://www.wildearthgame.com/

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