Man vs Wild Review
Ever wonder what it's like to be stranded in the wild? Thanks to Man vs. Wild, players can now experience how that feels. Based off the Discovery Channel's top-rated television series, Man vs. Wild captures the excitement and adventure of the show.
The game features five authentic environments that players must find their way out of safely. Using the same survival techniques commonly seen on the television show, players must overcome nature's elements. Following survival expert Bear Grylls, the game incorporates many of the show's core elements, from building camp fires to catching food. The game even allows players to drink his urine.
Since it's a lower budget game, the graphics are noticeably lacking. It looks more like a game you’d find for the original Xbox than a 2011 title. It’s unfortunate because a game whose premise relies so heavily on nature ought to convey the visual wonders found there.
What Man vs. Wild loses in graphics, it makes up for with gameplay. The core gameplay features a mix of action-adventure, role-playing, and puzzle-solving. Players are tested with dozens of challenges that range from building a fire to wrestling an alligator. Of course, if you fail to take down the gator the game is much more forgiving than nature would be, respawning you from the last checkpoint reached.
When not climbing mountains or dodging wild bear attacks, players must battle the extreme weather conditions found in each of these remote locations. Intense snow, rain, sand storms, and extreme heat will test the player’s determination. As if that wasn’t enough, shelter, hunger, and hydration are a constant priority. Players have to scavenge logs for edible worms, kill snakes for meat, and find water in the unlikeliest of places to survive--and when no water is in sight, you'll have to resort to desperate measures. Before night, set traps to protect Bear from wild animals and harsh elements.
Even though the various gameplay mechanics keep the game from becoming too repetitive, the challenges are very easy to complete. Highlighted circles and objects show where to go and what to collect, removing the feeling of truly being lost in the wilderness. Fighting wild animals consists of simply pushing the buttons shown on screen at the right time. When climbing a mountain, Bear Grylls may lose his grip, at which point the player must tap a button to regain it. Push the right button and Bear will successfully continue climbing, but one wrong move may spell the end to his adventure.
As players successfully complete tasks, like setting up a camp site in a certain location or catching a fish in a river, they are rewarded with experience points. Using these points, they may level up Bear's different attributes, such as his overall hydration or resistance to physical or elemental damage.
Man vs. Wild is a fun, easy game based off a successful television series. Those looking for the next life-changing experience will probably find themselves disappointed. On the other hand, they might learn skills that may be helpful in the event that they're actually stranded in the wild one day. The game successfully fills a niche role. It isn’t the most realistic outdoors game, but it’s a decent recreation of the show Man vs. Wild. Those who are fans of television series or the great outdoors will be pleased with Man vs. Wild.
[Reviewed on Xbox 360]