Ballad Of Antara And Where Winds Meet Have Exhilarated The Soulslike Fan In Me

Add Black Myth: Wukong and Shadow of the Erdtree, and you get a true feast.

Story Highlights

  • Sony’s State of Play showcased some exciting Souls-like titles: Ballad of Antara and Where Winds Meet.
  • Ballad of Antara looks like a cinematic powerhouse, while Where Winds Meet is combat galore.
  • Plus, Black Myth: Wukong and SotE are right around the corner; it’s a great time for Souls-like fans.

It hasn’t been long since Sony’s State of Play introduced us to several new titles. While the overall event was nothing to write home about, there were no doubt some interesting showcases mixed in. From previously known games like God of War Ragnarok, Monster Hunter Wilds, and Silent Hill 2 to the absolute dark horse Astro Bot, and finally, some eye candy for all my souls-like enjoyers friends out there.

Let’s take a look at this final category, featuring Ballad of Antara and Where Winds Meet.

YouTube video

Ballad Of Antara — Cinematic Appeal Overload

While Astro Bot undoubtedly stole my heart, Ballad of Antara was a close second. As crazy as I am for the Souls-like genre, there’s no way I was not going to appreciate this one.

The moment the trailer begins, we see what I’m assuming is our protagonist duo pass through a magical barrier that is extracting their soul? I’m not sure. Anyway, we see them enter a different realm of sorts. Lords of the Fallen’s dual-world mechanic though was not executed too well, I always found the concept fascinating. When I saw this scene, I was immediately reminded of that.

Lords of the Fallen – ‘Dual Worlds’ Gameplay Showcase
byu/supercakefish inLordsoftheFallen

Ballad of Antara is putting an extreme cinematic twist on the usual Souls-like concept, and I’m all in for it. With world design, enemies, and over-the-top action signifying the beautiful art direction, the showcase quickly establishes just what you could expect. 

Besides, visual brilliance is not the only thing there is. We soon transitioned to combat, and man was it smooth and impactful. Carrying around a kid while battling monstrosities, I don’t know the lore yet, but there’s something tragic afoot here for sure. Plus, the ability to play as different characters, each with a completely unique and versatile moveset is just the cherry on top.

Ballad of Antara seems like a must-play | Source: PlayStation
Ballad of Antara seems like a must-play | Source: PlayStation

Combat animations look crisp, environment design and art direction are over the top, bosses have difficult-to-predict moves, and your character moves perfectly fluidly to dodge all that. I know it’s pretty soon to say anything without a gameplay trailer, but I fell in love with what I saw, and many others did too. Ballad of Antara is a game I’d suggest never to let out of your mind.

Where Winds Meet — The Less-Ambitious One

Next up, we have a Souls-like that looked an awful lot like a Sekiro, but from Chinese devs, and one that falls short of FromSoftware’s masterpiece. Where Winds Meet looks like it’s all about fast-paced combat with punishing boss encounters.

YouTube video

We begin with a strange encounter of a sword vs. an umbrella (You know just as well as I do, the umbrella dude will win). And then, it’s straight to the combat. I like that the showcase kept it simple and straight to the point. From what I could see, the combat certainly has some charming features, and the parry-focused mechanics can indeed be very fun.

The animations look solid and bosses seem to be a genuine challenge, but I found that the gameplay itself still looks a little rough around the edges. I could notice a certain clunk in the parries and dodges, something not good for a game like this

Where Winds Meet looks solid so far | Source: PlayStation
Where Winds Meet looks solid so far | Source: PlayStation

The bosses though, looked fabulous. Every one of them floating in mid-air, mocking your inability to fly while raining the “death from above.” The complex moveset and lightning-fast attacks (literally) were undoubtedly painting a fascinating picture. Plus, the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon reference was just exquisite.

Don’t Forget Black Myth: Wukong And Shadow Of The Erdtree

The above two were the souls-like contestants in the recent event, but the joys of the genre’s fans don’t stop just yet. Keep in mind that two more highly ambitious and long-awaited adventures are also around the corner.

First is Black Myth: Wukong, the cryptic reveal you might remember from some years ago that shocked us all but then went into a deep sleep. Not too long ago, it came back with an overwhelmingly exciting trailer and an official release. Every passing day, we draw closer to that.

YouTube video

Based on the “Journey to the West” Chinese mythological story, the player controls Sun Wukong against the many monstrosities and evils that rampage through Chinese mythology.

When you put these fantasy creatures in a Souls-like with unreal visual fidelity, fast-paced combat that is as crisp and fluid as it is flashy, and character designs straight out of a horror flick, you get this Souls-like I’m desperately waiting for.

But wait, there’s no more. And this one’s probably more fantastic than anything I’ve listed so far. That’s right, we’re only 20 days away from the release of Elden Ring’s massive expansion, Shadow of the Erdtree. I think at this point, the name speaks for itself.

Need I say anything about SotE? | Source: Steam
Need I say anything about SotE? | Source: Steam

Souls-Like Fans Are In For A Treat

To summarize it all, I believe with all these exquisite pieces of media coming out, there’s a feast waiting for every fan of the genre on the planet. Whether you like the unrivaled delicacy that is Elden Ring, the exotic Black Myth: Wukong you’ve patiently waited for, or the fresh meat on the house which can possibly be a delicious full course, there’s plenty to satisfy everyone’s tastes in the coming months.

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Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

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