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The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout Anthology Preview

The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout Anthology Preview

Based on the novel series written by Brian Jacques comes The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout Anthology! Follow the epic tale taking place in Mossflower, featuring the very first official Redwall story since 2011! Throughout our preview, we were able to check out the entirety of Act 1 and even part of Act 2, meaning I got about six hours of gameplay.

This three-act title by Soma Games and published by Forthright Entertainment has you taking control of the newest recruit of the Lilygrove Scout Corps in a play written by Jethro, a charming narrator who follows us in our adventure. The narrative revolves around our writer reading the script to the sick dibbun (a young creature) William, telling the story of Sophia or Liam — depending on your preferred choice — as they begin their adventure across Mossflower after their home is invaded by ruthless pirates.

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As someone who has never read any of the Redwall books, it was surprisingly easy to grasp the story elements of the game without much hassle. Though some of the names are a bit confusing and difficult to remember, it's nothing I haven't faced before in some titles. There is a deep amount of story and lore filling the dialogue, most of which is hidden behind optional dialogue choices that you don’t really have to select, making the staggering paragraphs of voice-acted lines feel less of a burden and a necessity.

Though I've enjoyed the story so far, I do feel it's worth mentioning that it sounds as if all of the acting was done remotely. Actors perform their lines well enough and it's immersive and enjoyable — it's especially commendable that an indie title has a fully voice-acted cast without picking or choosing — but the microphone quality changes depending on the beast. Though the protagonists sound the best, and it isn't evident throughout most of the playthrough, it's jarring to hear different sound quality whenever two characters interact.

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Well, good morning to you too..

Aside from that, the main story is intriguing and enjoyable — it presents clear goals for the new recruit to achieve, and it manages to have a sense of importance and relevance without making its foe too large to beat. It remains within the bounds of "realism" (however realistic a world filled with bipedal beasts can be) and stays true to what your new recruit can do: scour around for a safe exit and hoof it to the end without being spotted.

The journey I managed to experience consists of two acts that serve different purposes. You finish your Scout test (in a tutorial that is very informative on how everything works) and then move on to completing your assigned tasks; if it sounds like I'm being dodgy, it's because I am, as I don't want to spoil too much. What follows is taking control of the newest recruit on a quest to manoeuvre hordes of seafaring rats through various objectives in stealth-based gameplay. This is where I overlooked a core element of The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout Anthology — it's a stealth-based title. Though user-defined tags will slate it as an action-adventure experience, you'll use your wits, scenting ability, and sneaking skills to traverse the land around various foes and reach your destination. Suffice it to say, I am not only terrible at stealth, but I've also always notoriously picked it as my least favourite genre overall.

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Now, the way Soma Games approaches this key element is surprisingly straightforward. Though you do use elements of stealth to manoeuvre around the dull-minded vermin that have invaded your hometown, it is approached as a puzzle element rather than stealth, figuring out how to disable the necessary vermin (your scout won't have a weapon) and complete your objectives. As it stands, it's quite simple, though I wouldn't particularly classify that as a bad thing — stealth veterans might find it to be too simple over the first few chapters, however.

It seems that stealth (or puzzle?) isn't the main focus of the title, and instead, I feel a certain level of passion comes from the game to project players into a fantasy world. In that regard, it tries to play as an RPG title wherein you connect with scouts and interact with the world as you would being a tiny mouse. You'll use your olfactory senses to track foes and the trajectory of the wind to ensure your own scent doesn't reveal your location to vermin, and you can learn new smells, find collectibles, and even read lore entries scattered across the world.

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It's all very much passion-filled, begging the player to immerse themselves in a world unlike their own. As it stands, it is fun to run around collecting everything, and fans of the franchise or game will have lots to do and read. From jam containers to letters and scents, it feels very much like collect-a-thon elements were incorporated to make the world feel fuller.

It is worth noting that making a stealth title enjoyable for me has, previously, been impossible, and The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout Anthology has been the exception so far. As it stands, the story is certainly intriguing, but my biggest concern with the game is that it currently doesn't feel like a polished experience. I encountered numerous audio and visual bugs, with menus repeating the same elements twice (like "Exit to Main Menu" being duplicated, though one of them exits to the desktop) or sound stopping altogether. At its state, it's playable and enjoyable, but some bugs mar the playthrough, even if their worst offence is to be immersion-breaking. Despite this, I look forward to getting to experience the end of Sophia and Liam’s story when the game releases!

The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout Anthology is coming to PC, Xbox Serries X|S, and PlayStation 5.

Artura Dawn

Artura Dawn

Staff Writer

Writes in her sleep, can you tell?