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Discover a cultural Japanese-influenced story in the tranquil landscapes of ‘Niten’

Discover a cultural Japanese-influenced story in the tranquil landscapes of ‘Niten’

Filed inside: Games

The world is a beautiful place filled to the brim with wonderfully diverse cultures. One could argue that the borders of our countries act like portals to entirely new worlds. Each individual country has its own unique mannerisms, as well as a defined style of living. What’s even more enthralling is that each has its own history, filled with important events and statements and movements. Included in this is a vast menagerie of folklore, mythology, and storytelling. Prior to the modern age, traveling to different locales or securing literature was the only way to discover the legends of a different culture. Luckily, these days you can fire up the internet and discover a new worldview with a simple click of the mouse. Some individuals even create movies, music, and video games to help spread the wisdom of the world.

Niten is a video game that does just that. Developer Donald Macdonald and his crew have crafted a masterfully-rendered first-person journey that acts as a storybook on steroids. The purpose of Niten is to explore a colorful island, where secrets weave throughout the lush foliage and deep blue waters. The setting is tranquil, with no enemies to fight, puzzles to solve, or time trails to beat. It’s simply you and the serene landscape around you. Through the process of exploration, you’ll uncover a powerful tale about a samurai master and his young orphaned student. The collected pieces of the story will unfold into a beautifully-illustrated graphic novel, helping you to better understand the mysterious narrative. There is a heavy focus on visuals in Niten, thanks to the use of Unreal Engine 4. Developers also made use of Speedtree to help create assets for the thick plant life of the island. Well-done lighting effects and dynamic weather help to break up the monotony and offer much more depth when exploring the environment.

Niten also allows you to “take a break” from the journey and tend to a small customizable zen garden and lodge. You’ll have the freedom to personalize your “housing” with different decor and unique collectible items. You can even change the foliage within your zen garden to create a space that is truly an extension of yourself. This adds a small but welcome amount of depth to the free-roaming release and helps to set the tranquil tone from the start.

The development team focused heavily on sound elements to help create an experience that was more than just eye candy. The end result is a visually-pleasing affair that features a marvelous soundtrack and solid voice acting. The story itself is told in both Japanese and English, and developers went out of the way to secure native speakers to provide the voice acting for added authenticity. Add all of this to an experience that allows you to freely roam your surroundings at your own pace, and you’ve got a wonderfully-relaxing experience that acts as the perfect way to unwind after a long day.

If you’re looking for an action-packed affair that will get your blood pumping and test your skills, this isn’t it. But those of you looking for a calming gaming experience that tells a culturally-unique story through well-crafted visuals and fantastic sound will find a great experience in Niten. This upcoming release was recently Greenlit by Steam and the creator also plans to release a stand alone VR version of the game in the future. If you’re interested in getting more information about Niten, be sure to check out the dedicated website here. You can also follow the creator on Twitter and Facebook.

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Written by Russ Boswell

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