Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy is a really great roguelike take on the fixed-camera action RPG. I gave it a whirl over the summer and was personally impressed by its gorgeous art style and fantastic sound design. On top of that, I found the gameplay loop to be really compelling.

And that last part should come as no surprise, as the game’s director is Joris Dormans, who holds a PhD in Applied Theory for Game Design. Yes, this game is designed by an actual doctor of gaming. To explain the design concepts being used in Unexplored 2, Dormans said:

This philosophy quite literally surpasses the cyclic dungeon design we worked with previously. In short, it identifies structural roles in the level’s spatial structures. These roles are tailored to the adventure experience: the ‘place’ is the location the player tries to reach. A ‘path’ through an ‘environment’ leads the player to it, and so on. It really helps the level generator structure a level by placing landmarks, hazards, and enemies at logical locations. As a result the generated levels have become more readable, coherent, believable, and fun. As the theory strongly suggests to add secondary entrances into the place it is cyclic by nature allowing a multitude of trajectories through a single level.

You can read more about this “Theory of Place” in a post by Dormans on the Game Developer blog.

With all that said, the game is still in Early Access, and that means it’s still growing and changing. And today is yet another milestone in that path, as today marks the launch of the Bathing with Giants update. This update implements Dormans’ “Theory of Place” to improve the game’s randomly generated level design. I honestly thought it was pretty good before, so I’m really excited to see what “improved” means in this case.

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer's Legacy

If you want to know more about the Bathing with Giants update, here’s a list of new features, straight from a press release:

New Tech:

  • First implementation of the Theory of Place, improving level generation

New adventure sites:

  • The Unformed Labyrinth
  • The Ancient Bathhouse
  • The Forest Temple
  • The Hidden Shrine
  • The Spire Ruin
  • The Marang Keep
  • The Marang Temple

Improved adventure sites:

  • The Raaf Temples

New major quests:

  • Root Awakens – Follow a series of clues leading to the unformed labyrinth to wake the flow elemental but also to the dark secret hidden at its center.
  • Form Awakens – Synopsis: Retrieve the Root Mask from a lost temple in order to gain safe passage through the ancient bath house.
    (Both start from clan villages, rather than Haven)

New creatures:

  • Root servitors
  • Form servitors


  • New track for one of the clan villages

Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy is currently available on the Epic Games Store. It’s still in Early Access, but what I played back in July felt really well-realized, so you can jump in now without having to wait for the rough edges to be sanded off. This is a pretty robust game experience already, and it’s only growing in breadth and scope from here.

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