When I was a kid I remember being enthralled by Redwall. It was like an awesome fantasy book, only with a bunch of mice. Adorable! Brian Jacques' books always manage to keep me entertained. Over time, the lack of video game adaptions of this world shocked me. Over 40 years later and we finally get one with The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout. So should this legend remain lost?
The Lost Legends of Redwall takes place before the plot of the book. You play as Sophia, the newest initiate to the Lilygrove Scout Corp. What should be a happy day full of feasting and partying is instead turned into a tragedy as Cluny the Scourge lands on the shores and begins raiding Lilygrove. Sophia is forced to leave her friends and fiancé behind and light a beacon to warn the rest of the world about the upcoming threat.
What surprises me the most is how much the developers clearly love the world of Redwall. It's not just that they seek to use and expand the world, although they do a good job of that too. Rather, it's that The Lost Legends of Redwall manages to perfectly match both the tone and style of the books. Fans of the novel may remember the loving descriptions given to any item of food, with Jacques having an amazing ability to make my mouth water. This translates into the game, with the narrator lavishly going over each item of food. Little details like this tell me that the developers have set out to make the ultimate tribute to Redwall, and honestly succeeded.
When it comes to gameplay, you'll be exploring, solving simple puzzles, and sneaking around rats. With no way to defend herself, Sophia needs to avoid the rats that are out hunting her. There are the basic systems you would expect in a stealth game, like staying out of the line of sight or avoiding objects on the ground that would make noise. The big thing that separates The Lost Legends of Redwall from other stealth games? Scent. Both Sophia and the rats you meet in the game can pick up scents, meaning you have to pay attention to which way the wind is blowing and make sure you're never downwind from an enemy.
Scent comes in handy for many situations. You can use it to find objects hidden in the environment, or give you a heads up when there are dangers nearby. Over time you'll learn the scent of new objects, giving you a heads up on exactly what is going to be down the road for you. It's a smart feature that serves as a way to guide players around without resorting to waypoints or map markers. Ultimately, I came to like the system thanks to how it both fit the game world and for being an original idea.
You'll generally use these skills to solve simple puzzles and find hidden objects. One early task in the game required Sophia to make a soup for the other scouts. To do so she first had to talk to the others to figure out what they liked or disliked, then collect a spice, vegetable, and any extra things that could be used. Another section saw Sophia have to find sites marked on a map and use her telescope to determine where a geocache is located. Puzzles like this fit the tone of the game and are fun to figure out.
The rest of the game isn't too different from what I expected. Sophia has some basic platforming abilities, like climbing up walls, shimmying or crossing tightropes. However, platforming isn't really the focus of the game. This becomes obvious due to the clunky controls and short jumping distances. It didn't really bother me in the long run. Still, I feel like you could cut what little was there without losing a single legend in the process.
Despite this, I honestly came away quite surprised by The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout. It's a surprisingly fantastic entry into the world of its source material. Fans should love just how much it cares about emulating the books. Even if you're not a fan of Redwall, there's still some fun stealth and adventure gameplay to be had here. This is a legend well worth digging up.
TechRaptor covered The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout on PC via Steam using a copy provided by the developers.