Might and Delight has released its latest title in its long-running Sanctuary 3 franchise, and this time the developer has decided to focus on the journey of elephants. Leadership plays an important role in Shelter 3, as you play the leader of a herd of elephants. Using the same patterned visuals as the previous games, Shelter 3 improves everything and brings a whole new journey this time around. Here’s our review of Shelter 3 on PC, where we collect trees to get fruit and explore a beautiful but dangerous world full of predators.
Shelter 3 is the journey of a herd of elephants from one safe zone to another, but the journey is fraught with dangers and challenges that few have survived. Might & Delight is known for creating emotional journeys like this, but this time the developer decided to throw a whole herd into the mix and make you the leader of the pack. It’s up to you to determine the future of your herd, from survival to predator control to finding food and water. All this must be done under the watchful eye of the matriarch of your flock, who is now too old to lead the flock alone.
The gameplay of Shelter 3 allows you to control the main leader of the pack under the tutelage of the former matriarch of the herd. You jump into the hooves of a new mother, who also has a calf, and are given the responsibility of leading the entire herd, which consists of the matriarch herself, several adults, and other calves. You control the main leader of the pack, and they all follow you through the levels. There are several ways to control the flock, for example B. When you hit the fruit from the tree, the flock quickly gathers to eat the fruit, or you call them to you and with your hand. If danger threatens, you can quickly call them with a distress call, but usually your flock will follow you.
You have several options for controlling your herd, for example. B. Sense, which shows all the elephants in white around you and also indicates the checkpoint where you should start the next leg of your journey. There’s also not much help navigating the map and it’s pretty easy to get lost in the game at times. During my first scavenger hunt, I got lost crossing an alligator-infested river and managed to lead my herd into a tiger territory where I lost a baby elephant. For such a charming game, Shelter 3 is a brutal game that doesn’t hesitate to show you what happens in the wild if you’re not careful with your decisions.
While the game doesn’t seem to want to kill anyone, it certainly will, and it doesn’t shy away from bullying kids either. I lost my first elephant in the herd to a tiger attack. One of the things I found a little odd was that even though the baby was surrounded by adults, the tiger just touched it and died, whereas in the real world elephants actively protect their babies and a tiger could never single-handedly finish off a baby elephant if the adults stay nearby. I would love it if the game had some sort of defense mechanism to protect the pups from predators.
This makes the herd extremely vulnerable and makes the game even more complicated. Overall, Shelter 3 is a pretty challenging game, as you not only have to protect your herd from predators like alligators and tigers, but also find food and water for your herd and take care of your own baby. Feeding takes some time and your flock gathers while your baby is being fed, and once that is done, the flock can finally move on. You can sprinkle sprinters and rams with fruit. The elephants eat grass on the ground, but this hardly gives them the energy to keep going. The fruits are the best source of energy in the game.
In the game you will find many rivers and lakes where you can wash and water your herd, because hydration is just as important for your herd as food. In some places, food and water are scarce, so you’ll need to adjust your pace to give the herd time to rest and move on, while saving energy. Adults and babies in the herd can die of hunger and thirst, which adds another challenge to the game. By calling your flock, you can tell if they are happy or unhappy with their current conditions. All their needs and desires come to them in little bubbles.
The levels are huge and it’s mostly the same map, but when you go to another ghost map to determine your next move with the Matriarch, the map feels like it’s split into several sections, while the game doesn’t really stop and continues exactly where you reached the previous checkpoint. Each of these levels brings new challenges for you and your flock to solve as leaders. The decisions you make at these crucial moments will determine the fate of your herd. So you have to stick to the decisions you make for your flock, and live with the consequences, because you don’t get a second chance.
Technically the game is pretty solid, but there are some visual issues here and there, the most annoying of which is that your elephant can walk over the other elephants in the group. I find this very annoying, because as the herd usually gets closer, you’ll often find that if an elephant gets too close to you, it will walk through you and have no effect, or the AI will ignore your physical presence in its path. There were also no frame drops or other graphical issues in the game. This may be a small solution for developers. Fixing this problem would definitely improve the gameplay.
Overall, Sanctuary 3 is a great journey from start to finish. The film is moving and intense, showing the life of a herd of elephants at its best. Might and Delight have done a great job with this game, from the unique patterned graphics to the great Retro Family soundtrack, which picks up the pace in tense situations and calms it down in normal ones. This decision places an added responsibility on your shoulders and forces you to think carefully about the journey ahead. The game definitely has its moments to remember.
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Shelter 3 is a brilliant adventure in every way, and despite a few visual hiccups, you’ll have a lot of fun with it. It’s the perfect combination of strategy, emotion and excitement, all in one place. Although Shelter 3 is relatively new to the franchise, I was interested enough in it to go back and try the previous titles in the franchise. Whether you’re into emotional travel or just elephants in general, Shelter 3 is a great title where you can lead your own herd that follows your decisions to the end. Coupled with a decent soundtrack and attractive graphics, you get a unique title that explores an aspect that few developers have chosen to portray. Highly recommended for fans of the franchise and newcomers alike.