Man vs. Wild Reviews

  • rotorschneerotorschnee418,585
    10 Jun 2011 10 Jun 2011
    13 2 6
    Man vs. Wild, a more recent offering of a video games rushed out based on an IP from another medium (TV in this case).

    I have a soft spot for "bad games", and usually am able to find something redeemable and fun in them. I was intrigued by Man vs. Wild due to 1 - the achievements had an easy ranking at x360A, and 2 - it actually sounded quirky and fun. I've been pleasantly surprised with the likes of Jurassic: The Hunted and Secret Service, so why not Man vs. Wild?

    When I first put in Man vs. Wild, I was initially surprised. At first glance, the game reminded me of Disaster Report for the PS2, one of my favourite games. The idea to survive your environment and craft things, I saw an initial favourable connection between the two games. That, and the really bad graphics of Man vs. Wild look like something from a PS2 era as well. But the comparison soon gave way to a rather broke game.

    Firstly, while Disaster Report has many different branches with the story line, Man vs. Wild doesn't. I'm not necessarily referring to narrative. While Disaster Report may have a story and intrigue, Man vs. Wild doesn't: it's about surviving the harsh places on Earth. What I mean about branching in this game is choices in progressing through the levels. In Disaster Report, you can make the choice: go with the reporter or go with the girl and her puppy, and events play out, and so on and so forth. The marketing for Man vs. Wild suggests there is such branching, but there really isn't. Levels 2 through 4 are linear point A to point B. Level 1 has the "illusion" of branching off, in so far as you can either parachute land on a mountain or in a tree, and you can chose what side of the mountain you want to descent. Level 5 (the WORST level, but more on that) has a cave with some branching tunnels. But that's it for branching out and roaming around for surviving.

    Ok, that might be ok - linear games can be fun. Except this game is a bit too linear. The entire game is walking from one Quick Time Event to another. You start off, walk, kill a snake (a QTE event), then make a fire (QTE event) to eat the snake (you can never tell when it's cooked enough or not), then you make a camp (another QTE), sleep, and then deal with a bear (QTE). Mess up that Bear QTE and you're incapacitated, and kiss one achievement goodbye!

    There are instances when you have to platform from one QTE to another, but the controls will have you falling off more platforms than you can count. There were many instances where I intended to back up, but the game assumed I hit some sort of progress threshold, and would't let me backtrack a bit. The screen would freeze, Bear Grylls would point the way to the next QTE and that was it. I was forced to go forward. Make note of this for level 5, which I will unload my grief on in a second.

    So it's linear, all the challenges replaced with QTEs, what else? The inventory system at first seems kind of cool, you can combine items and you can pee into a snake skin (delicious!). You can store food... sometimes. Many instances in the game you'll take environmental damage, which saps your health - the only way to heal being to either sleep or eat food. Problem is, Bear will not kill anything more than once, proclaiming it to be "wasteful" and that he has enough meat. So there is no stockpiling of health here. That little bit a snake meat you get that replenishes 3% of your health, 2% of which you lose during the cut scene of you EATING said piece of snake meat, is apparently enough food for him, so no reason to get more food in these apparently desolate environments where FOOD IS SCARCE!

    That's not all. Aside from the lack of the ability to stockpile what any other game would refer to as your healing items, you cannot discard items from your inventory. What's that? You accidentally made 2 slingshots on the deserted island level? Though! That's a spot in your inventory you don't get. This is a major flaw in the game - the ability to inventory manage should be a requirement of any game that has such an inventory system.

    So these flaws, for the most part with careful conservation, you can negotiate fairly easy. All but one of the achievements are quite easy to get. Simply beating a level nets you a fatty achievement, and the arbitrary collectables help out too.

    The final achievement, beat the game without dying, will test your courage and resilience with the game. Luckily, the game has a chapter select, so you can simply replay the chapter you got incapacitated on. I should note real quick, the key word is incapacitated. All the instances you messed up a jump on a bad platforming element, or fell down in a whole, do not mess this achievement up. The developers saw fit to give us this leeway, because if the achievement was for not dying in any way, shape, or form, it could not be obtained. Ever. By no one. The simple reason is, you have not seen the horror that is level 5.

    If level 5, Patagonia was any better, I'd give this game a higher ranking. But since it's not, I'm going to have to stick with 2 stars here. this level, is the bane of all that is good in the world.

    First, there is the very beginning of the level when you parachute in. The wind will knock you into the mountain. After it happens once, you see what's going on, and you can land pretty easy. After making snow shoes, you have to ascend a mountain with various platforming elements. You will fall. Your timing will always be off, and that jump button will never register. You will fall. After repeated attempts of going up the cliff, you make a sled out of an animal carcass, and race against an avalanche. It's possible you will collide with obstacles during this scene, but it's fairly easy. At the bottom of the mountain, you'll make a sleeping nest, fall into the drink, play a rythem game to get warm*, and traverse an ice cave all the while your health meter depletes.

    This is all cake walk for what comes next. After the ice cave and sliding down a tunnel, you'll be asked to hunt for food, make a campfire, and basically get your life back. while scavenging for twigs, you just may trigger that threshold where the game immediately drops your current objective, forcing you to go forward, depriving you of a good chance to heal up. This is critical, because now, you are at the last 3 minutes of the game, the entire game has been build up to this one moment, and you need all the health you can get, and the game rob you of this precious chance.

    The last 3 minutes of the game are capturing a horse, riding it up a hill, dodging branches, and jumping onto a train. Sounds simple?

    Que maniacal laughter.

    Jumping from the back of the horse to the train is the most aggravating moment I've played in any video for many a great while. While every other similar element in this game uses a QTE, this final sequence eschews the QTE for something else. First, you got to hold down the Right Trigger just right to get your horse parrallel to the train car's door. Don't LET GO! If you do, or push it in more, you will fail. Then you have to use the left knob to balance your character. There are NO indicators anywhere on the screen to tell you if you are balanced or not. If the game wills it, it will say you are not balanced, you wil die. So while holding down the Right Trigger just right, and the left knob just right, you then have to push the A button at just the right time for the door to be open just enough to jump in. However, terrible camera angels hinder you form seeing the door.

    You will fail this sequence. Again, and again. And each time you fail, you be go back to the last checkpoint of riding your horse, watching the same train cut scene, all the while your health drains away, which wasn't much health there to begin with because you got robbed of a chance to get a camp and file because you were exploring for fire wood. And as your health drains, the screen becomes red, and started to flash, obscuring your vision and you try over and over again to jump from the horse to the train.

    It is these last few minutes of Man vs. Wild I became so agitated. Curse words I never knew existed came from my mouth. My girlfriend woke up from the couch because she thought something horrible had happened. It was a borderline nerd rage.

    So there we go. Man vs. Wild. It's a quick game, one can finish it in a day and score 900 of the 1000 really easy. The graphics are serviceable, but I am more forgiving in that department. The game suffers from poor platforming elements, relies on QTEs for challenges, is extremely linear. In regards to that last few minutes, the game is utterly broke, unfair, and merciless.

    However, the game is still playable, and if you want a 1000 without playing Avatar, and can find a cheap copy to rent, it'll be a good way to kill the latter half of a day. All others, be warned - go dig up a copy of Disaster Report instead.




    *no, really!
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    EarthboundXI'd have to disagree with you about the health part. I found that in 4 out of the 5 levels, I had no reason to eat at all.

    As long as you kept Bear full of water, he has no reason to eat, unless you take damage, which almost never happens, because this game is so easy, least till that evil horse part.

    As for the horse part, yeah, it's poorly designed. I failed about 30 times in a row, because the game doesn't tell you to keep holding that right trigger, after that point, it only told you to use the left stick. I didn't realize I had to keep holding that right trigger, until going to a forum for help.

    At least the game developers weren't so evil that they force Bear to become incapacitated after falling off the horse.
    Posted by EarthboundX on 23 Nov 11 at 03:26
    Maybe I'm just good at games but I only failed that horse part two times.
    Posted on 29 Dec 11 at 08:07
    coffeenebulaThis is the funniest review I have ever read. And thanks for the warnings. I may rage-quit in Patagonia, but at least I go in with my eyes open (and maybe a bundle of twigs).
    Posted by coffeenebula on 24 Feb 12 at 20:43
  • Removed Gamer
    Gamer has been removed
    5 0 0
    With successful outdoors franchise like Cabellas and the recent abundance of TV show games the idea of Man vs. Wild is not as far fetched as it sounds.

    I personally have never seen the television show but I gather it is of Bear Gryllis who goes to dangerous locations and shows how to survive off of the land. This is the basic premise of the game.

    There are five different locations you get the pleasure of visiting. Each of the levels has a completely different atmosphere which is the best thing Man vs Wild has going for it.

    You need to make sure that Bear does not pass out when going through the level. To accomplish this you need to keep bear from starving, dehydrating or getting killed by the various animals you encounter. The problem with the food thing is if you kill one snake you will not be able to kill another one until you eat the meat.

    Basically you walk through the level completing the same mini-games in order to complete tasks such as building camp, starting a fire and getting food. Some of the mini game are QTE while others just require moving your thumb sticks.

    The gameplay is what really takes the potential fun out of the game. Jumping is a nightmare, if I had a nickel for every time I couldnt complete a jump the game would had paid for itself. The final level was the worst, I spent over half an hour trying to make a single jump, there were many times when he would take a few steps on the next platform just to fall back.

    The game also has collectables which are different between the different levels. Most of them do not make any sense, for example you look for trash through the journey through Patagonia, which is similar to antartica, you will find a toilet seat. I wonder why is there a toilet seat sitting randomly in an artic environment, its not like there is a lot of people around to liter. Speaking of the collectable in the Patagonia you have to locate five bugs but the problem is you cannot see them. Unless you have a guide there will be problems locating them.

    The graphics are about as good as your going to get from a game based off of a television program. The commentary is just the same thing over and over. Each level has a few lines based on the environment but it still makes for a long a boring playthrough.

    The achievments are not to bad with only one of them being difficult and another one will be a small grind. Just as long as you have a guide you could complete the game in about 5-8 hours. You will need to comeplete each level without passing out, falling into pits is fine just as long as you do not see the passed out screen. There is no way to tell which level you accomplished this on so I recommend dashboarding than continue the journey.

    At the end of the day the game had a lot of potential but the gameplay just ruins the game. It took me weeks to complete this game because it was plan torture due to what should be the simpliest of functions which is jumping. The repetitive minigames and verbage through the game just make it worse. I personally enjoyed the game more on mute than with the sound on. Even the collectable were silly to me, if they were going to change up the collectables based off the environment they should at least make sense and visable.
    1.0
  • Removed Gamer
    Gamer has been removed
    8 7 5
    Hello everyone, today I would like to tell you about Man VS Wild.

    This game is based on the Discovery show Man VS Wild. I must tell you that I am very impressed with the game over all. IF you played any of the deadliest catch games you might have a bias view already BUT this game is nothing like those, this game is way better. The graphics are pretty good maybe a 7/10. There is a soundtrack but it gets pretty annoying so I turned down music.

    A overview of the game.......

    Bear will parachute into areas or use other way to get in such as a chopper drop or a paraglider. Sometimes you will be able to do tricks and earn "XP" to level bears skills and make him tougher over all.

    Once bear is in the area he must escape or find rescue. This is done by following yellow orbs to guide you out. Sometimes there might not be an orb and you need to figure out what to do next, but these cases are rare.

    Bear will also talk to you as he goes along giving some hints and clues on what to do, what not to do, and over all knowledge of the area.

    There are items like trash and animals or in some cases artifacts and bugs to look for for achievements. You simply walk to them and press A to activate them.

    Sometimes you will be faced with encounters of dangerous animals that you must fight. To do so you will be faced with button presses such as press b and up to dodge, after you dodge two or three times you have to press a button to attack the animal. Next you have the option to kill or let the animal go. If you do kill it you will get meat and sometimes other items from the animal. IF you kill a snake you get meat and its skin which allows you to pee into it and bear can than drink his pee for water, LOL.

    You will also need to sometimes climb areas to advance like mountains and such or build items and use them to get from point a to point b. Fire and shelter is a big point of the game. In every area you will need to make fire and shelter at least once. This is done by gathering items and then using the thumb sticks to combine them.


    While it is very hard to die or "pass out" in the first 3 or 4 areas, it is possible. But most of the areas are easy.

    Once you escape one area you move on to the next.

    There are 5 different areas and each is really different.

    The game will take about 5 hours to complete and I would say about 10 hours to obtain 1000/1000.

    Overall I was shocked at how NOT crap this game was, so I give it 4 stars and suggest you try it out.

    Rent it, dont buy it, unless you can get it for $10 or so.
    There is no replay value if you get 1000/1000.
    4.0