Developer Might and Delight will release Shelter 2 for PC, next week on March 9. Until then, some 20 minutes of preview gameplay should suffice to get excited. This survival game was one of the many delays that eventually slipped out of 2014 and into 2015. In turn, the adventure once featuring some badgers has turned into more open spaces and a lynx family that can grow.
Aside from the immediate unique visuals Shelter 2 has, the open world is also a welcome change. This time around, the parent and four younglings can stretch out into Mother Nature and discover plains and mountains alike. On their path, the parent will need to feed the young, by bringing them prey scattered throughout the environment. With a keen hunter sense, it’s possible to spot other critters from afar, dotted in blood red patches.
In the gameplay commentary we go through, which we’ll post below, you’ll notice a few blemishes to the otherwise endearing journey. Controlling a fierce predator is a bit of a struggle and some narrow camera angles can certainly make that harder. Perhaps trickier, this sloppy design can lead to some collision problems in the current build, trapping a few animals. It doesn’t ruin the experience as a whole, but it does periodically create a bump in the road for the otherwise swift running atmosphere the charging lynx creates.
What really sells Shelter 2 so far is the younglings; the baby cats, if you will. In particular, their realistic sound design that makes the tiny fur balls squeak and mewl is nearly universally identifiable as a call for affection. Worse yet, these heart-melting cries can turn to audibly distinctive distress calls. These high pitched noises are enough to instantly break anyone’s hearts, including ours, but in a good way. You’ll definitely want to do better after losing a kitten.
It feels weird calling them “kittens,” because a lynx is quite a big entity that can eventually tackle deer, if needed. Damn, nature, you scary. We’ll give you those 20 minutes of preview gameplay now: