Harvest Moon: One World, the preview

Harvest Moon: One World, the preview
Harvest Moon is one of those cyclical series, like the rhythms of peasant life marked by the passing (and recurring) of the seasons. Which are also the contents of the series in question, if you think about it: and so, every so often Harvest Moon returns. First it disappears and then comes back alive, always true to itself (and always a little different). It will return again with Harvest Moon: One World, in the first months of 2021: indeed, we also already have the dates. In Europe (and therefore also in Italy) you have to mark on the calendar March 5, 2021, and Nintendo Switch as the reference console. But, since this is a new chapter, the purpose of this preview is not to think about the release date, but about all the news of Harvest Moon: One World.

The basics: loyalty to the series

Harvest Moon: One World restarts from some consolidated bases: that is, from a very evident fidelity to the series to which it belongs. In March, therefore, you will not find yourself in your hands a Harvest Moon never seen before, transformed into a puzzle game or a shooter, but always the same simulator of rural life; and that's fine, otherwise the old fans would simply disdain it, while it would skip the whole philosophy behind intellectual property.

However, we must also consider some statements made by Natsume, the developers of Harvest Moon: One World, who have called this chapter "the greatest Harvest Moon ever". And perhaps - if the title also comes in handy - it is easy to understand where the production is headed. "One World" roughly means "one world", but not in a reductive sense: it is likely that you want to aim to show, instead, all the wonders and possibilities of the whole world in a single Harvest Moon. As if to say "one world, a single world and in connection: look at all its facets". Harvest Moon: One World will therefore start from the fundamental bases to propose something else.

The main elements of fidelity to the series will (obviously) be the management of a new farm from scratch, following the crop cycle, looking after the livestock, and then social relations with the members of the town surrounding. To the eyes already from the first trailers it seems that to all the old elements of the game, quantitatively speaking, new ones have been added, just to "enrich" everything and provide the most complete chapter ever. But what will the real news be?

Exploration: around the world

Harvest Moon: One World will insist on the exploratory component as never before inside the game world. This means that the farmer / breeder (ie you) will be able to explore the rest of the world, in its most heterogeneous characters: different biomes, consequentially more or less exotic buildings, variable local flora and fauna, different climate. If it seems little to you, it is only because words cannot adequately convey the idea.

Harvest Moon has always used to come to terms with a more or less extensive game environment, more or less explorable, but however limited. The game map has always been well defined; now Harvest Moon: One World will push towards other maps and therefore in other places. This could change completely (what will happen to the newly started farm? Will it remain the same or will it undergo ad hoc changes?) Or for a large part the experience of users, who will receive unprecedented stimuli: visiting places never seen before, because they are full of absent elements somewhere else. Imagine the fauna of a snowy setting, for example: only there will be, say, arctic foxes and reindeer. And only there you will find the classic Northern European houses (think a little about the Norwegian fjords, and you will understand).

What about crops, the real crucial element of every self-respecting Harvest Moon? You certainly don't expect to be able to grow potatoes in three-meter-high snow. Social interactions will also be affected: six unique male characters and six equally unique female characters await you in different areas of the world. For now, the desert, snow and hawaii biomes seem to be confirmed (tropical biome? There seems to be a surfer character ...), but clearly some surprises could arise.

My farm, my play style

Exploring the whole world is certainly a disruptive novelty in the Harvest Moon series, which has remained very conservative in recent years; a nice refurbishment will only do you good. It also seems that your farm will only marginally suffer the "trauma": a new robot will literally allow you to put it in your bag, and take it with you in the exploratory phases. Goodbye suspension of credulity, of course, but some compromise is still necessary: ​​and then, who knows if Natsume will allow you to really place your business anywhere, or only in the presence of specific conditions.

If the management of agricultural activity apparently remains unchanged, certainly those who already see their play styles undermined will certainly not have to worry: once again Harvest Moon: One World will guarantee any type of approach to production. The purpose of the series is to allow the player to relax, choosing their own pace of life, the desired activities. And then you can participate in local festivals, or not (they will change according to the country where you are in the game world). You can get married and start a family, or not. Pescara, or not. To cultivate, or not. To breed, to dedicate yourself to collecting new seeds to plant, to be miners in the cave to obtain minerals, to run around on horses ... or not. It depends on what you prefer.

Excluding the news, which this time all stand out clearly and are all equally interesting, some elements of Harvest Moon: One World do not fully convince. The structure of the production, for example: will there be sufficiently varied areas, or will it all be reduced to proposing some irrelevant stereotypes for the general use of the title? Or maybe able to complicate all in all intuitive mechanics? Hopefully not, that's clear. As it is also hoped that the graphic and technical sector will improve, visually speaking Harvest Moon: One World looks anything but good to see. And it's a shame, because we know very well how Nintendo Switch is able to offer, even from this point of view, real gems. You don't even need to bother with the unattainable Animal Crossing. Oops, we just did it.

Is it safe to say that Harvest Moon: One World looks like the most powerful chapter in the series of the last decade? Expectations - we are sure - are very high, both from historical fans and from that of all newcomers. A rural life simulator always has its own reason, it is always able to carve out a space, even considering the fact that the offer of any Harvest Moon is very different from that of any Animal Crossing. But in addition to quantity (and Harvest Moon: One World will be "the greatest ever"), quality is also needed. Natsume, Natsume, you have all the credentials to give players one of the first interesting titles of 2021. Make no mistake.


It will be the most full-bodied title ever Interesting the variety of biomes ... ... with all the differences of crops and animals that lead to DOUBT The technical sector does not seem amazing How many different environments will there be? The gameplay novelties remain to be tested

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