Everwild is as beautiful as it is mysterious, as Rare has been slow to reveal new info about their brand new IP. Given the esteemed British studio's prior work on Nintendo classics like GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark, as well as more modern offerings like Sea of Thieves, a lot of eyes are on Everwild. Fortunately, an appearance at the Xbox Games Showcase this summer, as well as a spattering of interviews and a recent trailer commentary, we know enough to paint some vague image of what to expect from Everwild. Below, you'll find more information on all things Everwild, including its potential release date and more.
What is Everwild?
Everwild is the next game from British studio Rare which is currently owned by Microsoft. Founded by the Stamper brothers in 1985, the studio has been crafting innovative games for more than three decades, with some highlights including GoldenEye, Donkey Kong Country, Banjo Kazooie and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Following the Microsoft acquisition in 2002, Rare has been developing mostly exclusive titles for Xbox consoles, with modern examples like the Kinect Sports series, Viva Piñata and most recently Sea of Thieves.
Constantly pivoting into new genres and toying with ambitious ideas, Rare is a studio that is hard to pin down, but its latest new IP Everwild would be easy to compare to Sea of Thieves, at least from looks alone. Taking the trailer and marketing copy into account we could assume it is a similar style of game - an emergent MMO - framed in a fantasy universe, but the jury is still out until we hear more about it, hopefully at this year’s E3, whatever form that may take. Development on the game is being led by studio veteran Louise O’Connor, who previously worked on Fable Legends and Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.
Everwild release date and platforms
Announced during the XO19 event in November of 2019, Everwild was a shock reveal from Microsoft, unexpected by fans given Rare's staunch commitment to Sea of Thieves. The game has yet to receive a release date or any follow-up information about a potential launch window. Though, we do know that the game is coming to Xbox Game Pass as an Xbox Series X exclusive.
What that tells us is that it likely won't release in that cross-gen window where most next-gen games also launch on current platforms. That puts educated guesses anywhere from late 2021 to 2022 and possibly beyond, depending on how far along Rare is in development.
Everwild Xbox Game Showcase trailer confirms its an Xbox Series X exclusive
First up, this trailer is a real sight to behold. Every frame could be its own painting in a museum dedicated to Rare's artistry, perfectly encapsulating the magic the studio has evoked in its painterly representation of nature in all its forms.
We're still unclear on what Everwild's gameplay will look like in action, however, though this latest cinematic does suggest the focus will be on exploration, and interacting with the universe's pantheon of creatures.
The accompanying blog post confirms that Everwild is indeed "inspired by the beauty of the natural world around us", where players take on the role of "an Eternal as you explore and build bonds with the world around you."
Everwild story - Eternals, mystical creatures, and symbiotic relationships
Like a lot of things about Everwild, the game's story is vague, but equally intriguing. The devs at Rare recently provided a commentary track for the Xbox Game Showcase trailer, confirming a number of key details about the world's lore and creatures.
First and foremost, we know the player characters in Everwild are called Eternals, and they look like fairly standard adventuring humans. The creatures you interact with, on the other hand, range from slightly unusual to downright bizarre. Curiously, we haven't seen any actual Everwild combat from Rare, as the studio has been focusing on the peaceful interactions players will have with the various creatures. Rare even described your connection with Everwild's animals as "symbiotic," and we see some of those moments in the trailer.
Obviously, that doesn't tell us everything we need to know about Everwild's story, but it does suggest themes around nature and our connection to the land and its inhabitants.
Everwild X019 trailer - What can we learn?
You can check out the Everwild trailer above. This constitutes the only footage of the game we’ve seen so far. The trailer introduces us to a bustling fantasy world with a rich colour palette. It’s also full of intriguing creatures, from bunnies to deer and majestic birds. There seems to be some sort of supernatural spin on the creatures, who boast leafy appendages and huddle in packs across a series of peculiar biomes.
The humans who inhabit this land (who we assume will function as the protagonist in Everwild) appear always in awe of these creatures, as if they are completely subservient to them. The human characters lurk and spy on the various creatures, with some looking far more hostile than others, like the warthog and sabretooth tiger featured in the trailer.
It’s difficult to infer what the gameplay of Everwild will be from this trailer. There’s no conflict to be seen, though it suggests that there will be some sort of multiplayer element given that the humans move in groups whilst studying these animals. At the end of the trailer, one human character connects with an animal, resulting in some kind of magical awakening. Perhaps it’s a game following an early civilisation as they figure out the meaning behind the animals who inhabit the land they find themselves in.
It’s all still very much up in the air, so hopefully, we’ll hear more soon. Studio Head Craig Duncan kept his cards to his chest in an interview with Eurogamer around the time of Everwild’s reveal, where he called it a “very unique type of game,” and explained the philosophy at Rare that led to the game’s creation. Duncan notes that it’s about “putting a set of passionate people together making something they truly love and believe in.” ”That’s why Everwild will be the game it will be,” he continues.
He was similarly cryptic in a blog post on the Rare website, where Duncan states that the game is “still in early development” but that the team is “focused on building an experience that allows for new ways to play in a natural and magical world.” According to Duncan, Everwild will be “more than just a new IP,” and he later waxes about the fact that the meaningful experiences it offers will be “for players everywhere to share.” Given how early the game is, it’s fair to say that Rare is being tight-lipped about the makeup of its world, potentially waiting for an opportunity to showcase its gameplay properly when it is further along the conveyor belt.