Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 50
  2. Negative: 0 out of 50
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  1. Nov 26, 2020
    A fascinating adventure with a beautiful side in his visuals and great playability. His taste it's like an old-school game, but makes great points in the adventure genre with captivating music and a unique world.
  2. 90
    Giant Squid starts the new generation strong with The Pathless. A short, sweet, and simple adventure that marries contemplative exploration, with uniquely satisfying movement mechanics that function in both a visually stunning open world and the setpiece boss encounters. While the experience may be too easy for some, this game is worthy of attention in the crowded launch line up. Not only as a great title, but a shining example of what indie developers can bring to next generation gaming.
  3. 90
    A subtle, immersive upgrade to an already brilliant game. The Dualsense really shines in making your traversal and combat feel more alive. The game runs brilliantly, looks beautiful, and has a great score to match. You cannot go far wrong with The Pathless, no matter what version you play.
  4. Nov 22, 2020
    The Pathless is an incredible experience, and easily one of the best launch titles available on the PS5 in what is already an excellent selection. A wondrous, beautiful open world with innumerable locations and secrets to uncover is placed alongside a moving narrative further heightened by an unexpectedly tender relationship between player and bird. And that’s to say nothing of the game’s exquisite use of colour, or the beautiful and wickedly unique soundtrack. The Pathless excels on all fronts.
  5. Nov 13, 2020
    The Pathless is a remarkably well-designed game, guiding the player forward with intuitive design while providing plenty of opportunity to experiment and play. With a great locomotion system and an amazing soundtrack, The Pathless will easily see players losing hours while under its hypnotic spell. Fun and rewarding puzzles, a nice story line, and plenty to see and do make The Pathless a great game, regardless of which system you play it on.
  6. Nov 11, 2020
    The Pathless is a wonderful balance between puzzles and boss battles contained in a giant landscape. The gameplay design, specifically the boss level design, demonstrates the possibilities this new generation of consoles might offer.
  7. Nov 10, 2020
    In short, Giant Squid succeeds in the most difficult task, that of starting from the groove left by the greats, but in the end to trace a new trajectory, leaving a profound and unforgettable mark on the panorama of independent development, and beyond.
  8. Nov 10, 2020
    Like previous effort ABZÛ before it, The Pathless leans heavily into the gorgeous cell-shaded world, and it does so with gameplay and story that keeps you locked and engaged for the entirety of its 10 hour story run. Comparisons to games like Shadow of the Colossus and Journey are apt, but seeing the world rush by at 4K and 60fps is a thing of beauty. Come for the frenetic gameplay, stay for the art.
  9. 90
    The Pathless is the next great indie adventure. Whether the joy you take from it is in its unique and super-slick traversal mechanics, or the arresting world and faultless artistry, there's no denying that Giant Squid has absolutely nailed it. If you only pick one, non-AAA exclusive for your next-gen PlayStation, pick this one.
  10. Nov 11, 2020
    Imagine the gamedesign cores of ICO, Shadow of the Colossus and Journey merging into a brand new adventure... The Pathless takes you into a scenic open world full of ruins, mythical secrets and fantastic colossuses.
  11. Dec 23, 2020
    Despite simple puzzles and less than convincing stealth segments, The Pathless delivers a sensational adrenaline rush with its core gameplay. It runs like a dream and looks the part too. Definitely worth checking out.
  12. Dec 3, 2020
    Ultimately The Pathless is a very good game, with exceptional art direction and an interesting (if a bit shallow) story. I loved the interactions between The Hunter and her eagle, and found the boss battles to be a high point. The game’s six hour runtime helps to keep the somewhat repetitive gameplay loop from becoming tedious, but it also means it’s more difficult to justify the game’s $40 price tag. I believe that with some expanded lore and a lot more variety in the puzzles on display, Giant Squid could have easily stretched the game out to 10-15 hours. Still, The Pathless is undeniably a great game and a worthy (and unique) addition to the PS5 launch lineup.
  13. Nov 20, 2020
    Quotation forthcoming.
  14. Nov 12, 2020
    The Pathless is a great game. It’s beyond stunning, with a remarkable soundtrack and phenomenal sense of place. Refined traversal mechanics do a lot of the heavy lifting, while puzzles and boss battles could use an extra dose of variety. Though the formula gets tired by the end of the tale, The Pathless proudly stands among giants of the genre like Journey.
  15. Nov 25, 2020
    It’s one of those games where the journey matters at least as much as, if not more than, the destination — and, thankfully, it makes that journey as smooth and seamless and pleasant as possible.
  16. Nov 11, 2020
    The Pathless is a beautiful and epic adventure from the people behind Abzu. A must-have for every indie lover.
  17. Nov 17, 2020
    Its stylish visuals and slick gameplay make The Pathless stand out as a truly epic experience. If the concept of whipping around massive intricate environments at ridiculous speeds while solving puzzles and taking down bosses appeals to you then definitely check it out.
  18. Jan 27, 2021
    The Pathless is a visual stunner that lets you explore its gorgeous world via an innovative and fun traversal mechanic. It may be modest in scale, but the platformer leaves a big impact courtesy of smart puzzles and exciting boss battles.
  19. Dec 18, 2020
    The Pathless is exceptionally pretty, with great flow and even greater art design. The game loses some of its emotional punch thanks to the open world and the lack of clear pacing, but it's nonetheless a great experience.
  20. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Dec 14, 2020
    A stylish adventure that makes like Fleetwood Mac and goes its own way. Beautiful to ear and eye, this is a trek through the forest that you need to take for yourself. [Issue#183, p.90]
  21. Nov 18, 2020
    The Pathless is about the journey. Your freedom to explore and take in the rich, breathtaking environments at your own pace is highlighted by the game’s satisfying traversal system and lack of clear cut directions. The puzzle-platforming and combat mechanics are simple but provide a refreshing break from the potential monotony of dashing through this mythical world.
  22. Nov 18, 2020
    The Pathless is an adventure that offers something new, and just that is something we appreciate. But on top of that, it delivers an interesting world and mechanics that feel fresh.
  23. 80
    It’s the absence of stand-out creature encounters that weighs heavy on The Pathless as a whole. And there’s a redundancy to said moments that never rears its head when freely exploring and solving puzzles. Undoubtedly, the exploration and puzzle-solving represent The Pathless at its best. Giant Squid’s latest manages to perfectly capture the calm before the storm, along with the post-battle respite that few games master in equal measure. In that case, it would seem the disappointing creature confrontations do serve a greater purpose to some degree.
  24. Nov 17, 2020
    The Pathless makes a fantastic first impression, with its arresting visuals, fun mechanics, and fascinating dark world. The game’s middle section does start to drift a bit, but it sticks the landing with a great final level and an electrifying and emotionally-satisfying climax. Like The Pathless’ feathery co-star, Giant Squid has raised their game to lofty new heights.
  25. Nov 16, 2020
    A simple and elegant game; a fascinating experience.
  26. Nov 12, 2020
    A hugely entertaining open world puzzler where simply getting from A to B is more entertaining than most games in their entirety.
  27. Nov 10, 2020
    The Pathless combines a simple but fun movement system and a world brimming with secrets to uncover.
  28. Nov 10, 2020
    I hope it isn’t lost amongst the PS5’s bigger, noisier releases, as it’s something different and uplifting. It’s rare to find such tension and threat in a game that’s also so peaceful, but Giant Squid has managed it. In truth we could all do with a bit of light in our lives at the moment.
  29. Nov 10, 2020
    The Pathless is a wonderfully different game that makes you feel like you have ownership over the entire experience and are not being led along by a pre-scripted playbook.
  30. Nov 30, 2020
    The Pathless is a charming indie adventure with a strong atmosphere, engaging exploration and a myriad of fun puzzles that is too good to be forgotten amongst the next generation hype.
  31. Nov 25, 2020
    The Pathless suffers a way too linear narrative and game structure, but has an inspired art direction, more game features than Abzu, a great work and a great way to tell the players more about it.
  32. Feb 8, 2021
    The Pathless is a really entertaining game from the creators of Abzû. The game lets you explore a vast world with a huntress and her eagle. Saving the world is no terrible job since the world is truly amazing, but the lack of enemies and the lack of unlockables don't really invite you to do. Where everything in the game is balanced really good from the puzzles to the boss fights, you get the feeling something is missing eventually. The game is great but could be much, much more than this.
  33. Dec 16, 2020
    While its main draw may be boring for some, I really enjoyed my time with The Pathless. The graphics and movement are especially brilliant, and the exploration always felt rewarding, even at its repetitive moments. While the writing is nothing to write home about, the connection between the player and the eagle companion keeps the story grounded emotionally.
  34. Dec 13, 2020
    Giant Squid's The Pathless minimalist approach has many highs and lows, yet despite its flaws it manages to emerge as a solid game. If you are looking for a quick adventure that ramps up towards the end, you will not be disappointed with this one.
  35. Dec 3, 2020
    The Pathless is indeed a project that will make you travel for a few hours, but unfortunately, it will not be as exotic as a certain ABZÛ or as unforgettable as the fabulous Journey.
  36. Nov 21, 2020
    The Pathless is beautiful but repetitive. There is a somber emptiness to its world that tries to convey a sense of loss and impending doom, but it can also make the proceedings tiring if you don’t regularly redirect yourself toward the things you need to find and fix. It makes bold strides in exploration and world-building, but movement can feel awkward or overly simplistic, and the ruins you seek out house little more than a puzzle and some foggy memories. On a positive note, load times are wonderfully brief on PlayStation 5, and the controller pulses differently for each type of target you fire at. Navigating this world can be both a calming and thrilling experience, there’s just not enough to find to make the journey more than a pleasant trip through the trees.
  37. Nov 12, 2020
    If you're into these types of games (you know who you are), this is another one you can add to the pile. I say "pile" endearingly, as it's short enough to justify playing right away without becoming backlog fodder.
  38. Nov 11, 2020
    An enthralling mini-epic that unfolds like a combat-free cross between “Journey” and “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” Giant Squid's latest strives to make good on the open-ended promise of its title.
  39. Dec 8, 2020
    The Pathless could have been more than it currently is. With more variation in the gameplay and a deeper story, this could just have been GOTY material or at least the indie hit of the year. Still, there's plenty to love if you settle for a minimalistic game crafted with a lot of love. Especially the flow of moving around in the atmospheric world and the brilliant music ensure that The Pathless stays with you.
  40. Apr 23, 2021
    The Pathless is not a big game and doesn't want to gamble too much, but knows which aspects to really bet on. The heart of the game experience is exploration and does a good job of making you fully enjoy the rides and flights over its small but fascinating world.
  41. Jan 15, 2021
    The Pathless has its issues, but it certainly offers unobtrusive, relaxing fun. What’s unique about it are the movement options. The boss fights and puzzles? Significantly less so.
  42. Jan 7, 2021
    The Pathless is a worthy addition to the minimal release list this early in the PlayStation 5 lifespan. It delivers engaging gameplay, as well as frankly beautiful visuals. The issue is that feeling of familiarity *cough*Zelda*cough* coupled with a lack of activities to indulge in. Too often does this feel like a template of greater things to come, and it's a massive hope that this will spawn a sequel. So many great ideas needing to be expanded upon, mainly the excellent movement, as no game this year has given a greater feeling of speed in its unique traversal system, and along with the excellent boss battles, this comes recommended. Here's to The Pathless 2: Less Travelled.
  43. Dec 23, 2020
    The Pathless is a gorgeous, exhilarating and frenetic game which unfortunately often stumbles in its own tracks.
  44. Nov 30, 2020
    While it's not without its flaws, The Pathless is still more fun than it is not, with impressive visuals, fun boss fights, relaxing puzzles, and an interesting movement system. It's one of the better PS5 launch games, and it's easy to see how a sequel could elevate the concept to the next level and become something special.
  45. Nov 17, 2020
    Ultimately, The Pathless is somewhat an uneven experience. Its epic boss battles are thrilling, and the majority of its puzzles are enjoyable to solve. It’s just a shame that there’s so much aimless running around between all the fun. Even dashing around at full speed grows tiresome after a while. Providing some sense of direction may go against what The Pathless strives to be, but it would help make your time with the game feel less wasted, and more fulfilling.
  46. Nov 10, 2020
    Most of The Pathless plays to its mechanical strengths, free-form exploration, satisfying movement, and methodical puzzle-solving. At times, that lowers the stakes a little too much, but it maximizes the kind of gameplay the game is named for. For a player like me, who bee-lines for an objective every time, it's refreshing to simply take things as they come. The Pathless is the rare game that gives you more by not asking too much, and that makes it special.
  47. Nov 29, 2020
    The Pathless is not the most original game and actually has too little to do. Despite its charms, the game is very often repeated in the six-hour story. The Pathless should therefore not really be mentioned in the same breath as its obvious source of inspiration. Fortunately, the beautiful presentation and soundtrack still manage to save the game.
  48. Nov 20, 2020
    I’m fully prepared to see the entirety of gaming journalism as a whole take the opposite opinion of The Pathless as the years go by. There’s a giant list of titles that my peers absolutely love, then I play them, and I swear we’ve experienced two different games. That being said, I can see how someone could absolutely love The Pathless, even if it didn’t do anything for me.
  49. Edge Magazine
    Dec 3, 2020
    The pace slows to exasperating levels as your nimble hunter trots around awkwardly solving a range of challenges. [Issue#353, p.114]
  50. Nov 23, 2020
    There are a number of clever puzzles in The Pathless. Alas, I found little reward in solving them as I wasn’t invested in the game’s world or its characters. Solving archery puzzles spread across a wide barren environment just wasn’t for me.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 114 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 91 out of 114
  2. Negative: 12 out of 114
  1. Nov 14, 2020
    Best indie game with Hades this year, beautiful soundtrack. great puzzles and the movement is soo good
  2. Nov 13, 2020
    One of the most unique games I’ve ever played the game has a rhythm to it that makes you look like you are creating magic. It’s an immersiveOne of the most unique games I’ve ever played the game has a rhythm to it that makes you look like you are creating magic. It’s an immersive experience it’s a must try!! Full Review »
  3. Dec 20, 2020
    Giant Squid has outdone themselves again. The Pathless is a much more gamelike game than Abzu, while still retaining that amazing atmosphereGiant Squid has outdone themselves again. The Pathless is a much more gamelike game than Abzu, while still retaining that amazing atmosphere and magic.
    The gameplay is polished to perfection, and the mere act of traveling around the map is incredibly fun. In addition, the exploration is extremely well designed. The lack of a map encourages the player to actively explore and chart their own path. In addition, the gliding mechanic coupled with lots of high vantage points allows the player to explore to the fullest sense.
    The boss fights are definitely the highlight of this game, and they deserve a section all to themselves in this review. Each boss fight is unique, and the flashy art style and smooth movement make for such an incredible experience. They're visibly striking while not being unreasonably challenging, and each fight is built up so well. Coupled with incredible music from Austin Wintory, the boss fights make for memorable experiences that make the whole game worthwhile.
    The story was great, although it was definitely the weakest part of the game for me. It has a clear message, and it explores the meaningful bond between an a hunter and an eagle as they seek to restore light to a world obscured by the Godslayer, a mysterious figure who seeks to remake the world. There's also a nice surprise in store for fans of Abzu that left me pondering how the games are related.
    In short, The Pathless is a deeply atmospheric and memorable experience that masterfully guides you through a realized open world with fluid movement, an excellent soundtrack, and insane boss fights. If you're a fan of short, atmospheric, and story focused games, The Pathless is definitely for you.
    Full Review »