So I was kinda excited to see a game like this that almost resembled a game like Horizon Zero Dawn, but in an open world coop environment. After 7 hours of gameplay, boy was I let down, here is why.
Absolutely no manual saving - After playing the game for a couple hours, I had come to realize that the game has no indicator on whether its being saved or not, nor can you save manually. Although before you exit the game, it clearly states that any unsaved progress will be saved. I had thought that after every completed mission or something, that it would save, but after having 2 crashes after a bunker clearing, it dropped me to the last Safehouse that i had already been at an hour before. This is an underwhelming design decision and needs to be fix asap. Need a better understanding on when the game actually saves or allow us to save at critical points of the game.
Very repetitive and dead world - I get the game is supposed to have a feeling of abandonment and maybe a dreaded feeling to the environment. But the world feels completely dead with Robots and/or groups sprinkled around towns and interest points. Venturing into the wilderness however, brings a feeling of emptiness and lack of life. There are no wilderness creatures, absolutely no NPCs, nothing. Its just you and the bots, nothing else. I would like to see a bit more liveliness in the game, especially in a game setting based in Sweden countryside. As you loot you’ll realize that all the house interiors are all just copy pasted and have no real uniqueness depending on what town you’re in.
Alot of visual texture and clipping bugs - Came across numerous floating texture doodads, clipping issues, draw distance issues, textures floating, objects not conforming with the terrain. Came across patches of grass that i literally could use as a trampoline. Inside the bunkers, where you seem to spend alot of time in, had serious clipping issues when walking into certain corridors or rooms.
Nonsmart robot AI - I had the impression that the robots were some what smart. But after handling numerous robots for 6-7 hours, ive come to the conclusion that the AI is like in any other typical shootem up. Had instances where, while in bunkers, the AI on the surface saw/heard me and were constantly trying to shoot through the ground until i come back to the surface to take care of them. Robots seem to just stand still while you’re staring back at them while hunkered in a building. I would like to see some AI adjusts, like if they cant enter the same building as you, maybe have them patrol said building until you come out.
Slow weapon swapping - Swapping between weapons/items seems super slow and/or delayed. Multiple occasions I wasnt even sure if the right thing was being swapped to. Reloading seems to take alot longer, although there is a skill set you can put a point into to somewhat speed it up. Cant cancel a reload, so if you’re in the middle of a fight and decide, crap I need to runaway, you stuck in the walk animation until you’re done reloading.
No melee - Not sure if this game could use a melee or not, such as against the small Pest bots, but i feel like some sort of melee weapon would of been good to add to the world, to somewhat expand your arsenal. Or allow for more tactical plays during big fights and being able to conserve on certain ammo types.
Delayed item transferring - If you bring up your inventory and try to swap items around too fast right afterwards, the first click or so is nonresponsive. I have to click multiple times in order to just swap stuff around, or when moving things to the assigned weapon or item slots, it wont take.
Very linear tech tree - Tech tree is very basic, with 4 categories each with 2 branches and 6 nodes in each branch. I havent gone too deep into the tech tree, currently at lv 8. But i feel like not alot of though was put into this.
Lack of content - Because of the previous points above, the game just feels very empty and boring. Sure there are a ton of articles of clothing, weapons, ammo types, and currently 5 robot archetypes. But i feel like this game is more of an Early Access game instead of an actual full release. The game was only $35 on PC, but i would of liked the world to be a bit more alive with some other things to do instead of loot, loot, loot, shoot some robots, loot, loot, loot, oh look a note/mission, fight some robots, rinse and repeat.
Surrounded by Water - But you cant swim, once you decide to jump into the deep end, the game with transition to a load screen where you’ll be plopped back on land. I would like to see the ability to allow us to swim in order to get around robots or maybe to deter them from coming to you, because we all know (water + electricity) = A Bad Day.
Key bindings - Im surprised they didnt use the Tab key for us to open the inventory, but they decided to use I & P to do the same thing, No way to toggle crouch/aim, no easy hit of a key to get out of looting, no key for pickup all.
No real cinematic to introduce the player to the game - The game basically just throws you right into the world with no cinematic. The only thing they give you is a few paragraphs that scroll down in the beginning.
Performance - The game seemed to run pretty damn smooth for me, everything at max, motion blur off and Vsync on (60hz monitor) and didnt notice any stuttering, fps dips, or huge drain to my CPU or GPU. During big fights I was worried i’d see suffering performance during explosions while there were a group of 10 bots trying to fight me, but my PC was able to handle all that. i7 6700k 4.6GHz, 1080ti, 32GB RAM, SSD. All while still able to stream the game in 720p.
Beautiful & Huge World - I do have to give the devs credit for the detail they put into the world. From the lighting to fire VFX, the game sure does look gorgeous. As a very nice sun flare that the game produces when the sun is rising and setting. Electrical shortage VFX on dead robots, the attention to small details on the environment and the robots themselves.
High tech weather system/day night cycle - The game has a day and night cycle with thunderstorms mixed in between. Wind seems to have a variation of speeds through my playthrough.
Plethora of weapons and ammo types - There seems to be alot of weapon choices to suit whatever the player wants to use. Pistols, Magnums, SMGs, ARs, Rifles, RPGs, throwables, all with their own attachments to make the weapon handle better. Every gun has their own variety of ammo types and you can swap them around depending on the situation you’re in during a fight. Weapons also have a durability rating coinciding with their Damage, Fire rate, and Accuracy. Game has a ton of clothing options, some with their own positive/negative effects such as how loud you are or how visible you are to the enemy. I decided to go all pink and yell YOLO.
Respawning/Fast Travel - I feel like the game does a good job in the respawning system. If you run out of Adrenaline, you cant revive yourself anymore, and so the game allows you to respawn at a nearby discovered safehouse. You also have access to radio transmitters, once plopped down, can be used as a way to fast travel back to that area.
Plenty of Missions - There are a ton of missions to keep you somewhat occupied, giving you a lil snippet of whats actually going on in the world and why there are robots in the 1980’s. Some of the missions are bugged but i feel like they did a decent job at portraying the story to us through letters, cassettes and voicemails.
Solo or Coop - You can play the game by yourself or with a group of people. Ive only done solo so far and seems like the game would be more fun with a group of friends.
In conclusion, I cant recommend this game in its current state. I was somewhat excited for a game like this after some trailers and a brief gameplay session that the devs streamed a few months ago. But the main gripe i have with the game is the autosave feature, only being able to save at a safehouse seems to be hit and miss in the community so far, and def a deterrent, for me, when you’ve spent an hour or so completing a mission, just so the game can crash and your progress is wiped to the previous safehouse.
Take my opinions with a grain of salt. I understand that it takes massive amounts of manpower in order to even get a game like this running. But I think QA kind of failed in this area in order to produce and put out a more polished game. In this day in age, its all about rushing a game out and hope to make enough money back from early adopters in order to continue development. I tried looking for a roadmap of some sort to maybe see if anything else could be expected in the future. But that seems bleak to me even though theres a boundary separating the peninsula that you’re on and the rest of the mainland. I’d assume itll be unlocked once the devs are ready. But that doesnt help the numerous amounts of bad reviews/ratings plastered across the internet right now and im really hoping the devs have something big planned for us in the coming months. Till then i think i’ll put the game down until there are some significant updates for me to return to.
The game could def use some more sprucing up when it comes to repetitive gameplay. I was expecting alot more from a game like this, considering its the same studio who has Just Cause and Mad Max under their brand.