Name: The Darwin Project
Developer: Scavenger Studios
Publisher: Scavenger Studios, Microsoft
Released: Spring 2018
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Reviewed on: PC
Acquired: *A copy of this game was provided from publisher for preview purpose*
Scavenger Studios had an early-alpha weekend for their upcoming game The Darwin Project, as it sounds like PUBG meets science and environmental survival I was eager to give it a try!
The game looks pretty good, considering it’s in pre-alpha stage. Generally the same style as Overwatch, at least when it comes to the textures and character modelling. I hope they can make the style a little more their own by the time they release the full version, but this is a great start indeed! I must say I did see some graphical glitches here and there, with the running animation suddenly giving my character very long legs and stuff. But none were gamebreaking, other than I started laughing and then got killed because I wasn’t looking at the screen, that is an excellent excuse for why I rarely won though.
The gameplay too worked surprisingly well. During my time with the pre-alpha I couldn’t find any tutorial, but luckily all the game mechanics are rather easy to learn (but hard to master). I did find the axe-attack to be a bit too powerful when compared to the archery. And the freezing factor was a bit too aggressive, as I almost constantly found myself almost dying of coldness. All of that being said, I still found the game an enormous amount of fun! The fact that everyone starts out as single players, but then are able to ally with other players works really well, and allows for different tactics to be in play at once. I usually stayed by myself, as I kept being backstabbed the few times I tried to ally with someone. Obviously not the game’s fault, but if the developers could tweak the alliances to be more worthwhile, it would improve that aspect of the game massively.
The controls in the game were quite standard when it comes to layout. I am pleasantly surprised by how smooth the steering was when aiming or looking around with the mouse. It still needs some tweaking of course, but given this was an early alpha build, I can forgive the few quirks I found.
Joy oh joy! Luckily, I can announce that The Darwin Project has an enormous replay value! It has that “just one more round” feel to it, which is horrible for my sleep, but great for the game. The wait between matches were too long though, and that keeps it from a top score, I did find myself often thinking “I don’t want to wait 15+ minutes until the next match, so I might as well turn in for the night”. This obviously has to do with the fact that it was an alpha-weekend, and it will be much better once the game releases and has a bigger community.
I had a lot of fun during my time with the pre-alpha build of The Darwin Project. Even though my success was limited I constantly felt like I was improving for every game, and that is not something I do very often. By all means, the game still has some bugs and needs tweaking but given that they haven’t even reached beta I must admit I am impressed!
Runs surprisingly well
Some cool features
Still needs quite a bit of tweaking
The wait between games lasted too long
Somewhat buggy, not gamebreaking though
Replay Value: 8/10
Score in progress: 7.5/10