DGA’s Early Access Corner (10/15/14)
There’s no shortage of Early Access games these days and I’m not going to complain…well, my elbows and fingers might. I’ve got three more games for you to feast your eyes upon, though keep in mind that they are not yet finished. As such, the following is just a quick look at the games as they stand and not any sort of review…after all, it wouldn’t be fair to review something not yet done yet, right? At any rate, if you missed all of the other articles I’ve done, you can find the full list on my “Video Games” page via the tab above.
Interstellar Marines – “Interstellar Marines” is very easy to pick up and play. The “playground” maps are very well done, though only one (possibly a few others as I haven’t tried them all) feature AI bots. The single player campaign will task you with getting from Point A to Point B and so on, though a map or some sort of directional guide would have been helpful as I often got lost. There aren’t many enemy types either and the ones I did see had a “Final Rush” feel about them (generic robots). That aside, this is a great first start! You can find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $18.99 and a 4-pack will run you $49.99.
Planet Explorers – A fairly in-depth open world builder that’s easy to get into. Crafting couldn’t be easier (thankfully) as everything you need to craft an item is listed right in front of you. There are still some bugs (sleeping doesn’t seem to restore stamina, etc.) to contend with, but overall I’m having a blast exploring this new realm. There’s a story mode available that’s a bit more scripted, or you can try your hand in the adventure or free-build modes. Either way you play, there’s plenty to do to keep you occupied. You can find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $24.99.
Windward – For an Early Access game, it has potential. It could stand to be improved in some areas…the player/world selection style, for one. Currently, you have to remember the name of your player and/or campaign name you’ve created in order to continue where you left off…a selection menu showing you a list of all of your saved players/campaign names would have been nice. A way to delete campaigns/worlds you no longer want in-game would also be helpful.
“Windward” is a little different from the build I played in 2012 on Desura. That older build featured quick 5-10 minute skirmishes that allowed you to earn XP and loot. You could equip your ship with new items and assign points to a talent tree. For the most part, those mechanics are still present…though instead of quick skirmishes, you’ll generate procedurally generated worlds that span multiple “map blocks”. In essence, it became more like “Sid Meier’s Pirates” as opposed to a quick multiplayer shoot-em-up. I admit, I do miss the old build and hope the dev plans to include these quick skirmish matches as another game mode of sorts.
In this campaign, most of your time will be spent doing quests (go here, build a new settlement there, defend this settlement, etc.) and trading via a supply/demand system. It’s all very basic right now but has the potential to be a lot more. I’ll be interested to see where this goes in the near future. You can find it on Steam’s Early Access program for $19.99.