DGA’s Early Access Corner (9/11/14)
I think you all know the drill by now, so I’ll save you the clever lead-in. The following is a quick list of the Early Access games I’ve played as of late and my initial impressions. It’s important to stress that these games are still under development, meaning that the content and opinions featured below are subject to change.
World of Diving – My mind, when processing the title of this game, immediately drifted to an underwater version of “World of Warcraft”. In hindsight, I wasn’t totally wrong. “World of Diving” is indeed an MMO and will require an internet connection to play as you gain experience and the like in order to “level up” your character. Instead of slaying murlocks and lich kings, however, you’ll be tasked with taking pictures and finding hidden treasure. It’s very bare bones right now, though rumor has it that the devs may add new ways to play (arcade/simulator modes, etc.) so as to allow the player to customize their experience. You can find the game’s Early Access page on Steam for $19.99.
Sentris – Sentris, in its current state, is hard to recommend based on the twenty dollar price tag. The menu, if you can call it that, is extremely bare bones. There’s no in-game option menu that would otherwise allow you to adjust audio volumes and the like, though the Unity Engine does feature a separate pop-up on launch that allows you to adjust screen resolution, graphics quality, and full screen. There are no instructions or tutorials at present, plopping players into an environment that they’ll have to figure out on their own. I do praise the theme behind the project and would really like to see what it’ll be like when it’s officially done. I’m giving it a “thumbs up” on the idea alone, but if you’re strapped for cash, I’d wait for a few more patches / content updates. You can find it on Steam via the game’s Early Access page.
Cosmonautica – “FTL” meets “Freelancer” meets “Redshirt” came to mind when I first sat down with “Cosmonautica”. Like “FTL”, you can obtain crew members and assign them tasks. When you’re not watching your crew members go about their daily lives, you’ll be traveling, trading, and ruining someone’s day a-la “Freelancer”. The art style and humor reminded me a bit of “Redshirt” in that it seemed cartoony and light-hearted. In addition to a campaign (not yet available), players will be able to procedurally generate a galaxy via a sandbox mode. My experience was rather limited due to the problems I had with the early build I played, but I’d give it a “thumbs up” for the potential alone. I, of course, reserve the right to change my opinion in the near and immediate future as the game is still under development. The game will launch at the retail price of $14.99, but you can grab it on Steam’s Early Access program for $9.99.