Thursday, 26 July 2018 09:00

Outpost Zero Early Access Review

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Just like No Man’s Sky or ARK: Survival Evolved, you begin in the middle of nowhere and must navigate unfamiliar territory, be cautious in what enemies you engage with, harvest materials, and build a base for yourself. And just like those two releases, there are character health-related bars you must watch and replenish when necessary. Here, there’s only one that depletes over time: your energy reserves. It’s easy to refill this -- just find a natural energy reserve when exploring and siphon that, or recharge at your base with a Charging Station.


In Outpost Zero you’re introduced to basic mechanics, controls, and how to construct your base and structures, taking out any of the guesswork of what to do. You can skip the tutorial altogether if you’re familiar with the controls. The tutorial is short, but particular objectives wouldn’t complete, halting progress through the introductory phase. This issue seems fixed now, as does the lack of your file saving.

The landscape, although a bit lifeless and barren at times, mixes it up with refreshing patches of colorful fauna and occasional phenomena such as pirate raids and earthquakes. You can play online in one of the various servers for more fun; there are quite a few in both EU and NA. They might have only a few people on at a given time, but they do show whether they’re PvE or PvP and the ping you’ll have in the server.


A few times there appeared only a couple of servers in the list or none at all. Just refresh a few times and a fuller list should appear. Save for a few moments, playing online is smooth, with no noticeable lag. Currently, chances are slim that you’ll run into another person, but it is possible. While this doesn’t really give the sense of community on its own, you may stumble upon architectural beauties that others have built, while you wonder how much iron you might need to achieve the same feat.

There are countless survival games on the market right now, so does this hold up? Does it have potential? I think so. Even though the world feels bare in places, it’s the mixing of such biomes with other, more alive, ones that makes the worlds worth exploring. The look of what you can build is also worth noting -- the aesthetics of the structures have that sleek look that some players are sure to enjoy and which stands out rather well in the environment. So far, I’ve spent more time designing the layout of my base and finding more resources to fund this venture than exploring and building a formidable arsenal to arm myself with while exploring.


The developers also have a trajectory of where they want to take this title and what they plan on implementing. Their current roadmap lists more in-depth features for the AI bots, a few game modes, more animals, pets, and even a “PvP-lite” game mode, where players will have protection within their controlled areas, but not elsewhere -- something I enjoy in a PvP mode.

Although I don’t see mention of adding in something like landmarks to incentivize exploring more or unlockable perks to give the player something to work toward (you can increase your colony level and upgrade parts of your base and its structures and craft weapons, however), the roadmap intends to add in boss spawns and animal nests.


The Verdict: Great

Outpost Zero is a survival adventure title that features base-building and crafting, alongside interesting landscapes and smoothly-functioning servers. Outpost Zero is one to keep an eye on as it progresses; I’m looking forward to the final product. Based on the title’s current state and projected trajectory, it definitely has potential.

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Chris Hubbard

A fan of RPGs above other genres, Chris has been playing video games for as long as he can remember. Some of the games that had the most influence on his gaming preferences have been the Final Fantasy and the Diablo series. More recently, most of Chris' gaming time has been going toward Gems of War and Clicker Heroes (give it a try, it can be addicting), along with open-world RPGs such as Skyrim and ESO. He's also dabbled with RPG Maker software, and it is a goal of his to someday create an RPG.