Darwin Project

A few weeks ago the new battle royale game Darwin Project got released into early access on Steam. While we already covered some of the game, it’s the right time to give you a new game introduction. We will take a look at the two core mechanics as well as the future of the game.

Endless possibilities

When we get into the menu of Darwin Project one of the first things we notice is the crafting wheel which is also customisable in the game lobby. The crafting wheel allows us to try out different styles. In addition we can pick from different boots, cloaks, axes, traps, powers and arrows. However, we are only able to save one wheel at a time. Each of these items gives their own advantages or disadvantages. So, even though the map is always the same the amount of different items allows us to try out a lot of new playstyles, making the game never boring.

Darwin Project
We can choose between 4 cloaks which all have their advantages and disadvantages. On the right we can read what effect it has and how much material you need to actually craft it.

Let the show begin

After setting up our crafting wheel it’s time to dive into the game, in the lobby everyone is trying out the axe and the bow. These are the only weapons in the game and they possess a huge knockback. When the match starts the ten players will be dropped into one of the seven zones of the map. To craft our items on the crafting wheel we will either need to gather wood from trees or hide from chairs or deer’s. Chests will spawn at random locations and will either give arrows, wood, hide, traps or special potions such a warming, health or bonus speed.

As it’s a battle royale, zones will randomly close, giving us a 59 seconds notice before hand. If you stay in these zones while they are closed our cold bar will decrease incredibly fast, with us freezing to death as result. In addition, our cold bar will continually keep decreasing slowly unless we craft the fur cloak to level four or five. So, make sure to always have some wood to build yourself a fire. Yet, these fires will alert players as they can follow the smoke and light.

Darwin project
You are also able to play as a girl! The picture shows the new duo’s mode. Our partners stats will show at the top right while he/she is seen as a blue dot on the map.

Hunt them down

After a bit of looting we can either loot some more or hunt down enemy players. When a player is near and he is making noises we see a big red circle on your screen, locating the other player. Additionally, we are able to track players by searching the remains of their crafting or looting, by following their footsteps or by finding a house which sometimes has a complete map inside.

Darwin project
Casual hiding near an electronic that hasn’t been activated yet. Notice that when your health is low people can track you by following the blood.

Once in a while an electronic will spawn. Looting this gives us one ability point which we can spend on one of the three selected abilities on the crafting wheel. For example, we are able to craft a shield, turret or jump. These abilities are able to give us an advantage but looting them is dangerous as other players are most likely on there way. We can also get an ability point by getting the first kill of the match.

When at the end only two people are alive and there is just one zone left, insta-death will be unlocked. This means that the zone will become smaller and smaller with insta-death as result if we don’t stay in the safe zone. Whether we are victorious or not, at the end of each match a summary of our game will show. Here we see your rank, kills, damage, accuracy, tracking time and items looted.

Darwin Project
At the end of the match we can see how well we did…. or how bad.

Directing the show

If you are not really a fighter, you can decide to just play five games to unlock the show director. As show director we get ability points during to match which we can spend on your abilities. Some of these abilities are: closing zones and activating electronics, which we can use twice, while others can only be used once. Some of these abilities are targeting players to heal and warm them up. As show director it’s our job to spice up the game while being as fair as possible. However, as we can talk with the players we can tell them they need to deserve the individual abilities. The moment the show director rating falls below 2.3 we won’t be able to use the individual powers anymore.

Darwin Project
The view of the show director when flying above the center. While we can see the ability points filling up we have to press the shift button to actually see your powers.

More is coming

The developers are currently working on making the duo’s available, where five groups of two players will fight against each other. In future updates Darwin Project might get expanded with more weapons and maps as well as cosmetics. So far, the game runs pretty smooth giving you the feeling you are playing an actually finished game. With the developers working on expanding the game an eSports scene won’t be far off as there are already tournaments going on. In addition, with the different playstyles you can try as player and show director as well as the ranking list that gets reset every week, it will take some time before the game gets boring.

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