See, at first, I thought I was the only one who got screwed this third Beta weekend: a newly joined player without any ability to build shelter, spawned on the map with no water in sight.
However, everyone’s progress from ICARUS Beta Weekends one and two had to be wiped due to major changes to the game’s systems. So, we all kind of ended up being in the same boat. A boat tacking in and out of nasty storms.
Get Used to Dying: Rushing Against the Storm Clock
The introduction of recurring storms that can damage anything that’s not inside a shelter and attach a few unpleasant debuffs to the player caught in it introduced a few… challenges. Rushing to level up my character as quickly as possible to get those sweet tech points to finally build any semblance of shelter, I still had to juggle some basic survival needs.
I struggled to get my character enough water (wouldn’t it be convenient to spawn near a lake?), oxygen (apparently there is a machine that makes oxygen balloons for you… once you have enough points to unlock it, that is), and definitely not food because my character consumed near-full stacks of berries for all three meals, just to keep that thirst meter floating somewhere 2/3 of the way down.
Here is an important clarification: you get to keep your character progress after death! With, uh, a little bit of XP debt, if you don’t have another player to come revive you.
What happened once I failed to build a shelter in time, you ask?
This is what remained of my precious first build of an oxidizer, made with wolf and deer skins hunted in the middle of the dark, dark night (it’s hard to land hits on anything when you can’t see. Maybe I should have crafted a bed instead.) To explain: my oxygen-generating station was reduced to rubble that I could loot only to get some of the oxite ore I originally put into it.
Oh, and at that point I was still stuck in the wind storm and soon running low on oxygen. Death #4.
Better than the first time I got caught in a storm. That is, when I was also battling 400 seconds of pneumonia I got from briefly popping my head inside a cave, a debuff that made me heave from exhaustion after two hits with my pickaxe. (Water inside that cave gave me salmonella, but at least I got that darn thirst meter full.)
How Did the ICARUS Beta Weekend Two Go for Me?
So, overall, a charmingly familiar, extremely frustrating experience of a survival game! Would recommend to the fans of the genre and games like ARK: Survival Evolved.
However, I am still convinced that I need to find someone helpful to play co-op with me, because that XP debt, mmmnn… maybe I should take advantage of the Solo Talent Tree? If you are playing solo, you will probably find yourself dying more often, with multiple timers all around your screen warning of suffocation, starvation, dehydration, and now also a storm incoming.
Here’s something nice worthy of note, however: RocketWerkz gave everyone extra 24 hours to play this weekend! That definitely helped counteract the bit where they promised not to wipe players’ progress throughout Beta and then wiping it when players could use some walls to put down. Good news is, that came with significant backend improvements and a revised leveling system! But, uh… can I pwease keep my oxidizer for next time pls
Overall, I had a fun experience for the $26.99 sale price, I will be coming back, and it definitely feels like RocketWerkz has plenty, plenty in store for us yet.
Plenty of Good and A Few Minor Issues
I will go ahead and join other folks out there praising the game’s stability: ICARUS so far feels like a proper Beta game (as opposed to a runny yellow Alpha cake that makes you wince at the promised list of features).
The slow unlocking of the features is a pretty clever way to run the testing, and devs seem to be introducing a lot of fixes into each system every time they conclude the two weeks of testing. Following the “Forest” weekend RocketWerkz did a thorough work on adding more to the exploration experience, animal strength scaling, infections and fracture debuffs, graphic optimizations, and that’s on top of introducing the promised weather features and the re-worked leveling progression.
Running out of video memory still seems to be an issue for some, and I was among those to experience a few server time-outs. Unfortunately, once the connection issues kick in for you, the server-hosted nature of the Beta does not allow for saving. So, whatever you have been doing while hoping that the connection will get restored ultimately gets lost.
New animal damage scaling gave some players issues with fighting wolves and bears, and apparently we all spawned as 0 level characters with no lake in sight, but all of these minor issues are likely to get resolved in no time. ICARUS is yet to show what makes it rival the gameplay of survival giants like ARK, but we are certainly seeing some promise of episodic progression and events, and I honestly can’t wait to see how those will look like.
Guys, sorry, I still can’t find that one cave I discovered early on and I need to keep digging through the footage. How difficult is it to find a cave on a Beta-sized map?! I have antibacterial treatment now, please give me more salmonella-infested water!
And please do share your own thoughts and experience with us!
Where are you at with ICARUS? Curious? Considering? Already testing it out?
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This content was originally published here.