Worlds Adrift Early Access PreviewPlatforms: PC
It is clear upon starting up Worlds Adrift that it is going to be a very different kind of game, even just the menu offers you the chance to jump into editing your own levels, which in an MMO is an incredibly strange thing indeed. Where as games like No Man's Sky create a large game world by using procedural generation, this uses it's community instead, every island you can step foot on is hand crafted by someone else who plays the game. So the game world is a mash up of an ever growing number of people's ideas brought together in the aim of forming one overall experience.
So far it feels a little janky, with the lack of direction meaning you find yourself more than a little lost even just starting up for the first time. You spawn in a chamber and will have to figure out the controls and your method of escape on your own, while this is fine in a game that is intuitive, you can climb walls or use a grappling hook to escape but neither of these things are particularly well telegraphed. In fact not much in this game is very well explained which will leave you wondering as you wander about what on earth is going on.
Your first mission is to acquire knowledge in order to build a ship, to do this you have to scan various objects in the world to become more learned. What a tree can teach you about 'skyshi'p building is anyone's guess but games are weird sometimes and that's fine. The real grind comes after this, building a skyship takes an immense amount of parts, all of which you have to build from raw materials you can harvest or find in chests dotted about, this again takes a huge amount of time and isn't very enjoyable. Of course you can always grapple on to other people's ships but they don't always like that.
The ability to craft your own islands is a really interesting one, it also means that the game has a huge amount of potential depending on what people do with the tools they are given. While plenty of games have succeeded based on this, think LittleBigPlanet or Super Mario Maker, whether or not this one will is yet to be seen.
The animations and the systems all lack the layer of polish you expect from a full release, and at times lack even that expected of an early access game, you will find yourself hopping off in the wrong direction for seemingly no reason when you jump occasionally. It all just feels a poorly put together at present. While the ideas are innovative and interesting, the execution leaves a lot to be desired, it may well become a wonderful game in the months to come, but as it stands it is hard to recommend.