Darwin Project – Battle Royale with a difference

Darwin Project – Battle Royale with a difference

Hello! Yes, you! do you passionately love Battle Royale games? Do you violently hate them? Throw those feelings aside and look at this completely different take on the all-too-familiar Battle Royale formula: Darwin Project – the first game from Scavengers Studio in Canada!

Now – I usually manage to refrain from posting about Early access/Beta games too much, however, this specific game has gotten me really excited and after 100+ matches, I am still loving it as much as when I first tried out the open beta a couple months ago. So why is this so odd? Ask anyone who knows me and anyone who works on this site – I am not an indie game fan… I am not a multiplayer-only game fan… I am not an Early Access fan and I certainly am not a Battle Royale game fan! There! I said it. I.Dislike.Battle.Royale.Games. But – Darwin Project is a breath of fresh air in my personal opinion for the genre, so – should you also try it? that’s up to you, but here is why I personally believe you should.

Less RNG:

Firstly, other Battle Royale games are largely based around searching and finding the best weapons ASAP and half the time you can die just from unlucky spawns early on. I personally do not find this type of RNG based gameplay fun at all. While Darwin Project has a bit of RNG, Skill is far more important than luck. There are trees and armchairs readily available in all zones which is what you will need to survive – Tree’s for their wood to craft fires and arrows – and leather from the armchairs to create Cloaks and Boots to give you different combat and/or movement benefits. The only RNG that really comes into play is for Electronics – but as the match progresses even these become more common for surviving players to have a fair share of.

Smaller community and smaller matches:

The size of the player base is MUCH smaller – it doesn’t have the massive following that games like PUBG and Fortnite have, however it does have an active enough, healthy and surprisingly friendly community! Not only is the community smaller, but so are the number of players per match – having only 10 players fighting per match instead of the 100 that other Battle Royale games have. Due to the smaller player base mixed with the smaller number of players in each match – you start to come across some familiar faces after a while every now and then – friendships will be born, rivalries will be fought – all under the watchful eye of an 11th player (Who I will talk more in-depth about later in this article…)

Faster-Paced combat:

No snipers in this game – and.. in fact… no guns at all! In this game, you are equipped with a Bow/arrows and an Axe – dropped into an arena and expected to survive and fight. Depending on your selected build you may start off with 5 arrows, but the majority of players usually start with 0 (Basic arrows start with 5, special arrows start with 0, such as Fire Arrows which deal more damage – or Hunter Arrows which allow you to track your opponent through walls for a limited time after getting a successful hit with the arrow.)

Show Director and the Environment:

These, in my honest opinion, are the two features that set this game apart the most. So – you have you and 9 other players all fighting to the death – sounds deadly enough right? WRONG! You have two other things to survive – Firstly you have the cold. You will need to find wood, and make fires (which the smoke will give away your location to nearby enemies) and find leather to make a cloak to slow down the effect of the cold. If your heat bar depletes you will start rapidly taking damage – on top of this, if other players decide to make snowballs and hit you with one – your cold bar will deplete – and if you enter a forbidden/closed zone – your cold bar will very speedily drop – this makes combat much more tactical and is very anti-camper, designed to keep players on the move almost constantly.

The Show director is the big one – this is the 11th player I mentioned earlier! This player is in charge of the match – they are a floating robot that monitors the battleground, can heal, heat up, give speed boosts, put a shield on, place manhunt (in which all players can see the location of the manhunted player for two minutes – getting a reward if they kill the manhunted player, while the manhunted player gets a reward if they survive the two minutes), making the map low gravity temporarily or even drop nukes on zones in the map (which has a long enough countdown to escape – but this may mean trying to end combat sooner or escaping altogether) to change the flow of battle – while being restricted by action points and limited number of charges per ability per match to prevent spam. Think its unfair and the show director could use their abilities to pick a winner? So did the devs – so they put in a rating system. Each player (or “inmate”) gets to rate their Show Director out of 5 at the end of the match, and if the show directors average rating drops below 2.3 – they lose their ability to use any player targeted ability until they regain their average rating.

So… what do you think? Has this article persuaded you to check out Darwin Project? Let us know in the comments below!

Darwin Project is now available in Game Preview on Xbox One and Early Access on Steam!