Well I downloaded the Salt demo yesterday on Steam and gave it a whirl. It is hard to “review” Early Access games because they’re obviously not done and contain bugs. With that in mind let me just say some things that I think the game will need to address before release. Low hanging fruit and such.
First of all the islands are too small in my opinion, some of them were kind of big but they didn’t have an increased number of resources so it actually only made it more difficult to find them. If there are a few tools you need to craft that require a “rare” drop from a rock node, and most islands have maybe 2-3 nodes, you’re going to be hopping from island to island a lot trying to get them. Maybe that is what they’re going for, a boat riding nomad who don’t need no house. But for me when I play an open world sandbox survival game, one of the first things I want to do is make a house, some tiny little shack where I can be safe in and get my bearings in the game before going out and building a bigger house in a better place.
However, there isn’t really a need for shelter at this point in the game as the only aggro mobs are Pirates who surprisingly are never sailing ships, they just sit near campfires on islands and charge you when you get in range. Man it is hard to feel like you’re giving an incomplete game a fair shake. I will say it has potential, that is definitely true. But such is said about most Early Access games. I guess for now it is too early to tell really and I’ll just have to check back in on it later.
I find myself both loving and hating Early Access. Darkest Dungeon is the only Early Access game I’ve bought that actually finished itself and improved. It really seems like so many publishers now are just trying to cash in quick and work on something else to do the same thing. For instance: Windward. What a great game, playing alone is so enjoyable, I just can’t stress enough how much fun this game is. But then you find out that the two other starting factions don’t expand out of their starting zones (AI problems). Apparently this game was designed for online multiplayer! Where you can feel the lag, see people flying around in airboats you didn’t know existed, and be given shit by those airboat drivers that is far beyond what you should be using. There is only one “official” server and it is MODDED! They changed all of the factions! I really couldn’t believe it when I saw it. So I tried to find info about AI expanding in singleplayer and all I could see was a post from a year ago by the guy who made the game saying that he was working on it or going to do it eventually or something like that. The thing is, I don’t think he’s trying to do that at all. He got Workshop support for the game and was recently pondering on Twitter if his next game should be 3D or not. I get that maybe he’s tired of the game and wants something new to do, but man, it is just disappointing especially when the online play is so lackluster.
Today I am either going to buy Nuclear Throne and give that a whirl or play a new Darkest Dungeon campaign without using any torches and having everyone go fucking nuts. It’s weird because the old me wouldn’t ever give these kinds of games a try. I always thought like, those games don’t look that special graphically, they’re just like the games I played on console back when I was a kid, why would I choose to play something like that? Luckily I’m a lemming and saw some streamer, probably Lirik, play it on Sub Sunday and was enticed to give it a whirl however long ago when it first went on Early Access. That alone didn’t really influence me to play more of these non 3D games, it was probably mainly watching Lirik play so many on Sub Sundays. Which, is actually where I saw Nuclear Throne for the first time as he played it a week or two ago and it looked pretty cool. When I see games like that my first thought is always The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past which was pretty much my first gaming endeavor, playing with my brother all day for days in the summer until it was beaten.
So yeah, I’m kind of excited that I’m willing to try more things nowadays, the Steam store is my oyster and all that good stuff. So in theory tomorrow I should have a post about either Darkest Dungeon without torches or Nuclear Throne. Shit I may even return to Secrets of Grindea and have something about that. Probably not though, I kind of don’t want to go too far in that game due to it being Early Access, don’t want a bad taste in my mouth. Alright, that’s it, ggwp, gtfo.