Look, it's beyond old news at this point to say that No Man's Sky was a letdown for almost all of its players. It went from unbelievable levels of hype to being investigated for alleged advertising fraud faster than seems real.
So when I say Osiris: New Dawn looks like it could deliver where No Man's Sky didn't, it's with a bigger grain of salt than what you'll find playing Overwatch. Still, the game — which is still in Early Access — is already showing signs of promise.
For Starters, It Has Multiplayer
I'm pretty sure we don't need to go over the No Man's Sky multiplayer controversy any more than we already have. Suffice it to say, Osiris: New Dawn will be avoiding that particular issue entirely. How do I know this? Because multiplayer is already in the game!
Multiplayer is also its own mode — currently, you choose between single player or multiplayer when you fire up the game. From there, you choose between public or private servers and then pick which suits you best. In a very good way, it reminded me of the selection system from the days of Warcraft 3 and early Battle.net.
Unfortunately, multiplayer does have limits on both players and buildings. It's not game-breaking, but it would be nice to see what sorts of crazy colonies a team could build if unhindered by arbitrary building limits (even if the player limit stays).
Additionally, I was a bit confused the first time I entered a public multiplayer map. Before entering, I had assumed I would be spawned in near other players and we'd be in a party of some sort, working together to colonize. On the one hand, it's kind of neat to have to work to find fellow survivors and ask them to join their colony. On the other hand, it makes it feel like single-player mode but with more people.
Plus There's A Bigger Emphasis On Combat
The above GIF, aside from showing my amazing skills at firing randomly in locations around the enemy, is a good example of how the combat exists right now. There are plenty of different-sized aliens — seriously, some are massive — and the combat is engaging.
Aliens will try to dodge your fire, some will approach you with what is clearly caution as they plan their attacks, and other times, they'll surprise attack and scare the bajeebus out of you...Or so my friend told me.
All in all, it's a lot of fun and I am definitely guilty of firing at weird chicken-creatures just to see what sorts of approaches all the different aliens take. I'm still not sure how many other guns are currently in the game or how they differ in the heat of combat (it was hard to tell damage differences when flailing wildly), but I'm excited to find out.
And There's Base Building
One of the core aspects so far seems to be building up a home base. You start with an inflatable dome, which the game kindly provides you. You're able to place this on any place with a flat enough surface, and it acts as a bedroom/save space.
From there, you need to go out and find resources to craft additional structures. Now, it's not in the Early Access version yet, but the eventual plan for the game is to be able to build up a large enough colony with advanced technology that will allow you to travel to other planets.
Based on the initial starting planet, I have high (but restrained) hopes for what the other planets will bring. No Man's Sky's biggest downfall was its procedurally generated planets that ended up looking too familiar. Osiris: New Dawn's planets aren't actually planet sized (there is a limit to the map),and they're better for it.
The starting planet is very much a desert-planet, so I'm hoping we see a bit more variety. Nighttime-only planets, Hoth-like winter wonderlands, and anything with aquatic life will win me over instantly (are you reading this, Fenix Fire developers?). Granted, I have no idea what future planets are going to look like, but even if they're nothing like my suggestions, the first planet has me confident the rest will be great as well.
But It Still Has A Long Way To Go
There are definitely some of the more frustrating aspects of No Man's Sky in Osiris: New Dawn. To name a few:
- There is a lot of gathering involved, which can be tiresome and repetitive. It's realistic, but there need to be more fun, efficient ways to gather.
- The inventory system is both better and worse. You start out with plenty of room, but you also have a weight limit, which prevents you from running if you go over it. I hit this very quickly and promptly discarded all my Iron.
- This point may change as I play more, but it's hard to see how the game's endgame will turn out. I would like to see something to do once you begin to colonize a planet or two, as well as some sort of story to follow.
But of course, the game is in Early Access and a state which the developers themselves consider "between Alpha and Beta." I'm still making my way through the current experience, though, and I'll be updating as I come across more crazy things — like, say, this terrifying and amazing giant sand-worm of death.
What do you hope to see in the final version of Osiris: New Dawn?