The world of MMO survival is undoubtedly fascinating, and showcases some of the particular emotions that gaming experiences can bring beyond the screen. We are talking about hostile environments, where it is necessary to survive and apply the notions of each specific context to get the better, collaborating with other players or starting fights to the death. It is a playful system that is not easily implemented, which in order to be fun and lasting requires a particular mastery in the development phase. Among the new generation of this genre, recently in decline with the approach of the next videogame generation, the recent Population Zero.
In the cauldron we find a somewhat colorful and No Man's Sky-like graphics that are undoubtedly fascinating, just like the entire game world in which users find themselves surviving. A flood of contents designed to animate the game sessions also respond to the call, which seem to really have their say with respect to the cornerstones of the genre. We were able to get hold of Population Zero before and after the release of its version Early Access: let's see how the title behaved, with its planet to be explored.
Coming to a new planet
In the middle of a quiet day, an alien spaceship crashes into New Mexico ground, bringing to light an incredible and easily usable energy by the human race. For this reason, scientists start the Artemis project to collect more material around the universe, but the flight does not go well. In fact, the spaceship ends up crashing, but before this happens some galactic explorers manage to use the lifeboats to land on Kepler. Here is the fate of the protagonist, obviously played by the player.
Once in-game, immediately after adjusting the few graphic settings present, the work immediately launches the user into the action. You can choose between various types of sessions, which radically change the course of the experience, and it is possible, for example, to decide whether to enable PVP (although in the early stages of the game it is not necessary to pay particular attention to the other players). The various sessions are unlocked in fact grinding hours after hours, and at the beginning you will only have access to the basic game.
It takes a few seconds to dive into the cave where the spacecraft landed before starting a short tutorial not particularly useful and clear. After collecting some resources, getting a little familiar with the movement and combat system, the narrow cave will lead us to the huge game map, which sees its first stop in the very distant base camp. Already at this point it is easy to see how the accounts do not add up particularly, as the main problems of the experience come to peek in the very first minutes of the game.
From bad choices and bugs of all kinds, the game also poses a challenge due to its shortcomings (together with its somewhat basic, but fully functional and suitable survival system). Jumping, for example, inexplicably causes a large amount of damage to the player's health, which can only be restored after having maximized the values of hunger and thirst (constantly decreasing). The movement is somewhat woody, especially due to inaccurate dodges, and the third-person hand-to-hand combat system makes water on all sides. Between undoubtedly inconsistent hitboxes, and a variety of non-existent approaches, the entire play sector needs a revision from the foundations.
Will Population Zero survive?
With an immense and unbalanced game difficulty, at present the experience is not particularly inviting. The bugs are also present quickly starting from the menu, extremely intricate and full of contents not all well localized, as well as in the game world. To deal with the various ravenous beasts you do not use the very few tools available, but it becomes essential to climb so as not to die with a handful of shots and have to start over from the beginning, an example of how the gameplay is currently rejected despite the excellent conditions.
Since this is an Early Access phase, we can fortunately hope for a resolution of all the many problems present, also citing the graphic sector in some points accurate and in others terribly bare. Population Zero presents a flood of content e missions, proposed through an intriguing formula, which sees most of each player's progress reset along with planet rotation, which lasts one week. We therefore hope that the developer works hard to make the experience easily usable, through the necessary balances and with the resolution of all problems.