More Reviews
REVIEWS Dokuro (PC) Review
Dokuro makes the jump from handheld to PC, but does it help or hinder this unusual platformer?

About Love, Hate, and the other Review
Simple feelings. Complex puzzles.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Evolve Preview
With multiplayer action set as its focus, Evolve surprised us earlier this month by introducing a single-player campaign mode where you can switch between mercenaries.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Persona 5
Release date: 12/31/14

Motorcycle Club
Release date: 01/01/15

Atelier Ayesha Plus: The Alchemist of Dusk
Release date: 01/14/15

Saints Row: Gat out of Hell
Release date: 01/20/15


LATEST FEATURES Sony, The Interview, and Why Gamers Should Be Paying Attention
The fallout from the movie's cancellation reaches far wider than just Hollywood.

Downloadable Content Walks the Line Between Fun and Frenzied in Middle-earth
I don’t even care all that much for the Lords of the Rings brand, which makes the content falling under Shadow of Mordor’s Season Pass a pleasant surprise.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Black Friday 2014 Video Game Deals Buyer's Guide
Looking to score the most bang for your buck the day after Thanksgiving? Well look no further! Our Black Friday guide is just the tool you need.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP ryanbates
Gamer Love
By ryanbates
Posted on 12/19/14
When a player one meets his or her player two, it's a beautiful thing. Check out this cake my friend and GameRevolution reader Lindsey L. gave her sweetums on their two-year anniversary!   ...

Don't Starve Preview

Vince_Ingenito By:
Vince_Ingenito
04/05/13
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Survival 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Klei Entertainment 
DEVELOPER Klei Entertainment 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
RP What do these ratings mean?

Danger, Death, and Deerclops.

Four short days ago, I was about halfway through the remarkable Bioshock Infinite, and my girlfriend and I were practically drooling to see what would happen next. Alas, we had to take a breather for her to get some work done, so I decided to pass the time by buying and playing the early access version of Don't Starve, the latest from Klei Entertainment, best known for Shank and last year's sleeper hit, Mark of the Ninja. This, as it turns out, was a terrible idea.

I don't know if she ever got that work done, and Infinite is still exactly where I left it. In fact, I'm not really sure what I've been doing for the past 72 hours, but according to Steam, 30 of them have been spent struggling to survive in Don't Starve. Stunned by my lack of self control, I mentally scrambled to find a way to justify it. “I know! I'll tell Nick we need a preview for it! Then I'm doing it for work, right? RIGHT!?



Consider this preview my therapya sad, broken man's attempt to free his mind from the throes of unrelenting roguelike addiction.

And that's ostensibly what Don't Starve is: a roguelike set in a whimsical wilderness somewhere on what seems to be an alternate dimension version of Earth. Sure, there are birds and bees, along with grass and trees, but there are also giant spiders, deerclops (exactly what you think they are), and other such beasties who, to my knowledge, don't actually exist here. But I don't want to tell you too much about what you'll find, because discovering the world around you is a huge part of Don't Starve's appeal.

Things start simply enough, with Wilson waking up in the forest, as an old man named Maxwell warns him that he better find something to eat before nightfall. You have nothing. You're inventory is blank, there is no tutorial, no blinking arrows, no hand to hold. You are alone, and all you can do is click around this alien 2D environment in the hopes you'll find something useful and that you'll figure out how to use it in the first place. There's a rather extensive Wiki devoted to this game, but do yourself a favor and ignore it. Every death, which is permanent except in certain circumstances, is a learning experience that helps you piece together the 1,000-piece puzzle the game throws at you, and every time you put two together, you'll feel like a genius.

Despite its Burton-esque presentation and old school, top-down viewpoint, Don't Starve is packed to the gills with levels of simulation and world detail that will continually surprise you. Body temperature, wind dynamics, seasons, moon cycles, animal behavior... it just doesn't end. You'll pick up tiny nuances that you'll be sure are incidental but will wind up being vital to surviving, while you discover new items, events, or locations. After 30 hours of play and several dead characters, I feel like I've learned so much, and yet, I still have a laundry list of items I've never crafted, and random events continue popping up that I've never seen. Seeing as the game world is randomly generated every time, you never really know what each playthrough will bring.



For as much as it sounds like the game throws at you, the minute-to minute gameplay couldn't be more streamlined or urgent. There are no real menus, and just a few basic meters that show the time of day, your health, your hunger, and your sanity. Staying fed is the most immediate but often simplest challenge to meet, while healing takes a bit more work. Unlike most games where you magically heal fatal wounds by scarfing down a steak, Don't Starve requires you to make dedicated healing items, which often require hard-to-find ingredients. Sanity is much more of a long-term battle and keeping a grip on reality becomes harder and harder as you go, particularly during the harsh winter months. But of course, even insanity has its benefits in this world...

I have to apologize for how vague I'm being, but outside of saying it has resource management, crafting, and exploring, I don't want to say much because the memorable moments I've had aren't going to be the same ones you have. And to spoil some of the surprises the game has sprung on me would be criminal. Don't Starve officially launches on the 23rd of April, but if you pre-purchase it, you can play the beta right now. I'll be writing a full review closer to release, but if you like adventure and survival, there's no excuse not to have Don't Starve on your radar.

PC exclusive. (Only for now, we hope.)

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Don't Starve