Over the last few years there has been an influx of survival crafting games on Steam. All of them went through their obligatory Early Access phase; a trend that many journalists have commented upon. It seems that this type of game simply can’t be made unless it graces the Early Access scene. Some of these titles have risen to high-ranking popularity. Gaining a huge player base and acclaim, games like ARK: Survival Evolved (ARK) and Rust are well known as being at the top of the genre. Other titles Have become infamous for just how bad they are. The Savage Lands is neither. Again, it’s still in Early Access so it could drastically swing either way.
Currently The Savage Lands is savagely mediocre. I haven’t played many of these survival crafting games so I’m not sure how it stacks up against the others. I have played ARK though, and in that game you get a poop button. It’s a button that makes your player character poop right on the ground, or in your friend’s house; wherever you’re standing, really. The Savage Lands doesn’t have a poop button. So already it’s objectively worse. Let’s stop dwelling on what the game doesn’t have and focus on what it does. It’s got tiny dogs that you chop at with an axe. They give you sinew sometimes. That’s really the most important thing. You need it to fix that axe that probably broke as you chopped up the dogs. The game also has boar and deer as well, to round out the mundane creature list. Then there are several mythological creatures that you get to fight. You have skeletons, different skeletons, and a little tree man who is mysteriously absent from the in-game bestiary. He drops goat or boar meat when killed. Also there is one dragon.
The dragon is neat. It flies around and breathes fire. I built my house near it so I got fire breathed on me a lot. I feel like the game was really hoping that the dragon would carry it, since there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot else going on. The crafting menu is fairly small. You can build a handful of buildings and only one type of box. I think there may be at most 50 or so things to craft. Each crafting “recipe” only requires a few different materials, such as low quality metal ore (which is fucking impossible to find). My ass is overflowing with medium quality metal ore, but none of low quality. What the fuck is that? All rocks give you all ore, so there really is no need to go exploring for better ore deposits. I feel like there is no reason to explore at all. The entire map looks exactly the same and there is the same shit everywhere you go. It’s almost impossible to navigate. The terrain all looks the same and there are no usable features to guide you home. That’s why I built my house near the dragon. At least that’s something different. Perhaps these issues are the result of the game’s Early Access status, and it will improve over time. But judging from what I’ve seen and how long it’s been in pre-release, I have little hope for this title.
Disclaimer: We received this game because we wanted to review it, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.