I’m 10 hours in with 5 solo and then 5 in co-op with 1 friend.
It’s great! Very Minecraft at the beginning, setting up a base, gathering basic resources to craft better tools to get get better resources to etc. That loop is as satisfying as in most other games of this genre. There are some rough edges in how the systems are taught, but there’s a joy in working it out for yourself, that matches well with the overall theme of the game. A crow gives you hints and there are runes to read in the world, and the moment where something clicks and you set yourself a goal is magical.
It’s a good balance of self driven and guided goals. The larger goal for each zone/biome is to summon and kill the boss. To be able to do that you need to gather, craft, train, cook, build, eat, explore and generally learn about your environment, enemies and tools.
It helps that the world is gorgeous. The style is relatively low poly, very low rez textures, but they are sharp (as opposed to blurry), and the lighting, draw distance and art direction are striking. The physics of the world play a part, with massive trees that are felled being a danger to you, but also useful to bring down other trees around them, and even enemies if you can roll a log at them. Buildings have structural integrity to a point (you can only load so much weight on a point, but the magical weightlessness of removing blocks under blocks and the top block remains is still there - Teardown this is not) and the abandoned ruins of buildings around the world provide inspiration, guidance and sometimes straight up shells for your own buildings.
The weapons and combat are varied and take a bit to learn - a definite step up form Minecraft, but still short of 3rd person combat based games. There’s rudimentary stealth, and importantly the enemies and danger from the world escalates to never let you feel quite safe. The day/night and weather cycles are atmospheric and there’s a good rhythm to waking, preparing for the day, adventuring, knowing when to come home and making it to safety.
They appear to have a reasonable roadmap ahead for the next year, and I know there’s lots in this build I haven’t even got to (snow biomes, fishing, smelting, stonework, rafts and boats).
Early Access issues? The server browsing is wonky, to be expected with 15,000 concurrent players swarming them in a day. I managed to get stand alone server working, and also joined a friend’s world, by using Steam’s in built server tools (view > servers). No idea how well it runs because my 3070 is a poor measuring stick for that, but no crashes and only a minor annoyance of it forgetting my resolution settings between sessions. Netcode seemed good enough - playing at 150 - 250ms to my friend it had some teleporting/lagging mobs but never unplayable.
It’s done that thing that I love it when games do - I’m thinking about it when I’m not playing it, planning what I should do next.