Savage Lands

Genre: Survival / Fantasy / Open World
Developer: Signal Studios, Smart Ghost
Gamemode: Singleplayer / Multiplayer / Coop

The game that is better than its reviews, was a surprise! You wake up at a beach of an nordic medieval looking area. A huge dragon will look down to you from a big tower nearby. You will find some useful stuff nearby the spawnpoint on the floor each time you spawn. First you will need to craft some tools and armour. There are wolves, big boars and skeletons that are going to try to kill you. There are also tree giants but if you don't come too close they won't attack. Everything ingame is hard work and you will also feel like in a starving simulator because every 15 min you are going to die by starvation. Except to meat there are only berries that you can get dropped from bushes if you chop them down. If you don't die by starvation you might freeze to death if you don't run a fire. Especially during harsh nights. The game is about surviving in the wilderness, about surviving the elements, most especially the cold, simply making it through another night. Very helpful are bandages that you can craft from cotton, they restore health.

Getting useful resources from rocks can take a while, because they will just drop a lot of flint and coal before it will give you any mineral. You might need to search the rocks that give certain things like metal. Other raw materials like clay are a mystery till you find information on the steam forum how to obtain them, seems there are only some nods near a bridge and the normal rocks (not highlighted ones) can drop it. For farming resources you should go as soon as possible for crafting better tools because it speeds up your work. If you need a bigger inventory craft some backpack bags. Later you can craft also a chest for your house. Dropping those is kinda strange placing. A big house lets you also drop a fireplace inside.

Unlike other survival games you will not find canned food or candy bars anywhere. You can rebuild house ruins but as long as they are unfinished they will not provide any protection from the cold. Houses provide cover from enemies if you close the door. Seems that Multi-play supports up to 8 players on one server and performance is stable but seems to give some older computers lots of trouble. Loot and villages spawn randomly throughout the map, renewing tension with each play-through. Durability of armour goes down fast so you will need leather and needle to fix it. It is a fantasy setting, so you are a barbarian surrounded by mythical creatures. You can hunt deer, small boars or rabbits for meat but there aren't many around your spawnpoint. Either you move on fast or you go further to get food. Except to meat there are only berries that you can get dropped from bushes if you chop them down. Otherwise your screen turns red again and you'll die. Combat is with melee weapon a bit clunky and stiff and you can choose to play the game PvP or PvE.

Bears are really powerful and there are plagued wolves that will infect you with some disease. There really isn’t enough content to keep you busy for long. The graphics is nice although it is more black and white than coloured. While there are no quests there is a bit of story and crafting information you can find by scattered notes on the floor. K will bring up the crafting menu, hit J to use the building menu. You can build a respawnpoint if you move anywhere else on the islands, but don't forget to activate it. You will find run-down and destroyed settlements everywhere. If you manage to kill the dragon you will get some of the best items as loot. Updates come out regularly.

A couple of complaints would include the few meat that drops from animals, only one piece per animal is just too few at least at the multi-player game we tried, we had almost no animals to hunt nearby the first spawn, then the next problem was that they did not respawn for days, the deers are fast, if you got not enough stamina don't try catching them. Dying every 15 minutes by hunger is ridiculous, it takes several days to starve to death at real life, there is a description missing what for some items can be used, like mushrooms, flowers and frost fern, you need to search the crafting menu to find out. There are lots of places where you can get stuck and don't get out, the developer needs to play his game to change this. Basically you are most of the time just too busy to get enough food to be able to do much more than a bit of farming for materials ingame. You can work your way along the islands by hunting and explore asides. If you want to run a multi-play server with more animals around your spawn you should start the game as single-play, leave it and host with your save then as multi-play, go later food farming on single-player with same character and go back to multi-player with the food in your pockets. There is a lot of food balancing and content missing in this game and playing seems sometimes a bit tedious and hard in the beginning. The developer needs to add some play-hints or a tutorial to not let the new players get too fast frustrated.

Especially on the multi-player the game is fun if you like the medieval setting and are patient enough to figure all the crafting possibilities out. As soon as you know how to do things in this game it gets far easier to survive. The mining needs improvement because it just takes a bit too long, but if you compare it to other games, it is easier to just repair stuff by whetstone instead of having to get more metal. The biggest problem is indeed the missing respawn of food (animals) at the moment but you can solve that by hunting on single-player servers till the developer fixes it.

Our recommendation: If you don't expect that it is finished yet, we can absolutely recommend to get it on Sale or Humble Bundle!