This early access effort from Signal Studios currently holds potential and like many early access products, lacks content. There’s plenty to hope for with the continued development of Savage Lands and the current state of the game offers some exploration and a fairly well fleshed out world with regards to lore for the player to take part in. The current content within the world is limited and offers chunks of game time for those interested in following the development. For those who want to sink hours of time into a survival game however, definitely wait for Savage Lands to move further along in it’s development as the content is currently bare bones.
The game drops your character, an outcast, in a cold, snowy land that you are told is the place the kingdom sends their worst criminals to live out the sentence for their crimes, assuming they survive. As you tentatively find your way around this freezing wasteland you find snippets of lore that help piece together that this place was once home to thriving villages and an actual community of people. As you gradually locate more snippets of paper with stories and accounts of events on them you build up a fairly well filled out idea of the world’s lore and the general backstory to the place your character finds themselves in.
The overall idea of the game is to develop the ruined settlements that are scattered about the land into functional houses and even build up villages in order to better survive. In multiplayer this becomes a very viable use of time. However, currently playing in singleplayer features little to make it worth playing as there are no NPCs within the world at present. Aside from general survival, a wider aim of the game isn’t clear.
There are numerous dangers for the player to face, mostly centered around environmental damage and various enemies. The nature of some of the enemies means that unprepared exploring is ill advised and you will not get far without preparation. Cobbling together shelter and resources is currently slow and feels somewhat unrewarding with scope for improvement.
As it stands, the gameplay in Savage lands has a lot of room for improvement and is currently very basic. The crafting is simple and easy to figure out although some of the materials take a while to locate. Crafting of weapons and items occurs within the player inventory while improving shelters and building essential parts of your camps has to be done at set locations. Movement and combat within the world are also extremely simple and will hopefully be improved. The weapons available to the player are different forms of swords, hammers and axes. There are bows as well but it would seem they are somewhat difficult to use and may need to wait for future updates to become more usable.
Savage Lands graphics are relatively standard in the survival crafting field. The game’s color palette is predominately white and grey with the environment being mostly snow, rocks, and derelict buildings. Aside from general visual improvements it doesn’t look like the game is set to change much on the visual front.
There isn’t currently really any soundtrack for the game and the world sounds are relatively basic and undeveloped. The game UI is perfectly sufficient and easy to navigate with a decent range of window and graphics options for the players.
Overall Savage Lands offers the usual with regards to survival crafting games but the fantasy element certainly offers a level of potential intrigue for the player and it’ll be interesting to see how the world develops as the game moves through early access.