Icarus is a Survival game developed and published by RocketWerkz. But since there are already a ton of survival games out there, players are wondering should they even buy it? That is a fair concern, so to help you out I have broken down this review into parts. These are the important aspects that impact and make or break a game. So, here’s my Icarus review to help you make a decision.
When considering playing a survival game you should check if these aspects of the game are good.
- Story and gameplay
- Game Mechanics
- Graphics and Visuals
- Some needed Features
- Final Verdict
Be sure to read all of these points till the end to get a good idea about this game. Oh, and if you are worried about getting spoiled, don’t worry, because this is a Spoiler-free review for Icarus. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Story and Gameplay
To summarize the Story spoiler-free, United Development Agency wants you to get as much information on the exotic matter as you can from the planet Icarus. When you complete the mission you get to keep the rewards. But if you fail to complete the missions on time, then you lose all your tech and progress. This is also the best way to summarize the gameplay in the game, without any spoilers.
Since this is a survival game the first thing that stood out for me the most was the in-game mechanism of maintaining your Water, Oxygen, and Food levels. The game requires you to regularly supply your character with these 3 basic necessities. Much like real life, in Icarus, you can starve to death, die because of dehydration, and run out of Oxygen. This feature particularly stood out for me as during the fights or while exploration I had to keep an eye on these stats. While the game does give you the option to carry a sponge to quench your thirst, the constant depletion of these resources added to the Survival experience. It also adds to the tension, and I have to be careful to not wander too far from the nearest Water supply. This makes sure you are regularly keeping an eye on the map, especially at night.
And another addon that I appreciate the most was the key bindings for crafting directly your Inventory (where some known games fail at this). Let’s say you have a pickaxe on 1-Key and it breaks or you drop it. If you have the materials required for making it you can simply press and hold the 1-Key and it will craft it again. Your weapon can break in the middle of a fight and crafting it from the menu can get a bit tedious. But when you use the above mechanic at the right time you can increase your survivability by saving time in crafting and that makes it a really neat feature.
Graphics and Visuals
This is one of the most visually appealing survival games that are out there. The game needs quite strong hardware to run even as minimum requirements but when you play it you will feel it is somewhat justified. The environment is beautiful and very much like earth but it still adds to the experience of exploring an alien planet.
One thing which I liked about this game is its difficulty. This is no easy game by any means, but that is not a bad thing. While this game might not be easy, it is definitely not unfair. The more you learn about the game and its mechanics the more you will feel like coming back to it. And you might think that solo might be tough I’ll just play Co-op. But it is equally difficult when you play with friends. One might argue it is even tougher in co-op, as you need proper coordination to survive.
The game went with an approach of you having to collect all resources and building your base again each time on a new mission. While this is something fresh, new players can find it a bit infuriating, especially the players who are playing a survival game for the first time. Instead of removing the feature they could maybe go for a difficulty option and turn it into hard mode. This feature has a lot of possibilities, especially for speedrunners, we will just have to wait a bit to see how they are used.
Nighttime is really accurate, you get very low visibility. When I just started the game I didn’t bother getting a torch. And that came back to bite me as I was stranded in the night, looking for any source of light and frequently checking the map. For me, this added a lot to the realistic experience.
To get a taste of how difficult the game can get if you are unprepared just take a look at the above screenshot. It is me fighting wolves in the dark with a wooden spear.
Some Needed Features
Other than the usual bug fixes, one thing that the game really needs is more alien creatures. Currently, the game has succeeded in getting you into a somewhat familiar yet alien planet. You coming in contact with known creatures is also good to give you a start. And it isn’t that there are no alien creatures, there are some – but the game needs more. Once the developers add this feature the experience of surviving on an alien planet will amplify.
This game is an easy 7/10. At the time of writing this review, it has been only a little over two weeks since the game was released. The game feels a bit buggy at times but the developers are working regularly on improving it. You can even see that with their frequent patches for the game. So whether you plan on getting it right away or waiting for a bit, it is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience that you shouldn’t miss especially if you like playing Survival games alone or even with your friends.