The survival RPG (role playing game) Rend from Frostkeep Studios moved into early access on Steam last week. The developers opened the game up to Alpha testers around mid-April to help get feedback from the community. It had amazing reviews throughout Alpha; however, many are questioning if they jumped the gun on the early access phase. I have been able to get my feet wet with Rend, but the game is huge and each match lasts about a month. I have gotten to experience quite a bit regardless of that. Please keep in mind that the game is still in development and several things might even change before the final release.
Let’s start with all the pros for Rend. First and foremost, it is a beautifully stunning game. It is no lie that they gave a lot of love to the artistic end. Anywhere you look in game you are met with a breathtaking view. The overall in-game graphics are stunning as well. They gave a lot of attention to the small details on all the animals and scenery. What made me happy was how clean the UI is. I was able to focus on everything going on around me without having too many things pop up in my visual field. All the necessary information is there, just tucked neatly away in the corners at the bottom of the screen.
There were a few quality of life features added to make it a bit easier to navigate, such as a marker for where your dead body is in case you need all the stuff still left on it or information on which tree or rock could supply you with different resources depending on whether you right clicked or left clicked. They also have an image that pops up telling you what to use in order to harvest resources from certain objects. This helped a lot as it made it easier to harvest several different things. Even in the server selection screen, you can always find your servers right away which makes logging in quite simple.
The player vs. player and teamwork part of this game is what really pushed me to try it out. The game is definitely not a single-player game; however, you can complete things on your own. It was very easy to collect the basic materials needed to craft lower level items. These items could be your character’s clothes or simple weapons and storage. You can also work on your own to help build up your faction’s base which can take quite a bit of time. The real fun comes when you can play with multiple people to build and upgrade your faction’s home and prepare for the oncoming Reckoning. The Reckoning pits factions against monsters and each other, with the hopes of winning and ascending to Valhalla. The player vs player doesn’t feel forced and really adds to the fun at end game time.
The very first thing I was a bit unhappy about with Rend was the lack of customization in the character screen. You can choose your faction, be male or female, choose a hair style, hair color and skin color. You cannot make any decisions aside from that which took away from the fun of having a creation screen. I really wanted to be able to adjust her height or weight, even having a few other color choices for hair. It was also a bit confusing as the colors on the side didn’t quite match up with what was shown. This could just need a bit of tinkering to get things to match up correctly.
Once I was in the game, things were a bit confusing as there is no real tutorial. There are a few helpful hints that you can trigger by completing certain actions; however, there’s not much more than that. Having played Ark, another survival game, I knew a bit of what I was supposed to do and just went from there. What was also a bit of a let down was that some of the actions did not have animation linked to them. I wasn’t sure at first if I had successfully eaten something since my character just sat there. It wasn’t until my hunger bar moved that I realized it worked. While it might seem a bit silly, just a small animation can really help take a game to the next level.
The only other complaint I had was that it is really easy to deliberately hurt your team. Players can create a character and join a tribe just to destroy buildings or steal resources. At higher levels you can create storage containers that can be locked to help protect items. There is also nothing to stop players from testing out each faction to find who is the strongest. They can just create a character, check out the faction, delete the character and start again. I feel that there should be a time span in which you can delete and recreate a character on the same server.
I would have to say that I am really excited for this game. Having access while they are still developing things really helps to see how community-focused the developers are. I do experience a bit of lag on the servers that have close to 60 people playing; however, it has been nothing more than a nuisance at best. It is nice to know that most of my cons are things that are possibly still in development and could change at anytime. I really recommend giving Rend a chance whether it be during Early Access or after the final launch! You can purchase the game on Steam here for $29.99 for PC.
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