Quick Look – Cryofall

Please note: I have not played Cryofall on a PvP server, nor do I have any intention to. This quick look is more from the point of view of someone who wants to screw around mostly single player, despite the game being billed as a multiplayer survival game.

Despite the fact that I rarely get as much bang for my buck as I theoretically could, I really enjoy seeing what shows up in Humble Choice (formerly Humble Monthly).

This month included only two games I already own (Book of Demons and The Hex), so I don’t need to make the hard decision of what NOT to pick, but as per usual, I’m only activating a few titles off the bat and waiting on the others.

As someone who is – at best – meh on multiplayer only titles, Cryofall was not an instant unlock for me. Instead, I wandered over to the Steam store and downloaded the 8-hour full game demo. Within an hour, I knew that this was something I’d like to keep checking out as it progresses, especially since the devs are listening to folks, and working on improving the PvE experience.

Right now, for me and the way I like to play, Cryofall is in a great place – interesting enough to keep me coming back, not so interesting I lose entire days to it.

The quest system isn’t story based at all – it’s a huge non-intrusive tutorial. Completing quests gives you extra LP, or learning points, that allow you to unlock new technologies. Early on, it seems to think you should unlock absolutely everything, but it cautions you against trying to do too much as you get deeper into the tech trees.

Finding a place to set down your land claim can be challenging, and I dropped my first one at a decent looking spot just barely out of bounds of other players’ claims. I’ve since spotted much better locations while exploring, but the lack of any sort of deconstruction or moving mechanism has made me hesitant to start setting up a new base somewhere else. Traveling around can be tedious – the map is huge to accommodate Cryofall’s multiplayer aspirations, and there doesn’t appear to be any speedy way to come back to your base when your inventory is full up (which happens more often than I would like).

Skills are acquired automatically from just doing the associated tasks, and this seems to be the only leveling system in game. It feels a little bit slow, but not frustratingly so, and I expect it’ll be tweaked as development proceeds.

So far, the biggest irritations for me are the smallish inventory, and the rate at which perishable items decay. Even with a primitive fridge-box, I cannot prepare food during one play session and expect to use it the next, and although I’ve not been burned yet by leaving crops growing when I log off, I can see that being a problem as well.

I was apprehensive about the PvP multiplayer focus of Cryofall, but playing on a PvE server has been enjoyable for the four or so hours I’ve put in so far. It’s not something I would have sought out or purchased on its own, but I feel like it’s an interesting indie for inclusion in Humble Monthly, at worth at least trying out for anyone who has a fondness for survival-style games.

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