Several months ago an advertisement for a game called ‘Exidium Corp’ came across my feed. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t know what it was. Actually I thought it was an advertisement for an Eve Online Corp, or something along those lines, because it didn’t really identify itself as a game in the least. I went to the Facebook page and they were literally advertising themselves as a corporation, not a game. There was so much confusion that there were more questions relating to “What the hell is this?” on the page than the usual “When can I play?” I went to its website and sent in the form, requesting access. I didn’t’ expect to get anything back, but about two weeks later I received my email inviting me to download the alpha. I was still suspicious, but hey what the hell.
Now the email itself claimed that there was an initiative to harvest resources from a planet called Arapaho, which sort of made it sound like one of those crappy browser strategy games, but once I downloaded and installed it I found that it wasn’t quite like that. Instead, the game unceremoniously dropped me off in a hovercraft in the middle of an empty barren wasteland. After about an hour of hovering around and being at a loss as to what I should do (because let’s ignore the tutorial), I eventually found the Town Hall area.
Building Up in the Town Hall
The game world is largely PvP, but the town hall area serves as a safe zone for everyone. Essentially, the entire thing is surrounded by a field and within that field you are free to build anything you want within reason. Let me try to explain this in the best way I can: the game isn’t a crappy browser strategy thing but it has all the same elements. You’re expected to place buildings that will bring you income in the form of both Exidium and Credits. The Town Hall area is a no PvP zone and your buildings can’t actually be destroyed there. In other words, it’s kind of a practice area for the mayhem that is come, eventually.
As you build up the town hall you will have the opportunity to upgrade your garage level along with all of your other building levels. Because no one can attack you here, you’re pretty much free to do whatever you want and I found the entire process to be pretty self explanatory. Once you have your base up and running, you’ll be ready to move out into the world and do some of your own ‘harvesting,’ which involves murdering local wildlife or destroying plants to pick up the resulting credits. At first this won’t yield much but it does add up, and sometimes you’ll get a big drop that makes it all worth it.
Out in the World
As you move out of the town hall area you’re going to find three things of note:
- Other Town Halls
- Tougher Enemies
- Player Established Bases
You’re free to build up at other town halls if you wish to gain more Exidium/Credit flow, but once you reach a high enough level the game will allow you to establish your own town hall, which you can either open to other players or simply build a wall of turrets around.
For new players, the world isn’t particularly huge. Actually, the majority of it is covered in a thick coat of radiation. Town Halls provide protection up to a certain radius, but if you’re going to fly your hovercraft through those areas, you’re going to need to either build a shielding structure or you’re going to have to build some drones to protect you. I would assume the intent here is to have players continually colonizing those areas, perhaps finding better resources and making a more interesting world. How big is the world? I have no idea.
You never actually leave your hovercraft here, probably because the entire surface is covered in deadly radiation that will even eat your ship alive when you go too far out. Hey, that’s what humanity does right? They pick the most inhospitable area they can and establish a colony just to prove that they can. Don’t believe me? Take a look at Antarctica or the Sahara Desert. Sure it’s possible to live there, people have proven it time and time again over the centuries but don’t you think that at some point they’d say to themselves: “You know what? This sucks, let’s just turn around and go back to where the grass and the trees are.” Well, apparently we just keep moving forward and now we’re in our own radioactive utopia.
Your craft can be upgraded by heading over to the Exidium Corp facility, which is almost always within sight, at least if you’re just starting out. The problem is that while you can access the list of vehicles, they’ll almost all be out of your reach as a beginner. You’ll have access to maybe one or two upgrades, but you’ll have to put some real work in before you can become the badass of Arapaho. That being said, when you start out you’re not Mad Max.
One important thing to note is that the game does encourage PvP outside of town hall areas. I want to emphasize that because if you do NOT like PvP then this is NOT the game for you. I mean, you could sit inside the town hall area and watch your harvesters work but you’ll get bored pretty quickly and you’ll probably just close it out, never to return.
For what it is, the game is pretty impressive. The controls are smooth, it’s responsive, and it’s pretty straight forward. The only real gripe I have is the menu, which must be navigated with the arrow keys and when you’re building your base the overhead view can be a bit flaky. These aren’t game breaking, however, and I think you can still have quite a bit of fun with it.
I’m not giving this the highest rating simply because it’s much like any browser strategy game I’ve played save for it being 3D and in its own client. By that I mean it has all the same concepts as a browser strategy game from resource gathering and competing with other players. It’s not original (at least not yet; it’s still in development and they could add a whole lot more) but it’s definitely fun and addictive.
The time I spent online was pretty lonely; there just weren’t very many people playing to be perfectly honest. Most of the players I did run into were on the chat app that’s featured on the beta page once you log in, making PvP more of a base siege affair. If the game is ever released, I imagine there will be massive base defense conflicts but for now it’s all about building your structures, logging off, and then logging in to find them all destroyed. Good news though! You can save a base template and rebuild it instantly.
As far as sound goes, it’s pretty good, and I the graphics aren’t bad either. I will say that there need to be far more options, and even on my Radeon R7 it tends to lag sometimes. It’s definitely not unplayable, but I’m a bit picky, so there’s that.
Value for Money (Pending)
The beta is currently being given away for free, so I’d say I got my money’s worth (and will continue to). When it’s released there may very well be a cash shop, so we’ll see how it goes and revisit this review when it’s out of beta.
I think it’s a decent game, though I’ve read plenty of player reviews that state otherwise. If you’re going to jump into this game, I think it’s important for you to understand that it is still in beta and there are lots of kinks to be worked out. At the moment it is the very definition of a sandbox game, and the only real objective is going to be leveling up, getting stronger, and raking in cash. The game can be a lot of fun if you just take it for what it is and wait patiently as new features are added. I know I’ll definitely be playing it off and on, and probably following it as it leaves beta. The one thing I would change would be the keyboard driven menus – sometimes I really just want to click on something. Other than that, this game gets a pass from me!
-Limited Graphics Settings
-Very Keyboard DrivenRelated: Beta, Exidium Corp, Review, Strategy