The Stomping Land Early Access Preview

The Stomping Land is a new open world survival game that recently released through Steam’s Early Access. Putting a slight twist on the survival genre, players take on the role of a tribal hunter living on an island with dinosaurs. As a free roam survival game, players must choose how they will survive and overcome the many obstacles of life lived amongst unforgiving predators and other hunters.

Players can tackle the survival experience by themselves in a solo mode, however The Stomping Land is intended as an online multiplayer experience. Whether it be working co-operately with a group of friends on a private server or taking your tribe online to try survive amongst other players and their tribes. The core of The Stomping Land’s gameplay is focused around surviving with other people.

As a hunter, players start with nothing on a random location on the island. Starting from this position, players must decide how they will establish themselves on the island and how they will go about surviving. There are many things to consider about life amongst dinosaurs, and many paths to follow.

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Exploring

The island is a rather diverse place with various regions that can either provide relative safety or extremely deadly threats. There are many dinosaurs that roam the island, currently six of the twelve planned dinosaurs have been implemented. Some are practically harmless, while others will guarantee you a quick and certain death when crossed. Such is the life of a hunter in The Stomping Land.

Players may initially find themselves exploring the island, discovering what lies beyond their initial spawn and seeing what dangers lay off in the distance. Quite quickly however, many players will be looking for a place to call home. A place hopefully in an area with few dangerous predators or hostile neighbours. Although nowhere on the island is ever entirely safe, some small refuge can be found.

Underneath the island is a cave network shroud in pitch black, requiring a torch to be able to explore it. These caves provide several things needed by the player and therefore hunters will want to be well prepared for the journey. It’s incredibly easy to got lost and stuck in pitch black darkness.

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Gathering

Once hunters have found a location that feels like home, they will need to begin crafting the supplies they need to live and survive on the island. In order to build and craft however, hunters need to be gatherers. Procuring resources from the island comes in only a few forms in the current alpha build.

There are two primary resources used for building and crafting, wood and stone. Additionally hunters will forage for herbs used for healing, and hunt for food to ward off starvation. Wood and stone simply enough are collected from trees and boulders scattered around a map with a nomadic stone hand axe. Herbs lie within the cave network underground and can be used to revive players or tame dinosaurs.

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Crafting

With wood and stone, players can build and craft many things. In the current alpha build there is the following objects and weapons available to craft by the player:

Weapons:

  • Spear – a typical weapon for killing other hunters in close range
  • Bow – best for shooting down smaller dinosaurs or players from a safe distance
  • Arrows – hunters can only carry 10 arrows, more will need to be crafted as necessary
  • Tribal Shield – A tall wooden shield used for blocking attacks
  • Bolas – a throwing weapon used for stunning dinosaurs or capturing players
  • Lasso – Currently removed / not working in the current alpha build

Building:

  • Teepee – a shelter which allows respawning on its location upon death
  • Firepit – a fire which can be used for cooking
  • Cage – a wooden cage for keeping tamed dinosaurs or captured players
  • Totem – required for starting a tribe, players join your tribe with your totem

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The current alpha build gives players just enough things to build in order to get started on their journey of survival. Crafting a few weapons such as the spear and bow before setting down a teepee to call home. Players essentially build small camps in which to stage their future operations. With a few players forming a tribe, these camps can be laid out like small villages with several teepees and fires.

There isn’t that much to build currently so players will quickly get themselves set up and ready to start day to day life on the island. One of the biggest concerns for any hunter is finding food, fresh meat to feast upon which can only be harvested from dead dinosaurs. This is where the humble gatherer and craftsmen truly become a hunter. After all, food is a necessity to survive, players will starve otherwise.

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Hunting

There are three different ways to gather food in The Stomping Land. The first method is to find the smaller, weaker dinosaurs to kill with a bow and harvest for meat. This often provides smaller amounts of meat, requiring more to be collected in order to satisfy hunger. The second method provides much more nourishment, although is more dangerous. Players can track two larger dinosaurs who are fighting and await in the shadows until one is defeated before creeping over and taking the losers meat.

The third method is more for the safety seeking pacifist, fishing. Players can craft a spear before taking to the water to catch fish. Catching fish requires players be patient and calmly explore the waters, spearing fish to be cooked on the fire for dinner. Not much meat, but generally the safest option.

Larger dinosaurs can’t be killed by players, so hunters must await for opportunities to arise when two not so friendly dinosaurs cross paths. In order to find these battles, players need only to look at the stars. Large dinosaurs all project a bright star to the sky, allowing hunters to see in which direction large dinosaurs will be. Quite often, two bright stars getting very close to each other is a fight.

Sometimes players won’t have to travel anywhere at all to find dinosaurs to kill, as there is a constant threat of dinosaurs walking in to camp. Players must be constantly aware of their surroundings as they survive and hunt on the island. Sometimes the prey of choice is humans and their hard earned supplies.

Everything is fair game in The Stomping Land. The resources you gather and store around your camp are free to be taken by anyone if not protected. Some players will wait until nightfall watching over a camp before moving in and killing or capturing a tribe of players before stealing all their resources. Most of the time however, the only prize in mind is the thrill of killing a foreign hunter in battle.

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Taming

In order to even the battlefield, hunters are able to tame dinosaurs in which they can ride. The longer players are alive the more expertise points they gain to show their veteran status as a hunter. As a hunters expertise reaches certain levels, they can use herbs to revive a dead dinosaur and ride it.

Some of the more dangerous dinosaurs can be used in battle, ramming your enemies and often killing them in their tracks. This makes hunting for food much easier and can give hunters the winning edge in battle. A group of hunters riding dinosaurs in to battle can quickly dissolve any chance the victims have of surviving longer than a brief moment. Therefore it is highly desirable to ride your own badass dino.

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Surviving

All of this comes together to offer an open world survival experience like nothing else available. Players have the choice of living a more conservative life, hunting dinosaurs and building a village with their friends. While others might seek only the thrill of riding in to battle upon a dinosaur killing innocent players. The experience is determined by the players actions and what they decide to do. The current offerings only provide a limited amount of gameplay, but the game is already a lot of fun.

It’s just a set of tools and a sandbox. Many players treat it like DayZ and will hunt down and kill any player they can find, but with a group of friends or a like minded community players can also experience a purely co-op survival game. There is much potential in this early build of The Stomping Land, and with much more to come from the developers in the future – it will hopefully only get better.

As the game gets closer to release players can expect more dinosaurs, a lot more things to craft, customization options for their hunter and teepee, and much more. The developers are working hard to constantly update the game and we’re looking forward to seeing how the game grows in future. Players can get in to the Alpha themselves by buying the game through Steam Early Access.

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