The Stomping Land Preview

The Stomping Land is a multi-player survival simulator set in a world where dinosaurs and mammals collide. It’s been greenlit for Early Access on Steam since May 30, 2014 and the Kickstarter Project has been successfully funded since June 6, 2013. Though it is currently unavailable on Steam as the game will be undergoing some major changes. In a recent report however, the game may not even see the light of day at all. Check out our news post to find out more about this.

 

Take a Jurassic walk in the Park

You are hunter and scavenger. You are flesh and blood. More than that, you are man. The aim of the game is to establish your tribe’s dominance on the island as the alpha hunters. And for kids to grow up strong, they need their protein. In this game though, the most of the available meat comes from giant reptiles that won’t think twice about eating you first. At this point, you’ll start thinking that this seems pretty standard fare. Until you find out that this game was made to test your limits.

The easiest sources of meat on the island are the small dinosaurs that roam around. The larger carnivores however are after the same fare and quite good at making you feel how weak humans are as a species. They are almost nigh invulnerable and were made to stop you from rising to the top of the food chain.

But some of them can be tamed. It’s like a Yoshi. But bigger.

As a hunter, you’re expected to make your own weapons and track your prey. No weapons mean no chance. No torch in the dark? Dinosaurs roaming in the night. Historically inaccurate but the fear you feel is very real. I wouldn’t want to suddenly come face to face with a T-Rex in my pajamas.

Teamwork and the Meat Market

Because the tribe MUST like you. They can kick you out. Like survivor. But you get eaten instead of not winning money.

The hunting gets easier once you coordinate and plan your attacks. This game rewards teamwork but also makes that very same mechanic your unlikely source of doom. This game allows you to be taken prisoner by enemy PCs. I’ll let that sink in a bit.

A group will be able to build a campsite where you can store food. The more food you gather, the more skills or perks you’ll be able to unlock and use in the game. The campsite however is a prime target for the other tribes on the island. They will ransack you. The game forces them to. The game has a function that keeps the supply and demand of meat on the island in check. It works just like how resources in the real world do. They get depleted.

 

It’s an Island Sandbox

The developers promised an open world system that allows you the freedom to go about your business in dealing with dinosaurs and other PCs in ways that are possible in the game. As long as the main objective is met, you’re allowed to pretty much do what you want.

Build your teepee near a volcano? Sure. Spend your time hunting down other PCs? Heck yes. Go on a wild adventure with your dinosaur compadre? Excellent!

All of the above are choices that players can play out. How much fun you can get out of it, is up to you. I suspect the in-fighting option will be abused by trolls. Because virtual dinosaurs aren’t that much of a big deal in the face of internet trolls. You can be dragged around the island by another tribe just so you can be used as bait. I think that situation pretty much explains just how sandboxy this game can get.

 

Final thoughts on The Stomping Land

The idea of a survival type sandbox game involving dinosaurs is definitely one that I can get behind on. From all the material I’ve seen, I am sold on what this game represents. There is a rich opportunity here to form communities with their own personal histories in the game that can actually help either develop game lore or affect how new players will experience the lay of the land.

Since it is an MMO, players can claim portions of the island for their own use. Territory battles would run rampant I think. Some of the information I’ve read describe tribes that worship a Sea Goddess and spend their time victimizing other PCs by drowning them and another tribe which has an army of dinosaur mounts. Both equally interesting and terrifying as prospects. Because the game allows them to be that way.

If the majority of the players abuse it, time will only tell how moderators will keep it in check. I don’t see any actual harm in it. But the possibility of abuse will always get at least an eyebrow raise from me.

If they do manage to completely deliver what they started out to do, I believe that this game can be great. At the moment, it’s pretty barebones as depicted in the videos and materials released by the developers. People are expecting a lot because this is a crowd funded game. They want to know where their money is going.

At the time of this writing however, I’ve found that there is a bit of trouble surrounding the development of the game. The promised weekly updates for the project and the silence of the head developer on matters pertaining to the continued progress of the game have rocked the confidence of the initial backers.

Overall, even with the controversy surrounding it at the moment, The Stomping Land is still an interesting game for me. I for one, will be patient and wait it out. If I’m going to hunt dinosaurs, I want to know that my options are all set and ready.

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