When I saw the very first trailer for 8 Points upcoming plot-driven survival co-op game “The Wild Eight” (for Xbox One, PS4 and PC), a lot of thoughts went through my mind. Well, to be exact, thoughts such as “nice graphics“, “a co-op survival game that takes place in Alaska?” and “Age of empires meets Commandos?”. Well, I wasn´t all that far off, because I´ve played the alpha demo for two days now. And even though you just get the chance to play one out of the eight survivors in “The Wild Eight” (each character will have his or her own strengths, weaknesses and special skills). I still got really impressed with what I saw, heard (I really enjoyed the music and the sound effects in the demo) and experienced.
Right of the bat, the first thing I noticed once the demo kicked-off was the awesome in-game graphics. In a way, it felt almost like I was inside of an interactive snow painting. And the realistic animations and the wild life really made it feel like you´re stuck in the middle of nowhere in Alaska (you are one of the plane wreck survivors). I would also like to point out that the neat in-game weather and day-and-night cycles, truly does wonders to the gameplay experience as well. As those features really add a lot to the “I´m all alone in the wild lands of Alaska” and “What the hell was that sound? Is someone there?” department. Well, let´s just say that it´s really scary when there is a snow storm going on and it´s pitch dark outside of your shelter. Simply put, you sure feel very vulnerable when mother nature decides to go rampage upon your soul.
And due to the fact that you can die from a lot of things in “The Wild Eight” (hunger, wild animals, cold, food poison and tons of other things). You really don´t have time to fool around, as you´re fighting against the clock for your survival. And every second is vital, because every second that goes by. You lose warmth (if you get too cold you will die) and you´re also slowly starving to death. So you´re basically on a constant hunt for food and heat sources (you can make campfires to stay warm, for example). And not only that, since you’re stuck in the frozen tundra of Alaska (with everything that follows). There are a lot of wild animals that you have to look out for (such as angry bears and boars, to name a few). And I learned that the hard way, as I made the mistake to upset a whole group of boars. Sure, I survived, but I got badly wounded in the process of fighting them off. And that´s something, which could lead to your own doom, as medic kits and doctors are hard to come by in frontier of the Alaskan wild lands.
And since you´re all alone in the demo of “The Wild Eight”, I would say that it´s much better to run than to fight. Besides, you could always kill and eat smaller (as in “less” lethal) animals instead (deer and rabbit were on my food menu throughout the demo). Luckily enough for me (and you) though, you do have tools, weapons and crafting skills to your disposal. For example, in the demo you can craft throwing stones and a battle stick. And you use them to both hunt and fight of any potential intruders. Other than that, it´s also possible for you to build your own shelter and workshop (the construction part reminded me a bit about the building elements from the “Age of Empires” series). And while the shelter offers you protection, warmth and the ability to upgrade your character’s skills (strength, for example). The work shop allows you to craft and upgrade weapons.
And since everything costs resources (upgrades and buildings), you have to be very quick about getting your hands on some stones and trees. And preferably as soon as possible, because you´re dead in the water if you´re unlucky enough to end up in a storm from hell (you will freeze to death in seconds if you don´t get inside of a shelter pronto). And as you might imagine, it´s rather hard to gather resources in the middle of a snowstorm. So that´s why it´s truly important to gather as much resources as possible by the very beginning of the game, as you have no idea what kind of horror´s you will face later in your struggle for survival.
Personally, I think the single most important thing to do is to place your camp near a site where you got access to everything you need (food, tree and stone). Because it´s pretty much impossible to survive when you have to search for either food, stone or trees on several different places (you do remember what I said about time right? You don´t have a lot of time to waste, so you have to place your camp on a good spot in-order to survive).
So, yes. It´s a balance of “Time Vs making fast and good decisions on the fly”. And I think that formula worked pretty well in the demo of “The Wild Eight”. However, I did find some downsides to the demo as well (bugs, the constant hunger and the fact that you can´t eat inside of your shelter, to name a few cons). Nevertheless, I still had a blast with the demo. So I would most definitely recommend you to download and try “The Wild Eight” for yourselves. As I believe that you will have just as much fun with the demo as I did. And you don´t even have to take my word for it either, just check out my gameplay video of “The Wild Eight” down below 😉
+ Awesome graphics
+ Nice music
+ Plenty of upgrades, items and constructions to build
+ The beautiful wildlife of Alaska
– Somewhat repetitive
– Some animals are almost impossible to kill
– You can´t eat food inside of the shelter
– The constant hunger
Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
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