Saturday, 14 March 2015

Review No. 108 Don't Starve Together - PC (12+)

Strong Points:
Keeps up the feeling of survival rather than luxury for longer than other games
Lots of items
Lots of characters
Characters have their own powers and abilities
Good, eerie music
Good, eerie graphics
Crafting is good
Permanent hard-core mode keeps you on your toes
Seasons/day/dusk/night system gives you a goal and a deadline
Interesting lore
Multiplayer makes the game slightly easier and means you can split goals
You don't lose your world as long as one person is alive
The ghosts of your friends can light up the world around you
Free for those who already own Don't Starve
Endless and Wilderness Modes add more customizability to the game

Weak Points:
Controls can be fiddly especially with the strange camera angle
Can be extremely difficult at times
Hard to pick up past rudimentary survival
Permanent hard-core mode means mistakes can be costly
Bad map spawns can mean a few restarts - especially for beginners (although worlds can be edited slightly)
Quite hard keep track of insanity, hunger and health
If other players are ghosts, your insanity takes a beating pretty quickly
The map is not shared between characters which can be rather annoying
Adventure Mode is no longer in the game

Rating: 87%

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
World Wide: December 15, 2014

Left Mouse Button - Primary/Move
Right Mouse Button - Secondary/Move
F - Attack
Space - Action
WASD - Move

Don't Starve Together they said. It won't help I said. I was wrong. So very wrong.

The great thing about not starving with other people is the ability to spread the work and goals between you. This enables you to get jobs (especially the rudimentary's of basic survival) done much quicker and easier. In addition, as long as one person is alive, you don't lose your world which means that all is not lost if you do, accidentally, die, all is not lost (however, once everyone is dead, a timer is started which, once ended, resets the map). The reason for this is that, when you die, you turn into a ghost and your other team members can either heal you using an item or by finding a touchstone (like in the first game). This is balanced by the fact that you lower your team member's sanity levels when you're a ghost so there's a certain amount of speed required in the healing process. This can be rather annoying, especially if you don't know where your friends are (which I'll get onto in a minute). In addition as a ghost, you can light up a small area of the ground for your team members and can haunt items but cannot glide over spiders webs without being slowed down (I don't know why either).

As well as normal Survival Mode (like Sandbox Mode) there is also the option to play Endless Mode or Wilderness Mode. Endless Mode is easier and more casual where the map never resets and you can respawn at the portal as many times as you like. Wilderness Mode is harder as players are randomly spawned on the map and any form of resurrection (as well as ghosts) is prevented - instead death brings players back to the character select screen and then respawning them at a different place on the map.

And talking about maps, one annoying thing about Don't Starve Together is that your map is not shared with other players which can lead to you losing team members if you haven't explored the same area. This can lead to you having to, either, organise a place to return to, stay in groups or lose team members for a while. As well as this, the map now has a 'fog of war' which means that the map will look like it did last time you went to that area rather than updating. There are some other changes to the game including a change to sleep so as to incorporate multiple characters.

Finally, you can play with up to five other players on either global or LAN servers. Each player has to be a separate character (who are all unlocked from the start). In order to communicate with other players you can chat to them by writing comments (no voice chat) or through emotes.

Overall, Don't Starve Together is a great sequel to Don't Starve and brings with it many great additions that improve on the central formula.

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