Log onto your Steam account, or visit any one of the numerous video game vendor websites such as GamersGate or GreenmanGaming, and you’ll most likely be met with, or rather bombarded by, a whole array of survival games. I’m not complaining at all—I get it. There’s something deep in our collective lizard brains that embraces the challenge of beginning with virtually nothing, having to scavenge for basic equipment, eventually arm yourself (if you survive long enough that is) while fending off interlopers and bushwhackers alike, and establish some sort of permanent dwelling or lodgings.
There’s also that undeniable X-factor that all survival games contain. Something primal within all of us which stirs when we encounter another human player for the first time, not knowing how they (and sometimes you yourself) are going to react. Will they be friendly? Indifferent? Will they raise their weapons and try to fill your body with bullets, spears, or arrows?
I can usually break any survival game down into one of three categories. The first would be your run-and-gun variety usually distilled into a battle royale-type of game, such as the rapidly dwindling title, The Culling, and the much-maligned H1Z1: King of the Kill. Up next we have our survival gaming experiences that are served up mano-a-mano. As in, there are no AI combatants to contend with, just other crafty and resourceful humans. Rust is a good example of this category (besides the pesky wildlife). And finally, you have the final grouping—survival games that not only have human foes, but also AI enemies to ward off.
Personally, I’ve always preferred the latter category, as I enjoy the challenge of not only dealing with real live people, but also some form of AI. H1Z1: Just Survive (before it began fading), and of course, DayZ. Entrada Interactive’s Miscreated is the new challenger to the survival gaming genre throne, and boy, does it pack a punch.
Miscreated sort of sneaks up on you, just as any self-respecting, rotting, animated corpse should. I recently began one game on a server populated with around twenty people (32 is the maximum server limit so far), and typical of any survival title, spawned in with nothing save for a few meager belongings. Suddenly, a storm swept in and my jaw began to drop at the way Miscreated’s CryEngine handled its weather effects. I’ve never seen a storm so convincingly articulated within a digital realm before. Not only did the sheets of rain look realistic, but how it landed on the streets was amazing. Drops even splattered on the muzzle of a makeshift gun I had slapped together, creating a metallic sheen complete with streaming rivulets.
Shortly thereafter, I had to outrun an ill-tempered tornado, and sought refuge within a dilapidated town called Sultan. You see, Miscreated takes place after some sort of apocalyptic event has transpired, and guessing by the amount of vegetation that has reclaimed the scattered urban areas, I’d say whatever happened, went down long ago. And here’s where I realized how the game further veers from familiar territory, so to speak.
All of the dwellings, stores, gas stations, and other buildings that are on Miscreated sole island map, are for the most part, unique. Either their layouts are different from one another, or their furnishings are all placed in different spots. The game’s dense overgrowth is also splendidly handled, with different types of plants growing in various patches within, and upon, each building.
While rummaging through the second floor of an old Victorian that had seen better days, I suddenly heard some sort of feral growling emanating from outside its crumbling edifice. Since it was late in the evening, I flicked on my flashlight and tried to peer through the window. The fact that I couldn’t even see the snarling menace that threatened from outside, because there was a grimy film upon the window, only served to draw me deeper into Miscreated incredible sense of immersion. My heart began to beat faster as I considered my options for safely extricating myself from the derelict dwelling.
These types of moments are aplenty in Miscreated. Not only is it a beautiful game to behold (certainly much better looking than DayZ in my opinion), but its scarcity of weapons and equipment, wandering hostile mutants and wildlife, and creepy atmosphere, really work together to create a very unsettling world.
Also, unlike most survival games on the market right now, Miscreated features vehicles. Not just cars and trucks, but also boats. You have to re-equip each vehicle that you come across with basic components such as drive belts and fuel, but once you do, you’re off to the races. Want to settle down and build a dwelling? Base building is also featured in Miscreated, although at this point it isn’t as robust as say, Rust’s. Currently, you can only build crude wooden bases, but I’m sure that the developers have additional plans for that aspect of the game.
Miscreated also comes with a pretty darn good combat system, although the controls take a little getting used to. Luckily, you can re-map your keys to any setup you want. I must say that I loved the multitude of options that the game gives you—there’s even a command for sitting down, for instance. All of these factors serve to highlight that Miscreated’s developers really pay attention to details. You can also tell that this game is a labor of love, much like a true artisan creates phenomenal arts, crafts, or foods.
In all, Miscreated is creating quite a stir in the survival realm, and I hope it only gets bigger and better. It’s making all of the right moves, with smooth server connections, constant development updates, as well as friendly developers who listen to gamer feedback. It also has a much nicer player base in general, when compared to toxic player-based games such as Rust (although there are still some malcontents here and there). I wouldn’t be surprised that if in the near future Miscreated surpasses the likes of DayZ in terms of popularity and significance. It’s already well on its way.
Miscreated offers some absolutely splendid visuals. However, you have to have an equally fast gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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