We all have a survival instinct and many of us like to pretend our survival abilities are superior. Truth is, this tends not to be the case. We have become a tad soft due to our creature comforts. On top of that not many of us are willing to give living in the wilderness a try. To fill this survival fantasy we can turn to games and so I put myself to the test and played Eco.
Lets Talk Eco
Eco strands you on an empty world with only 30 days to turn this wilderness into a civilization capable of stopping a meteor. During this process though you must not destroy the ecosystem and make sure you think of the needs of the wildlife rather than just yourself. To help with this large task you can play with other players . Though this could be a hindrance more than helpful.
Turning the wilderness into a civilization is as difficult as it sounds, after two hours all I had to show for my time was four walls. Though with the meteors arrival not due for over 29 days there is no pressure to be fast. This calm beginning was nice as I felt no pressure to rush and was given time to get to grips with the game. This is necessary as some tasks can see a tad over complicated. In the past on similar games after half an hour I already have a hut with an accompanying camp fire. With Eco I still am not even sure how to make a roof!
This complexity has lead me to feel indecisive about Eco. Half of me loves the complexity making it seem more like a challenge. In reality survival wouldn’t be easy and Eco captures that sense of slowly learning. The other half of me felt defeated comparing my progress in Eco to that of other games. Everything felt so unnecessarily complex and confusing.
This World Is My World
After you name your world you are thrown straight into it. You start with a multitude of tasks to complete. These tasks are set to teach you how to navigate Eco but in honesty what I was being taught felt unnecessary at the time and no way will I remember it later! Some tasks were useful, they taught building and how to eat. Others seemed a bit redundant at that moment in time. This made the games introduction seem long and tedious, I just wanted to get crafting.
I started to ignore the tasks and went exploring, the world itself was impressive. There was a variety of terrain and tree types. Eco is in early access but already it has visual charm, the animals in the world are brilliant. While some details need to be fixed – such as the water physics- Eco is already on its way to being visually stunning.
After my exploration I decided to start setting up a home and work tirelessly to try create a grand abode. My I was being overzealous but I wanted to make my mark…I failed. After creating my walls there was no guidance and I felt lost. Eco went from holding my hand way to much then pushing me in a lake and demanding I swim. So I did what any normal person would do and hunted a dear for ten minutes. In the end it got away.
There Is Still More To Develop
As Eco is in early access there will be more developments and it can only get better. Personally I would like to see a change to the tutorial system to make it more spread out. There are a few glitches to mend as sometimes what I had crafted was invisible and some tasks took way to long. To chop a tree, for example, requires multiple steps. It took a minute to make it fall to the ground, but then it had to be chopped in to pieces several times. This was a bit numbing of an experience when it takes so much to wood to make a wall.
In all Eco was a thoroughly challenging game but I am not sure if that is in a bad way or not. While I may currently be on the fence about Eco it still has time to win me over. It is defiantly something I will be continuing as I strive to see the transformation the world can go through. If Eco sounds right up you alley I recommend playing it, see what you like and give feedback so that it can be made better. If you are a little on the fence, wait a while before you play. The worst thing would be to jump into early and be put off by the imperfections!