Fear the Wolves, yet another BR title was just released in Steam’ Early Access. This one is from ex-STALKER developers, Vostok Games. So what’s this game angle? Duke it out in a radiation-ravaged Chernobyl, run from savage wolves and try to best 99 other players?
Ok, got it.
I’ve seen multiple videos on this and heard a few people talking about this game. It’s supposed to be a BR game that separates itself from the rest of the game. However, from what I’ve seen, the game has an uphill battle. There’s already a pile of negative reviews of the game on Steam, as well as Reddit. This has definitely been putting players off. Which in turn is hurting people who do have the game as the servers aren’t really populated.
During my gaming sessions, it took between 10-15 minutes to get a single game going. That’s because people would queue and then sit, ultimately leaving after a while. I watched as the player count would go up, then down, back up and down again. Mind you, I tried this on all of the available regions; NA, EU and AZ/OC.
There isn’t a lot of people playing the game at the moment. It could be the bad reviews could be causing the issue. Or the perhaps launching the game without any press, at the same time that another BR game is being released wasn’t a good idea. Not to mention that the other game has a lot of PR going right now, with multiple of streamers on both Twitch and Mixer playing the game. I haven’t seen a single person streaming this game.
Sitting at the match start-up screen for about 20 minutes for Fear the Wolves is definitely not a good sign. Sure, it's an early access game, but player join count constantly going up and down ;( #fearthewolves
— Shadowhaxor 'Notice me Senpai' (@Shadowhaxor) August 29, 2018
However, when I did finally manage to get into a game, it all looked very familiar. Starting location, check. Lots of people standing around, check. Yep, I’ve done this before. To the game’s credit, I do like how you’re not confined to just a single area and you can wander quite a bit from the starting area. I managed to see some of the ruined areas, found a tank and even managed to click on top of a massive water tank. I thought that was pretty cool. Other than that, everything else was pretty generic. The character customization has some nice options, despite being limited for now.
There’s no prone, which can make sneaking up on other’s problematic. The visuals are bland, even when maxing out the graphical settings. The game needs some optimization, as the game’s framerate was all over the place. Toss in some stuttering from time to time, and you got a recipe for disaster if you’re stuck in combat. That said, it is in Early Access, so I can’t ding it too much for that. There’s also a bit of a damage issue as well. During an encounter, I shot a player with a pistol in the neck and dead center for 2 shots and didn’t take him down. Meanwhile, he pummelled me with a fury of punches that killed me in seconds. Mind you, I had a helmet and full health. That’s pretty alarming that a handgun was defeated by a pair of fists.
However, my biggest issue is trying to find a game. Even now, I’m struggling to get into a game. That’s definitely not a good sign. If we can’t play the game, we can’t gather feedback.
Gameplay-wise, it really reminds me of PUBG. Now, I know this isn’t likely the direction that Vostak was going for, or maybe it is. Yet in the end, that’s all I’m seeing. The gameplay is similar, well minus the prone ability. You’ve got your buildings scattered across the map with gear and weapons inside them. Empty vehicles ripe for the taking, you’re being tossed out of a helicopter and well, you get the picture. The map gets smaller, just like in every other BR game. However, there is not a circle. Instead, areas of the map get flooded with radiation and you’re forced to flee those areas. Eventually, it does narrow down to a smaller area for the final stand and the winners evaculation, it just does so randomly.
So this is where I’m at right now. I’m highly frustrated that a game, even in Early Access, was released in a manner that you can’t even play it. Hell, I’d be happy with a single player exploration for now. Because the game has some serious sci-fi vibes going on. The constant threat of radioactive poisoning. Random rabid animals that spawn and the voting feature that killed off players can use to change the weather and other conditions for those still alive. And some really spooky looking trees. But what good is that if we can’t experience any of it?
The game definitely has some selling points, I’ll give it that. However, Vostok Games has some work to do if they want FTW to be successful. More than anything, it has to shake off that BR “Me Too” or it’s likely going to wind up buried under the other BR titans. Do some PR, get the game out there, and listen to the feedback. Don’t make this another Survarium.
Fear the Wolves is now on Steam Early Access. There’s no ETA on an official release date, but we can expect it sometime in 2019.