The Wild Eight is a stylized low poly, survival game created by Eight Points and published by HyperTrain Digital and is one of the few successful Kickstarter games that I’ve seen and played that has caught my attention and had me hooked. The description for this game listed it as a unforgiving and they were right, I died probably 15 -20 times during my first playthrough of the game from a mixture of freezing to death, to being eaten by wolves you name it I probably died because of it. But even with death looming and the rage building, the game still managed to keep me interested and gripped to the controls. Now I don’t like survival games like “Ark: Survival Evolved” or “The Forest” but I really enjoyed this title, maybe it was something with its choice of artstyle or the simplistic but deep crafting system or maybe even the annoying animals that liked to roam the ever expansive Alaskan wilderness. But I enjoyed exploring and although I died a bunch, I still felt as though I could recover. So onto the full review.
So the game itself is rather simple, you wake up as the lone (or one of the several) survivor/s of a plane crash in the cold Alaskan wilderness and are forced to combat with hunger and the cold that just wants to freeze your small polygonal body solid. When you start you are given a small amount of food and a tent or “shelter” as it is called in the game, to begin your journey and it is up to you to survive and figure out why you plane crashed in the first place, as you explore the wilderness you will slowly gather more resources and eventually start to find that surviving this hellish landscape can be quite easy if you keep yourself stocked up with food. But what really makes this game interesting is its character and procedurally generated environments.
In the game you can choose between 8 different characters; Anna, Robin, Cole, William, Chang, Vivian, Jeffery and Oliver. Each of these 8 characters has a different set of abilities and perks which makes them suited for different roles in a team if you decide to play the multiplayer with your friends, they also serve to help those playing the singleplayer to gauge what you might want to focus on when you get into the game itself. When I started I played Vivian as she has the lovely ability to be able to gain more resources from trees and stone whilst also allowing you a higher chance of getting a critical hit against a target, and so for me she was quite a rounded out character and allowed me to focus on gathering food whilst not having to worry about running out of essential resources and not having to worry about getting mauled by wolves in the beginning sections of the game if I was careful.
The other characters also have interesting abilities, William, the recommended character for the game, takes less damage and doesn’t suffer as much in the cold as the other characters would. This is a great character for beginners because the cold in this game is probably one of the hardest aspects to combat even with the armour you can craft, you still find yourself having to constantly be building fireplaces all over the place as you try to combat the ever-present cold.
The game also features procedural generation within its environment and thus every single playthrough will be slightly different as you explore countless version of the same Alaskan wilderness, this does mean however some structures and key story buildings could be either significantly closer or further away depending on how lucky you are with your world. So moving along with the story, the game has a surprisingly good one, one that can either slowly unravel as you wander the wilderness slowly stumbling upon buildings and plot points or can potentially progress quite fast if you rush to each plot point. However if you’re attempting the second method b prepared for a rough journey and make sure to have the best armour and weaponry you can gather because it gets crazy as you progress further into the story.
So now that you have an idea of what the game has in store, the obvious question is what do I think of it? Well that’s a great question and one I’d be happy to answer.
The game is great, visually, the low poly artstyle and general lighting and procedural generation of the environment looks great and really adds to the idea that this wilderness is random and expansive. In terms of gameplay and story, the gameplay is fun all be it sometimes repetitive however it still felt enjoyable even if I had to run to my dead body 5 or 6 times in order to get my inventory back. Story-wise, like I’ve said it can progress solely on whether you either actively pursue it or let it appear as you progress through the game at your own pace, with my game I did a bit of both. Pursuing the storyline whilst also ensuring I was surviving and had the ability to restock if I died during my exploration of underground facilities and chemical plants. Just be careful of werewolves, they are deadly…
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