As I circulated through queues of Steam games to get my holiday Steam trading cards (something you should totally do!) I came upon a game called The Isle.
Promising an open-world, survival experience involving dozens of players grouped within three playable factions and scattered across a mysterious island filled with dinosaurs…I was intrigued, to say the least. As I scrolled through the the screenshots and spouted off the names of the dinosaurs to my monitor like I was on some sort of quiz show, a little red flag waved itself in my mind’s eye: The Isle sounded a lot like The Stomping Land, a game that promised the same sort of experience that The Isle does, but ended up being one of 2014’s biggest game-related disappointments when the game’s developer took the game’s Kickstarter money and vanished.
I, along with many other players, were soured by our experience with The Stomping Land. Even though The Isle isn’t at all related to The Stomping Land (it’s actually is a passion project by one of the developers behind Primal Carnage a popular team-based, man vs. dinosaur, shooter), I still am a little on guard about the whole situation.
Since The Isle’s December 1st release onto Steam Early Access, the game has accumulated a “Very Positive” rating from around 300 Steam reviews. That, along with the developer’s regular patches and game updates, does inspire a good deal of hope for the future of the game.
In The Isle players can choose to play as one of three different groups of characters. As carnivorous dinosaurs players will trample through the island’s jungles, hunting for prey, defending their pack, and evolving their strengths. Playing as cannibals allow players to be sneaky and utilize primitive weaponry to the best of their abilities. While playing as a mercenary gives players plenty of firepower to take down almost any challenge they come across.
Speaking of challenges, the developers are on a mission to make The Isle as challenging as possible.
As they develop the game The Isle Development Team (as they are named on Steam) said that they will monitor how players develop strategies and tactics to overcome some of the game’s challenges, and will develop direct counters to those concepts.
The Isle is still in Early Access, but the development team has plans for over thirty dinosaur types (currently there are six in the game), virtual-reality integration, full mod support, and a thriving island filled with complex A.I. ecosystems.
You can check out The Isle on Steam Early Access, for PC. Mac and Linux versions are forthcoming.