Early access is a tough one for me; the fact that developers get their end goal of income, yet the consumer gets a half-ass game, doesn’t make much sense in my head. However, even with early access, Stranded Deep manages to deliver a lot of fun gameplay, showcasing a potentially terrific future.
Stranded Deep is a very ‘The Forest’-esque game, in which you survive a plane crash (never seen that before) and hop aboard a life raft into a randomly generated archipelago. Once landing onto shore, there are very limited resources upon your shockingly small new home. With only a paddle, a bottle of water, a pocket knife and a lighter to arm yourself with, you head out on an uncertain journey. As an early access build, the limit of different resources found on an island is around seven, but special items such as torches and axes can be found washed up on shore or in an underwater boat wreck.
There is no HUD on screen, so you might be wandering how you see your thirst, health and hunger? By holding the F key the player will raise their wrist, exposing a watch that displays the time alongside the other three key stats. All of this is very nicely textured, which is surprising considering the 400ish mb download size. Every animation that the player can conduct is smooth and accurate, and I was impressed by the detail at which some of the scenery was displayed; cutting trees in half to see the inner rings, for example.
After a couple of hours I had made myself a simple shelter, put together by a great crafting system; throw items on the floor and see what happens, it’s that simple. Alongside this, I created a fire pit, bed and a huge pile of coconuts harvested from palm trees – not to mention the shark meat harvested from seemingly harmless sharks I had slaughtered. By this point the game felt as if there was not much else for me to do in this first public build.
As you’d expect, there are a few bugs which lie in this current version of the game. Sharks sometimes can’t harm you, not matter how close you get. The primary game breaking bug, which one of the two developers of the game has pointed out, is that when you travel to a new island you discover that whatever raft you take disappears when entering a new biome. A bit sad, especially when you’d already placed your favourite football companion, Wilson, on the raft – he actually exists as an easter egg. Who knows, perhaps Tom Hanks might make an appearance in an upcoming update, too. However, this is the first version of the game to be released for the public and bugs have to be taken with a pinch of salt.
To conclude, this beautiful game is great for a couple of fun-filled hours, and a potential gem if the developers stick to it and play their cards right. The room for expansion for this title is endless. The roadmap of the future of the game lies on the Steam store page, featuring things like multiplayer, more wildlife and an end game scenario. Let’s hope to see updates soon, and happy exploring!
Developed by BEAM Team Games, you can take out your personal life boat straight away and purchase the game on Steam for £10.99/$14.99. If you get the game, make sure to let us know what you think in the comments below this article.