Darwin Project’s open beta is worth a look for battle royale fans

This genre is clearly just getting started

Darwin Project didn’t leave much of an impression on me back at E3, but now that the multiplayer survival game is running an open beta for the weekend, I figured it was due another look.

Set around the post-apocalyptic Canadian Rockies, it’s a deadly reality show in which 10 players compete against each other and their harsh environment, laying traps and trying to stay warm.

“In other games, the most fun part of the experience is when you’re fighting other players, but this represents less than 10 percent of the match,” says writer Vance Musgrave.

To keep the action flowing throughout the match, Scavengers Studio gives players a few tools to see what everyone else is up to. A few examples: player-made fires are highly visible, footprints can be tracked, and harvested resources leave clues that temporarily reveal the player’s position on the map.

There’s also Mixer (and planned Twitch) functionality built right into the game’s core design. Stream viewers can place live bets on individual Darwin Project players, and the eye-in-the-sky Show Director can actively help or hurt participants. “He/She is the host and master who controls the arena with nuclear bombs, zone closures, gravity storms, and the power of their voice.”

Some interesting ideas for the increasingly-crowded battle royale genre, to be sure.

The open beta is live on Steam and will continue until Sunday, January 21 at 9:00pm Pacific. Scavengers Studio plans to go through Steam Early Access and bring Darwin Project to Xbox One.

Play Darwin Project – Open Beta [Steam]

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Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.
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