The Stomping Land, surviving in a world of dinosaurs. Can someone really live and survive with hungry carnivores running wild and other humans out to get you? Well that is what this game is about. People are comparing the game to a “DayZ With Dinosaurs” but that’s a good thing. DayZ is popular right? Well I am betting that The Stomping Land will become just as popular, that is, if the developers implement what they say they are going to implement. As it stands right now, the game is in early access alpha on version 0.5.0.3 which is not even close to a release candidate. So from the time of writing this review to the final product, I am sure many things will change. This review is based on as it the game is right now.
The game is fairly basic right now as you would expect. The main objective is of course to survive but being a sandbox game, it’s how you do that that is the fun part. The Stomping Land is much better when playing with friends as when you play solo on a multiplayer server, expect to be killed or captured very quickly. I believe that the PVP aspect of the game is so high right now because you can build everything in the game in about 30 mins then there really isn’t anything else to do but either go kill dinosaurs or go kill people along with trying to survive. To survive you need to eat. There are 4 stages of hunger – No hunger, slight hunger (light gray indicator), Hunger (dark gray indicator), and starving (red indicator).At this time no one has figured out the timing of each stage but I am guessing it has to do with what you are doing along with time.
To start your crafting you need to gather items, go to rocks and trees and attack them with your axe. You will pick up 1 item of what you are gathering, drop that on the ground and do it again until you have what you need. When you drop multiple items on the ground they go into a chest automatically. You can drag up to 20 items in a chest where ever you go. As for building, it is all done through the action menu right now by interacting with the chest. The craftables will only show up if you have the right amount of items. If you build something that only requires 2 items, but you have 10 in your chest, it will consume all of them.
As of 0.5.0.3 there are only 10 things to build and only 3 of them are base buildings. The Teepee, the totem and the cage. The teepee is where you respawn at. You can only have 1 per person and if you want to move or make a new teepee, you have to destroy your old one. The totem is where you can get your friends to join your tribe. I didn’t find any use for this yet other than making a cool looking totem. The totem is only for stats it seems at the moment and you can change your name and quote through the console though it seems to be disabled in game at the current time. The last building, the cage, is where you can keep prisoners or tamed dinosaurs. To tame a dinosaur you need a healing herb found in caves located throughout the map. To capture a prisoner, you need to craft a bolas (a rock on a rope) and trap them. You then drag them back to your cage and keep them there. A thing to note when building is that where ever you are facing, is where the building will build. So plan accordingly.
The weapons available so far are the bolas, spear, shield, and bow (along with your default axe) and you can create rope to replenish your bolas, and arrows to re-arm your bow. The shield does not work together with any other weapon and actually acts as a weapon in itself along with shielding attacks. The shield will get destroyed once it has been used up in a fight though. Bow & Arrows take quite a bit to master, and are a little buggy right now as they will collide with air and just be stuck floating. There are no graphical indication that you hit someone, only sound, so pay attention. The bow is definitely the best weapon to start off with in a fight to get some ranged damage before you get up to your opponent. Personally I found the best sequence is Bow -> Shield -> Spear when fighting dinosaurs, and Bow -> Spear for humans.
The map is very lush. It is a decent size map and by the looks of the console commands and loading, I am guessing they are planning more maps in the future. You can see a full map here as I have not found a way to open a map in game. The graphics are very detailed and look very good in 1920×1080. The shadows get a little bit of tearing when the sun is setting and you are running but other than that very clean and crisp. The detail of the humans and the tattoos are also decent. Animations could use some polishing especially in the jump category. Dinosaurs are quite detailed but pathing seems a bit off.
The sounds of the game are definitely needed to play. They are the major queues for everything at the moment. You can hear if someone is sneaking up on your base or attacking something in the distance. There is a good ambiance to the game but you need to learn to decipher the ambient sounds to actual important noise. It is a good way to track dinosaurs. You will learn what dinosaurs sound like and track them that way.
Overall the game feels unpolished but for what’s available it is a good start. It was definitely fun to play, a little frustrating not knowing what to do and things not working fully but I knew that going into it. I don’t know if I would recommend buying early access right now for $24.99 but they say that is what the price will be forever. I can see this game being big if the developers stick to their plan. It has the potential it just needs more. If you want to pick it up just click the “get it on steam” button at the bottom of the review!