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Not So MMO: Fear the Wolves – A First Look at Early Access

By Christopher Bowman on September 14, 2018 | Columns | Comments

Fear the Wolves – A First Look at Early Access

Chernobyl, the site of one of the worst nuclear catastrophes in all of human history. The reactor melted down and caused an area of about a thirty km radius to become highly irradiated, and is still that way today. No living human can live there anymore, but what does still live there? Check out our thoughts on Fear the Wolves.

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From Developer Vostok Games and Publisher, Focus Home Interactive comes what most people think is the new Russian PUBG. I have had some time to play Fear and we will take a look at its good and bad points. From the outside looking in, you can definitely say this is a battle royale game in the same vein as Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, but you would be quick to change your opinion on how much it felt like PUBG after playing it for a bit. Like a traditional battle royale that we play today, you are dropped from some sort of vehicle, in this case, a helicopter, into the irradiated hot zone of Chernobyl. You will parachute to the ground after leaping from the chopper, and quickly realize the utter mistake it was.

In Fear, once you hit the ground everything goes wrong for you no matter what. Whether you are attacked by a close dropping player, attacked by wildlife (yes there are mutant wolves in the game currently), or being hit by irradiated pockets of zone (replaces the blue zone from PUBG). If you survive the initial insertion into the map then you have your next mission, find weapons and protection. The weapons are pretty standard Russian make pistols and machine guns while the protection comes in the form of air tanks and gas masks to protect you from the radiation.

Your foe in this game is obviously the other players, however, there are also mutated wolves who would like to destroy you. The thing about the wolves though, they don’t act right. What do I mean? Simply put they seem to attack as singles and not as a pack, even though there are three of them near you in most cases. You can avoid them by quickly running into a house. If you have a pistol it takes about six shots to kill one of them. They run in odd patterns if you can call them patterns, and the AI just doesn’t seem to measure up to expectations.

This leads to the next concern I have, the loot tables. As far as I have seen in my gameplay attempts there have been very few variations in weapons. Perhaps I am just landing in the wrong spots, but I have not found anything beyond pistols and a micro SMG. This is very troubling to me. Granted this game is in early access and I know they have improvements planned later on down the road, but these types of things make the game feel unfinished to me.

As far as the battles themselves are concerned, when you fire your gun at someone it goes right to where you shoot. This makes it very even as far as guns are concerned about leaving no room for any skill in the game like PUBGs bullet dynamics. All you have to do is have the quicker aim and you can take down the enemy players with little to no trouble. I took some guys down with headshots with little to no effort. So if you like the kind of games that require little to no skill to play, then play this one.

There are vehicles in the game as well. They are older version vehicles leftover from the time of the Chernobyl incident. They are broken down in look and slow in driving. The turning for the vehicles is very stiff, while the speed of the vehicles themselves have you wanting more. My first takedown was a vehicle takedown but that was after driving circles around a guy for about two minutes. Very, very slow paced driving encounters.

I for one am glad that I don’t have to rate this game currently because this is early access and not a full game launch. This game has its flaws, but it also has some great potential if the devs can get everything working properly. Overall I think that Fear the Wolves needs a lot of TLC to be ready for people to play on a large scale, and I wonder about the release into early access when this game needs so much work. Because I see the potential of where this game can go I will definitely be following the updates and pick it back up to try again later down the road.

Pros

  • Takes you to Historic Chernobyl Area
  • Good Potential for a Battle Royale

Cons

  • AI is buggy for NPCs
  • Graphically inferior to other Games
  • Needs more technical work