The first day of early access for Osiris: New Dawn has come and gone, and I survived to tell the tale of my first official adventures on Proteus 2. As we wrote back in our PAX West preview, Osiris is a smaller-scale MMO where players are in the dozens per server, not hundreds (at least not yet). That said, I quickly found that going solo or on a private multiplayer server is probably your best bet for now.
Like so many Early Access survival games with MMO-like features, Osiris’ rulesets are basically a free for all right now. I was playing early in the morning on the official servers before the masses came online, and built myself a nice dome, a nice container, and a handy forge. The dome is needed so you can save progress, and you only get one free dome kit when you first log into a server with a new character. It’s basically your starter house. Any more you need afterwards, you’ll have to craft.
So imagine my surprise when I logged in later yesterday evening to find that my house had been destroyed, along with all of my other items and structures. I quickly realized that until some more rules and restrictions are put into place on the public servers, you’re better off playing solo or on a private server with people you trust. Luckily you can do both. I made the private universe MMORPGPrime and was on my way.
Note that there are two factions in Osiris: the United Nations of Earth and the Outlanders. Blue and Red. The UNE are the “good guys” trying to unite mankind and cooperating in making humans a multi-planetary species. Meanwhile, the best faction, the Outlanders are a group of Space Pirates who believe space should remain a lawless and free territory for mankind. There are four classes, though only Scientist is available right now. There will also eventually be more planets, but players all start on Proteus 2 for now. Eventually, the goal is to have Outlanders begin on one planet whole the UNE begins on another, and the two factions work towards leaving their planets and clashing over territory a la Planetary Annihilation. As you can imagine, the concurrent players per server for that will be much bigger than the current two dozen (or less due to a temporary stability tweak).
Now, my current complaints about the Dog Eat Dog nature of Osiris’ official servers aside, I’m having a blast. I’ve often said that survival games shouldn’t be berry picking simulators, and you shouldn’t need to eat or drink every two seconds. Osiris does it right. You will need to eat and drink, but based on in-game days you have several cycles of the sun and moon before you’ll be starving or dying of thirst. The game starts you off with some water, and some food, and like Matt Damon’s The Martian it’s your goal to build a habitat and start your own way of life on Proteus before you run out of your meager supplies.
(Note: this is another reason I’d suggest private or solo play for now, as once you die you drop all your stuff and people are jerks. Bring on the PVE servers, please.)
Travel around the planet early on is tedious because you’ve got to hoof it. It’ll be some time before you have enough materials to make vehicles, so your early focus should be on finding materials close to home. It’s not too hard to find what you need, but be prepared to walk a lot, and if there’s a downside to private or solo servers it’s the fact that you’ll be doing that in a lonelier and less spontaneous nature than on the official MP servers.
Gunplay is tight though, even at this early stage. You can fire your rifle or pistol from yards away and hit something looming in the distance… which is both terrifying and awesome when a massive crawling monster then hurtles towards you at insane speeds. You can discover sandworms, colossal bugs, creepy crawling monsters that burrow under feet, and so on. They won’t always attack, but shoot at them and you’ve got a fight. Luckily, you can also bring your trusty sidekick robot with you… until you get him killed. So be careful.
Osiris: New Dawn sits at the apex of the top sellers list as I write this. This is a game made with love by three people, and while it’s not nearly complete it’s also so much better than most games in its genre by the simple fact that Fenix Fire seems willing to challenge the more mundane and boring aspects of the survival games and try to make them more fun. I have great hopes that lawless FFA PVP, domes getting destroyed, and other such annoyances will all be addressed in short order. ARK may be the king of these games right now, that much is true.
But I’ll be most anxiously playing, watching and waiting to see what Fenix Fire does with Osiris: New Dawn as it grows. I didn’t even mention how creepy, dark, and atmospheric the nights get. You’ll want to lock yourself in your dome when night comes. And while I start off with barely a rock to my name, it’s heartening to know that giant mechs, space ships, hover bikes, rovers, and more all await me as I learn to craft more stuff. Osiris has definitely got the basics down pat, now it just needs to build upon them and deliver the game Fenix Fire’s been dreaming up for years.