Gaming editor Sam Nason recounts the mass-layoffs at Telltale Games and explores the implications for the industry going forwardWritten by Sam Nason on 3rd November 2018
Hands On Worlds Adrift At 150ft Above London
Redbrick Gaming send intrepid games journalist Tom Martin high into the skies above London to try out the latest sky ship adventure
World’s Adrift, the ambitious new game from Bossa Studios (Surgeon Simulator, I am Bread), recently entered the Steam Early Access program. To celebrate, Bossa hosted a ‘world’s first’ two-day event at Chelsea College of Arts, London, where players were invited to try out the game while suspended 150ft. in the air aboard a ship which seemed as if it had come straight out of the game.
I arrived early on the second day of the event and was ushered into a small tent which was set up adjacent to the main event. Inside, developers were being interviewed by various outlets and streamers in front of a lavish backdrop of concept art from the game that did a great job of preparing new players (such as myself) for the world of the game. Shortly after this we were taken to the ‘ship’, strapped in and lifted into the air. I didn’t too much chance to check the view in the sky, however, as the game itself required a lot of concentration.
Worlds Adrift is aesthetically brilliant, whilst admittedly the sun hampered my screen, it was still by all accounts a very pretty game with art reminiscent of Ubisoft’s Grow Home. The game’s open world is made up of thousands upon thousands of floating islands, from which the player can harvest resources and build an airship, which can then be used to further traverse the world. The game was startling in the freedom with which the player can build these ships, as they can be of any size or shape, with the only restrictions being the game's heavy focus on physics. This was one of the major challenges for a new player, learning that features of your ship will have an effect on its handling (which at very best was difficult), its fuel consumption and its speed.
As soon as the group overcame the challenge of getting their virtual ships off the ground, the game immediately became what I would essentially call Sky of Thieves. Mutiny was frequent, violence was everywhere. If I wasn’t eventually killed by a twitch streamer I’d never heard of, I would be eaten by an oversized, flying manta-ray, or smashed against the side of an island as I hung from the bottom of a ship via a grappling hook. Despite all the death, the charm of the game was more than evident. Tag-lined as a ‘community-crafted’ MMO by its developers, player are able to leave permanent marks upon the game, with every island created by the players via an accompanying free game; which made every action and reaction feel truly important and special.
The highlight of the day came as I finally got my hands on the steering wheel of my own ship, as I plotted a course and flew toward some unknown island I turned in my chair to look over London and reflect on what was in my opinion, a great experience and an extremely smart marketing choice by Bossa.