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Home » Fear the Wolves Review – An Interesting Concept Plagued by a Few Issues

Fear the Wolves Review – An Interesting Concept Plagued by a Few Issues

Fear the Wolves
Vostok Games/Focus Home Interactive

Since the downfall of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, many gamers (myself included) have been looking for a glorious successor to replace its seat as king of the battle royales. But that’s not an easy task. It’s hard to be able to pull off having one-hundred players simultaneously shooting it out over highly detailed, gorgeous maps.

When it originally debuted and hadn’t yet been the hacker’s paradise it has become these days, PUBG was a phenomenal experience. It was a fairly simple but ingenious concept—one-hundred combatants parachute in on a gigantic map full of rolling hills, dense forests, and quaint towns, and have to scavenge for weapons in order to murder everyone (or squad) around them.

Since then, many gaming developers have been scrambling to try to make a battle royale game that could even remotely capture some of that magical PUBG cracknip. No one has yet succeeded.

Vostok Games recently gave it their best shot with their radiation-infused attempt, Fear the Wolves. When I first heard about Fear the Wolves months ago (before its entry into Early Access), I thought that its premise sounded pretty intriguing. The videos coverage of it also looked promising. Some of its key promotional details included:

The basics: 20+ guns, 25+ attachments, 15+ armours, air drops, consumables, and much more

PvE: Wolf packs stalk players and are a deadly threat, while anomalies from the disaster must also be avoided to survive.

One Map: 25km2 map in the ruins surrounding Chernobyl, with rivers, forests, destroyed towns, hidden army camps, and much more.

Dynamic, vote-based weather system: The weather of Chernobyl is constantly changing – you’ll face clear days, harsh winds, thunderous storms, and more, all voted for by the players spectating a match.

Time passes: As a match continues, morning will turn to noon and finally dusk as you make your extraction.

Vehicles: Dilapidated but functional jeeps dot the landscape of Fear the Wolves, a loud and obvious but speedy way to escape dangerous areas.

Radiation: Radiation infects the battlefield at random, spreading unevenly, and offering different threats depending on intensity.

The Extraction: Escape each map in a dramatic finale as you fight the other last players standing to extract via helicopter

What this all basically translates into is an irradiated version of PUBG, but with the radiation gradually invading random patches of the map instead of encroaching in a circular pattern. It also has an odd random weather generation system.

Throughout each match, players can vote on what sort of random weather they’d like to see appear during a match. So, if people suddenly wanted a windstorm or rainstorm, for instance, if enough players vote for either one—POOF!—they’ve got them.

And instead of PUBG’s main Russian-themed woodland map, Fear the Wolves is played across a sprawling map of the cheery Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Throw in some random anomalies, fresh-hungry wolves (which you should fear, get it?), and you’ve got a semi-original spin on the PUBG formula.

One of the major issues I discovered with Fear the Wolves was simply trying to get a game going. Due to technical issues such as frame drops, poor optimization, and perhaps shoddy marketing, the game’s servers aren’t exactly filled to the brim with players. It took me over twenty minutes to get into a game. Each match can only launch with a minimum of forty players, and that’s exactly what we had when my first match kicked off.

I did notice some initial frame stuttering and even a few freeze-frames. As I ran around and scoured the desolate Chernobyl Exclusion Zone for survival equipment, I noticed how detailed the environments are. Once I got my grubby mitts on an assault rifle and became entangled in some rather messy firefights, I got a taste of the gunplay. The weapons feel pretty decent, weighty to an extent, and their sounds are well rendered, if a little tinny in spots.

In the end, I feel that Fear the Wolves isn’t quite up to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. level of addictive hijinks that the developers have attempted to link it to. However, that could change in the future. Vostok has plans to launch the full game in 2019.

In the meantime, they’d like to introduce new weapons, vehicles, and the ever important vaulting mechanic with the first update. From there, they plan on adding in new types of mutants, more dynamic and deadly weather patterns, and a new map.

We’ll just have to see if they can pull all of this off in time, or if the ever-fickle gaming masses will flock to something new.

SCORE: 73%

Fear the Wolves features great graphics that make its battle royale gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

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