Although I thought I’d played just about every survival game on the market since first trying out the DayZ mod for Arma 2 (back in 2013), Deadside caught me by surprise. Even though it has apparently been out for a few years now, I’d never heard about it until recently. And the more I learned about it, the more intriguing it seemed until I just had to try it out.
For those who have played about 99% of the survival games out there, Deadside starts off in a similar manner for all newbies. You pick a server and commence to spawn in with minimal equipment. From there, you must scramble around the map so that you can try to find some basic resources as soon as possible. After this typical start, however, Deadside begins to differ from other games of this sort in several ways.
Firstly, loot in Deadside seems much easier to come by. About two minutes into my first game, I came across a cabin in the woods which contained a pistol along with ammo, and some other supplies. Also, this game’s world is populated by roving bands of AI combatants such as bandits and cannibals. This is in stark contrast to the usual zombies that you find in games like SCUM or DayZ.
For me, one of the best things about survival games, in general, are the spontaneous interactions that can occur when you encounter other human players. Thankfully, Deadside sports a VOIP system so that you can effectively communicate with other players if they are in your vicinity. This allows for some fun and emergent gaming moments as you try to talk with other like-minded players, or taught them as they chase after you (or vice-versa).
There are safe zones scattered across the map—here you can purchase specific weapons and other types of equipment (and sell stuff as well) from different AI vendors. These zones are non-combat areas so you can feel relatively safe while going about your various transactions.
One of the most surprising aspects of Deadside is the fact that you can take on different sorts of missions. These can be of varying difficulty levels. I found that if certain missions were too difficult to achieve, I’d seek out other human players to see if they’d like a cut of the rewards (if we survived that is). This aspect of Deadside can create some really tense moments that I haven’t experienced in other survival games because you can accomplish a mission with others and then see who (if anyone) is going to turn on who.
Deadside has a base-building system that is pretty easy to figure out. For the most part, pieces conveniently snap into place but to make construction more efficient, you’ll probably want to travel to a safe zone so that you can purchase the right tools for the job.
At this point of the game’s Early Access period, there is no base raiding allowed. I’m assuming Bad Pixel is probably trying to fill its servers up and probably doesn’t want to frustrate players by allowing for their bases to be raided while they are offline (they have stated that intend to add base raiding in at a later date).
Deadside are already looking great and it is certainly better looking than DayZ (a game that has a much larger budget, by the way). It’s also very well optimized and runs smoothly on my gaming PC, which is always a good sign, especially for Early Access titles.
The survival-crafting genre is a crowded one. Between DayZ, Rust, SCUM, Conan Exiles, and others, there’s a lot of competition already out there. However, if handed correctly, Deadside seems to have a lot of potential to stand out in the future. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled and fingers crossed.
Deadside has some pretty good looking graphics that make its survival 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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