Review Icarus – Too Close to the Sun

Back in April, I was able to do an interview with Dean Hall of RocketWerkz. Maker DayZ currently heads her own studio, with Icarus like its Biggest offer so far. A survival game set in a vast world, Icarus ambitious in size, scale and scope. I actually found these concepts interesting at first. Unfortunately, the “finished” product is plagued by numerous bugs, glitches, and problematic designs.

Ours Icarus Rating is mainly based on offline/solo gameplay. My character is currently level 30 and I still haven’t completed some late game quests. However, I have noticed a lot of issues that have ruined the experience.

The arrogance of mankind

The name tell everythings, Icarus is about human folly. Set in the distant future, space travel entrepreneurs have discovered a planet named Wolf 1061. Initially, the attempt to renovate the planet was successful until a substance known as Wolf 1061. Exotic Matter leads to an ecological disaster.

While the initial regions and biomes of the first generation/section will remind you of Earth, the others are considerably more dangerous. Those areas are full of flora and fauna, both unnatural and exotic. Then again, I still haven’t seen those areas in my playthrough.

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Craft and survive in Icarus

Instead, what I’ve mainly noticed is that the features and mechanics are the same as most other survival and crafting games. When you come to this planet, you will see some HUD elements that suggest that you need supplement your oxygen and quench your thirst. Likewise, you will hunt and skin animals, then use meat and other ingredients to cook. You will cut trees, mine ore, collect herbs, and other things. Finally, you can build a small shelter as a base of operations.

If this sounds weird, it’s because Icarus‘private crafting doesn’t make much sense when you consider the setup. In general, the game is built with a futuristic sci-fi framework in mind (i.e. terraforming new planets and using drop ships). But, for some reason, your character, an inspector searching for riches on this unknown land, somehow has no clue about the essentials of survival. For example, how to create wooden walls, thatched roofs, or stone tools. It sounds like your character has just curated their application to the space program without ever learning the basics.

Indeed, these crafting blueprints can only be unlocked in the tech tree by focusing (there is also another tree for talents/perks). Since you can’t reset the points you’ve allotted, sometimes you get something that’s hard to use. You will have no choice but to continue collecting, farming, hunting and crafting some other things to earn XP and level up.

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Repeated tedium

One of the main reasons why you might feel frustrated in the first place Icarus is its session-based core game system. There are about 40 Prospect missions in the game, and each mission has specific goals such as scanning the area, hunting down a specific target, or picking up a piece of equipment. The goal is to complete these missions and return to your dropship to get rid of the planet. If you can do this before the session timer expires, your character continues. If you can’t escape in time, your character and all unlocked blueprints/talents will be gone.

The session timer is quite extensive (lasts about a week). The downside is that every time you start these quests, you’re essentially starting over. Even if you take some materials and resources with you when you escape, the next run means you’ll repeat the same initial steps. You go back to picking up sticks and stones, getting berries, mining ore, and the like. Imagine you have to go through these steps over the course of 40 tasks and you will realize how tedious the process becomes.

However, there is a way for you to alleviate your woes: another tree for the Orbital Workshop. This unlocks tools that can be carried as part of the loadout when you begin the mission. Unfortunately, the currency to unlock them can only be obtained when playing online. If you are playing offline like me, there is a bug prevent you from receiving rewards.

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Icarus there are a lot of bugs and problems

In addition to the offline mode that does not award monetary rewards, Icarus there are some bugs and glitches that can be very annoying. There are missions that don’t really have a mission, so you’ll be wondering what to do until you decide to leave the planet. Some are downright quirky, such as the bears that happily climb ridges and cliffs that resemble flat terrain, as well as the deadly Carnivores in Kill List Destroy Quest trapped in its cave. Speaking of bears, these beasts and other creatures spawn right on top of the sweep target during missions like Livewire terrain scan and Scanning spotlights. It’s even stranger once you visit arctic biome for tasks like Icestorm Expedition. There are wild animals that are significantly higher levels than your character (i.e. levels 90 to 100).

Similarly, there is another one called Waterfall Exploration. It requires you to build objects on a specific area to cross a mountainside. It took me a while to figure this out because the goal wasn’t fulfilled. During one of my attempts, I accidentally placed a lighthouse on a cliff. It turned out to be impossible to pick up again, crashing the whole quest and forcing me to restart from scratch.

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Accessibility and ease of use are also being considered. There’s no hotkey to quickly get all the items in a container or corpse, so you have to rely on a tiny cursor to click the alternative option. Furthermore, there are countless talents, recipes, and blueprints. Unfortunately, you won’t see a tooltip or an interactive search box that can quickly tell you the location of certain belongings or perks. You get information that you need item-X, but you’ll have to hover over a lot of things just to find what you’re looking for.

Coincidentally, a specific quest called Deep Vein Mining requires you to obtain Exotics, but the device itself cannot be crafted even after learning it in the tech tree. Worse yet, after a pretty recent hotfix, the tooltip now says “talent required” without telling you what that is. As confusing as it sounds, it seems that the object is not needed at all as Exotics can be mined with a simple stone pickaxe.

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More questionable decisions

If not, then certain design choices will come your way. These include turbulent weather patterns that, for the most part, restrict you to hiding in your shelter to avoid exposure. If you die from wildlife or come into contact with wildlife, there are punish XP for solo players. If you are on the same team, then your friends can revive you. However, if you are alone, death will greatly reduce your XP and you will stay “in the red” until you accumulate enough to reach the previous value. During my interview with Hall, I learned that the plan for solo players with the means of getting a faction’s sponsorship would revive them at the cost of resources. Sadly, as far as I can tell, the live version doesn’t have that functionality.

Furthermore, there is another mode called Outpost. This is mainly for people who want to unleash their creativity. There is no session timer, which means you don’t need to exit the planet. You can only build strongholds at your leisure. The problem is that Outpost mode has no quests, which means there’s nothing to do and you can’t get the Orbital Workshop rewards either. There is also a lack of dangerous animals, so you will only fight deer and other herbivores. Again, this doesn’t really make much sense since the map is smaller and you can’t get Workshop keys.

In a way, Outpost mode allows you to tie your creations and facilities to development costs. Meanwhile, Prospect quests lead to progression, but you’ll hardly feel attached to anything you build. Because you’re doing a separate task at a time, you won’t mind building extensively. Similarly, there’s no point in wasting too much time on a location/base that will be wiped out when the session timer expires. It would have been better if RocketWerkz decided to introduce larger areas/biomes, with multiple quests that you could tackle in different areas (like an open world game). The session timer can be disabled for the “central” area, which is activated only when you are on a task. This is to create lasting engagement for your creations in these areas, as opposed to deleting once and then doing the same collecting/building missions all over again. in consecutive operations.

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Icarus at a technical glance

From a graphical point of view, I really don’t have much to worry about Icarus. I have an Nvidia RTX 3080, Intel i9-10900K, and 32GB of RAM, allowing me to run the game at the highest settings. Lush forests, verdant fields, calm streams and majestic mountains all leave you in awe. Frozen landscapes and windswept deserts, while dangerous, also immerse you. The sound is quite good and you can hear the howls of wolves and the roars of other animals in the distance.

However, I should add that Icarus there is a noticeable drop in frame rate. Some happen right after I take a screenshot (as is the case with Steam games), while others are more serious. In the Arctic biomes, you can see drops below 20fps, turning your adventure into a PowerPoint slide show. Incidents are also very annoying. Even if they happen rarely, you may find yourself starting over from the beginning of the mission if you are playing offline. This happens even though the game tells you that the last autosave was only a few seconds ago.

Maybe I have another interesting thing, while Icarus has a beautiful and amazing background with graphics on the highest settings, it certainly doesn’t have the variety of enemies. You may be in awe of the environment, but you are still fighting wild animals from Earth. (I’ll assume they can still breathe oxygen, which causes your human character to periodically replenish oxygen.)

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Too close to the sun

In any case, the image is the only thing in Icarus that intrigued me. Base building is completely unforgettable while on the quest (you are more likely to build smaller shelters with basic functions). Even then, you’ll need to keep doing this again for each run. Crafting mechanics, meanwhile, are similar to other games – truth be told, you should play No Man’s Sky if you want a sci-fi survival game with crafting elements. We could see new additions (i.e. alien plants, strange animals, and vehicles) in future episodes/seasons. However, as we have noticed from Version of the Supporter, this may be paid DLC.

As for everything else, there are now too many problems that have proven to be detrimental to my enjoyment after more than 25 hours of gameplay. From bugs and glitches to inexplicably poor mechanics, it’s hard to recommend Icarus At this stage.

Even with the lengthy beta process and delays, this still feels like an unfinished Early Access game, releasing in December just to coincide with the holiday season. It seems the group wants something highly ambitious and hero-like from Greek Mythology, Icarus fly too close to the sun. However, if you want to give it a try, you can check it out guide and central feature.

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