Week of May 16th 2019 – Durango: Wild Lands

This week NEXON released a high-production value crafting and survival game. After a *place catastrophic event here* players are in a parallel universe where they need to build their base, craft their food and interact with other players.

Players are on an island, and must gather various materials, craft items, complete missions and fight or capture dinosaurs. The game features a tremendous amount of details, stats, and provides a really complete (when not straight up overwhelming) experience for the player.

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How many different types of skewer (and stats) are there in Durango?

 

 

Basically, think a higher production value, deeper version of Last Day on Earth: Survival. With dinosaurs. Below 3 things that stand out about the title

1) High production value

From the start, the game emphasizes the quality of visuals and animations. The intro video has some of the best visuals you can come across on mobile. Dialogues feature actor audio and makes for a really compelling and experience

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The level of detail is one of the main strengths of the game. You can zoom in or out quite a bit. It runs really well and it’s quite a technological achievement.

 

Looking at the list of top grossing games it’s immensely clear high production value and console-level visuals are not prerequisite for success. But begin able to offer such a high level of polish and production value makes the game stand out – in general, and also compared to Last Day on Earth: Survival. Probably the most direct competitor (and more successful so far). Not much more to say here: the game looks good.

 

2) Crafting and skills

As players wander around on the island, they gather resources, craft items, fight dinosaurs and much more.

To go along with all those activities, the game really doubles-down on the complexity side of things. There is a total of 8 key stats. Stats determine the level of abilities – there is a total of 29 abilities (all the abilities don’t fit into the same screen).

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In addition, players craft clothes and weapons which they can equip them to various slots. There is a total of 12 different skills that help the player complete their various in-game actions. Each skill has its own tree and players upgrade skills as they play and level up.

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Needless to say, there is really a lot to take in.

3) Dinosaurs and survival

There are a few games out there that leveraged the dinosaur thematic pretty well – Jurassic World and Dino Hunters are the ones that come to mind the most. Fighting dinosaurs (with you bare hands no less!) or seeing huge dinosaurs wander in the wild is a big selling point for the game. You can also tame and ride dinosaurs if you’re more of the collector type.

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It’s not quite clear why there are dinosaurs in this parallel universe / desert island. But for the dinosaur fan, this game should be satisfying. As in any game, thematic is crucial here. Since Last Day on Earth: Survival is the most important competitor here, the main question here is to what extent are dinosaurs more appealing than post-apocalyptic zombies? More specifically, to what extent are dinosaurs more appealing than post-apocalyptic zombies for an audience interested in survival crafting games.

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