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Bloodborne meets Days Gone in huge free open-world RPG that'll take you 50 hours to traverse

Ewan Moore

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Bloodborne meets Days Gone in huge free open-world RPG that'll take you 50 hours to traverse

Featured Image Credit: Starry Studio

I think by now we’ve all learned that bigger doesn’t always mean better. But If I could whistle, I would have whistled through my teeth when I sat down to play Once Human and saw the size of the game’s map.

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The upcoming MMORPG shooter is, in a word, massive. In two words, it’s stupidly massive. In three words, it’s really stupidly massive. In four wo- well, you get the idea.

One of the first things developer and publisher Starry Studio did when I sat down to play a build of the game was open the map. I scrolled out. And I scrolled out some more. The damn thing just keeps going, and could be one of the biggest open worlds I’ve ever seen. I asked how long it would take to cross, and was told approximately 50 hours if you traveled the width of it in a straight line, which you actually can’t do, so probably much longer.

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Once Human is best described as the freakish love child of Fallout and Days Gone, with a healthy splash of Bloodborne. The Lovecraftian influences are clear in the game’s spindly, eldritch horrors which have formed from everyday objects thanks to a cosmic disaster that has left the Earth in shambles.

Buses have turned into giant spidery monsters, street lights have grown legs and can freeze you on the spot with their glare, and humans have become mindless monsters. What’s a person to do? Shoot everything and loot their corpses, obviously.

Once Human is, first and foremost, an MMORPG. That means there’s a healthy focus on jolly cooperation, and an emphasis on working together to take down larger and more powerful monsters and dungeons scattered across the world. With that said, Starry Studio understands not everyone has friends or likes people, so it is possible to solo most of the game if you want, or even just join up with players you never have to see again via a matchmaking system.

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During my brief time with the game it was kind of hard to really get a feel for it. I ran around a little bit, found some points of interest, and shot at some monsters. It doesn’t feel especially different to any of the other MMORPGs out there, but I also appreciate it’s not really easy to click into the gameplay loop of a game on this scale in under 20 minutes. What I can say is it looks great, the monster designs are excellent, and the map appears to have enough to do to justify its ludicrous size, which is of course paramount.

Once Human / Credit: Starry Studio
Once Human / Credit: Starry Studio

There are also settlements to explore and various minigames, including fishing, so there’s an awful lot on offer here. A lot of the team’s ambitions put me in mind of The Day Before, but even from 20 minutes of Once Human it was clear this is not one of those situations. For one thing, Starry Studio’s game actually works.

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Once Human is going to be a free-to-play game with live service elements, though Starry Studio insists there will be no pay-to-win elements. How a video game handles its live service features can, of course, be the difference between it living and dying, so we’ll have to wait and see how Once Human’s economy develops.

Once Human will launch later this year via Steam, and Starry Studio is keen to work alongside the community to help the game and its world grow and evolve. Certainly, if it can find the right balance between scope and offering players enough things to actually see and do, this could be your next MMORPG obsession.

Topics: Indie Games, Bloodborne, Days Gone

Ewan Moore
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