PREVIEW: Volcanoids (Coop update)

Jun
01

PREVIEW: Volcanoids (Coop update)

The long-awaited coop reaches Volcanoids in a new update, will it be able to improve an otherwise rather lacking game?

Released: Steam Early Access
Type: Singleplayer, Coop
Genre: Action
Developer: Volcanoid
Publisher: Volcanoid
Release Date: 29 Jan, 2019

Overview

Volcanoids is a steampunk action game where players can acquire, modify and use vehicles known as drillships: these are armoured excavators able to dig and move underground, eventually resurfacing when needed. This ability is particularly useful in the Volcanoids world, where a big volcano erupts at regular intervals, destroying everything it finds on the surface of the island where you’ll be playing.

The main game was previewed by Genkipro a while ago, and you can find his preview here. Thus, this preview main focus will be the coop aspect that got introduced in the last update, plus the state of the game at the current time.

Play with a Friend They Said, It Will Be Safer They Said

The coop mode lets you play Volcanoids with friends, while keeping the same PvE world of the singleplayer mode. While it could seem simplistic (and quite obvious) said this way, the coop mode just adds friends to the otherwise only Volcanoids game mode. Plus beds. There’s nothing more to the experience, besides playing with one or more friends, and while everything works from a technical point of view, the game shows that it was clearly designed as a singleplayer experience: bugs, strange behaviours and solutions to make some aspects of the game work in a multiplayer mode are everywhere, showing a general lack of commitment from the developers.

Having one player moving the drillship will result in the others having to deal with lag spikes and random teleportations inside the room they are in.

One of the most obvious absences of this coop mod is the impossibility for a team to own more than one drillship, which reduces the gameplay possibilities and honestly makes very little sense. It would’ve been really fun to have one drillship per player, racing to who gets the build the best one, but right no it is a big no from the game, along with other features that could’ve improved the coop mode greatly, like cooperative missions and such. All in all, those who liked Volcanoids before, will like it even more with friends, but if you plan to buy the game sorely for this update, you should keep on reading.

One Year and Not Showing It

Apart from the hit and miss of the coop mode, Volcanoids doesn’t really seem like a game that had more than one year of early access development. The lack of dedication in fixing even small problems can be found everywhere: from a clunky main menu to models without colliders, missing textures, incredibly low-resolution ones and so on… The game literally starts on a submarine on a shore, so if you jump into the water you’ll discover that not only you can’t swim, but that you can stay underwater indefinitely and you can also reach the map’s boundaries and cross them!

A lot of world objects, even the bigger ones, are missing their colliders.

You will often find buildings during your travels: these are only empty boxes, as they aren’t in any way interactive and useful. I won’t continue, but I’ll say that the funniest bunch of minutes I had on Volcanoids were those where me and my friend tried to find all the ways to break the game, and we found a lot. Besides that, combat, drillship travelling and the enemy AI remained the same during the course of the year, which means incredibly basic and, after a while, boring.

Verdict

Summing up, the Volcanoids coop update literally just adds friends to the otherwise singleplayer mode, without fixing most of the problems that the multiplayer mode brings to the game. When looking at the rest of the game instead, we can see how the majority of its original problems remain, along with its shallow and simplistic mechanics. Unless you really need to dive in its steampunk world, I’ll say steer clear of Volcanoids, as the game in its current state can’t really be recommended, even on a discount.

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