Bionite: Origins – An Early Access Review
Bionite Origins marks the Steam debut for Platoon Studios. It is abundantly clear that the game is a passion project that fits within a very specific niche that will not appeal to everybody. I would argue that the niche is smaller than it may have been in the past. That may have something to do with the fact that the title is already six years into development. The gaming industry has undertaken massive changes in technology, features and tastes since the team began development. Therefore it is clear that this is no ordinary Early Access title. Certainly there is much work for the team to do to get the title where they want it to be – such as the inclusion of multiplayer – but there has been a lot of work already put into the project.
Unfortunately, this is a game that suffers greatly at the lack of a tutorial. In fact, when I received my Steam key from the developers I was advised that the game was complex and that I really should read the manual and watch the how to play videos that are posted on their website. As someone with limited time to play games given my responsibilities with this website and another job I don’t often have that type of time availability to spend learning how to play a game before I actually play it. Those of you who are time poor may already find themselves out of the developer’s target market. However, there are signs that the game may become addictive enough should there be a large enough uptake to make a little persistence worthwhile. The other downsides are that the graphics and sound aren’t up to modern standards but the game is not dependent upon them so it is easy to overlook these details.
Where Bionite Origins has a real chance to shine is in its multiplayer mode that is coming soon. I believe that the single-player modes can really be looked upon as teaching the players the fundamentals required to be successful in the multiplayer mode. Unfortunately, Steam can be a tricky beast to master when it comes to multiplayer games and for every game that is successful in creating a market for themselves, it seems that a dozen fail. However, the game certainly appears to have the unique identifiers that would give it a shot at being successful.
Bionite Origins is a game that is worthy of keeping an eye on. When the team has their multiplayer modes online it will certainly be a game to revisit. If the game fits the niche that you’ve been looking to fill you could do worse than make a purchase.
Note: This review was originally written in late December, 2015.
Update: Unfortunately, the progress of Bionite: Origins hasn’t been as steady as what I would have liked to have seen. The game still contains issues with recording playtime on Steam that was present when I originally reviewed the game. Consequently, this has affected its review score.