Collision Course Early Access Review
Decent dinosaur experiences are far too hard to come by in the world of video games, especially considering how almost universally appealing they are as a concept for interactive entertainment. Of course, this year we have Horizon: Zero Dawn to look forward to but, after playing the small slice of its early access build, I’m also cautiously optimistic about what Collision Course might be able to bring to the table.
Billed as an open-world survival game with crafting elements (I know that sounds terribly generic, but hear this one out), the experience that represents Collision Course’s vertical slice of early access might be meagre in terms of quantity, but it appears to set the foundations for something genuinely promising. As of now, you can’t really do anything in Collision Course other than explore the environment, interact with the sparsely populated creatures, and complete a single, context-light objective. Still, the environments and the dinosaurs themselves, should you be fortunate enough to come across one, boast impressive design work.
The jungles and marshlands which make up the majority of the sandbox world boasts a rich atmosphere, sustained by a decent level of graphical fidelity (despite the diluted colour palette) and a notably dynamic box of sound effects. I was often startled by noises like the distant boom of an erupting volcano or the disturbingly close sound of rustling leaves; it left me on edge, which is what I want to feel from a survival game featuring giant man-eating lizards. While I didn’t see any of the “earthquakes, small comet impacts, lava flows that are promised in this build of the game, what I did bear witness to certainly leads me to believe that developer Crynosaurs are certainly willing and capable of incorporating such features into the experience.
That same proficient approach to design looks like it is being applied to the dinosaurs of Collision Course too. My first encounter was with the big daddy of prehistory itself; the tyrannosaurus rex. After quietly observing it nastily chew up and spit out a smaller raptor, the beast seemed to have caught a whiff of my scent, as it turned towards my direction with a suspicious gaze. Applying all the knowledge I had learned from Jurassic Park, I stayed completely still, and the pair of us were locked in a tense staring contest for an agonizing series of seconds. Then it began marching towards me, with the visibly evident intent to kill. As far as video game T-rex go, then, those found in Collision Course are surprisingly scary.
This, alongside a very strange trip brought on by a plant I found on the forest floor, represented the most memorable encounter I experienced during my time with Collision Course, which is otherwise lacking in stuff to do. The game is currently priced at $10 on the steam store, rendering this purchase as more of an investment in what’s to come rather than the immediate acquisition of a satisfying video game.
Considering these two factors, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend you picking up Collision Course in its current state. However, what is there is certainly promising, and it’s worth keeping an eye on how the game progresses as development continues. Who knows? A few years down the line and we may have a genuine contender to Ark: Survival Evolved on our hands.
Worth Your Money: Maybe Later
[A copy of the game was purchased by the reviewer for the purpose of this review.]