Sky-sailing MMO Worlds Adrift sets course for Steam

Worlds Adrift

It’s hard not to have a game like Worlds Adrift set the imagination alight. Bossa Studios’ foray into the world of massively multiplayer gaming stands out from the crowd with its user-built world of floating islands, delightfully swooshy grappling-hook physics and its entirely player-crafted sky-ships. Previously in closed beta, the game has moved to Steam’s early access section and opened its doors to everyone with twenty quid, give or take. Just be warned that unless you Bring Your Own Buddies, you might be facing rougher conditions than just storms and fog.

When the original closed beta version of the game (accessible only to those who bought it direct from the developer’s site) rolled out, Brendan set out with grappling hook in hand to see whether it was ship-shape. He found an exciting mix of gameplay elements held back by an oft-wonky physics engine that could snatch you clean off the deck of your ship, plus little to no warning when another player decides to send you to Davey Jones’ sky-locker. It definitely doesn’t seem like a game suited to solitary players.

Looking at the Steam user reviews  for the game, it sounds like the physics have been tuned up (along with a great many other things, according to the open beta patch notes), but the piracy problem Рas in the peg-legged, eyepatched kind Рhas only gotten worse, with it being a crapshoot whether you start out in PvP hell or not. While there are some hostile animals, fighting other players seems like the heart of the game, but perhaps a more team-focused format would have made a better first impression?

As with other PvP-centric MMOs, the key to success seems to be finding strength in numbers. Just a small handful of players can work wonders where one is easy pickings, but when that newcomer’s first experience with other players is having their fragile, wobbly first ship shot out of the sky for nothing more than a cruel laugh, they’re more likely to quit the game than keep seeking out friends.

Worlds Adrift is available now on Steam for ¬£19.49/$25, minus a 10% launch discount, and can still be snagged direct from Bossa here. There’s also some DLC which gives you a few distinct-looking pieces of gear that aren’t available by any other means, although their value is mostly cosmetic.

9 Comments

  1. Crimsoneer says:

    This was so not ready for release. I start and have no idea what to do.

  2. April March says:

    perhaps a more team-focused format would have made a better first impression?

    I don’t want that. I like playing alone, or gathering very small groups of friends. I want a game where a solo player can be obliterated by a huge group but has a decent chance of fleeing if they play well, and/or of avoiding notice if they choose to.

  3. klops says:

    I don’t care for MMOs but this looks really fun! Air Buccaneers combined into MMO/building sounds wonderful. However, I will never play this but looks cool.

    By the way. Does anyone remeber what was the game similar to this but side-scrolling? You could carve into dead whales, equip them with engines and use them as your airship? Most likely it never got finished.

    • Monteef says:

      Sure do, it was called Windforge. Still on Steam, it was a bit Terraria-ish and a bit wonky. Not bad though!

    • Erayos says:

      Went through my Steam library to find the name but Monteef beat me to it. I completely forgot about this game before right now, thanks for reminding me of its existence.

      Never went too far because of a huge backlog and too many stuff to play but it definitely seemed fun enough, I might try jump back in the next few days, no idea if it was a complete game though.

  4. datreus says:

    Word of warning to non-Americans – as an Australian, the game is entirely unplayable. We’re talking 10 second input delays, rubberbanding that becomes superman flying, the works. Euro players may be ok on the Euro server but yeah, not good.

    • Biscuitry says:

      Fairly early in development, long before it was open to players, Bossa stated that the game was going to be region-locked because of this issue. They knew it was going to be a problem even back then. The backlash from the community was such that they changed their minds and put in server selection, but unfortunately this issue isn’t going to go away. Running a physics sandbox mostly based on the server is going to be very latency-sensitive no matter what you do.

  5. ShaneRoach says:

    This use of “user-built” in lieu of “unpaid unprofessional content” is getting on my last nerve.

    There is absolutely no sense in which it is actually part of the game to build an island. There is a separate “game” that is basically a little stripped down 3D modeling tool that these people volunteer their time on, largely because a lot of them have aspirations about being game designers some day.

    Meanwhile, many of us that then have to turn around and PLAY their islands have no love for them at all, and wonder whatever happened to the world’s size being adjusted to population, and to any sense of procedural content generation to create an ENVIRONMENT which we would then play in.

    Because this is only game number umpty-thousand to play off this old Minecraft concept of a community and community donated materials to draw us into something that is in reality a corporate Chinese Finger Trap where you think you’re getting a lot of freedom and open development, and what you’re actually getting is a single server with hardly any REAL game features and a truly mind numbing GRIND to even get to the point where you feel like you are actually being allowed to play the full game.

    P.S. “Direct from Bossa” is a Steam Key. You’re not playing this game without Steam, so you may as well just buy it there.

Comment on this story

HTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>