Unruly piratical sandbox MMO Atlas looks significantly weirder after the launch of its second "Mega Update". Previously limited to its public test realm and now live, the patch doesn't seem to really have a theme, beyond devs Grapeshot Games adding 'cool stuff', literally and figuratively. There's the Polar Ice Dungeon with a boss fight against an abominable snowman, new islands around the equator and poles to explore, some very strange new animals plus torpedo launchers and more. You can see the full patch notes here, and a trailer below. The game is also half price until tomorrow.
The new Polar Ice Dungeon is currently the closest thing Atlas has to 'endgame' PvE content. A big new environment accessible only to players that have unlocked the nine power stones hidden around the world. It's an impressive-looking environment, I must admit. What I find more interesting are the new weird fantasy animals they've added. While not officially called Camelphants, that's what everyone will call the Olfend, a long-legged giant creature capable of spraying water and putting out fires. The Giant Tortugar is a massive dinosaur-turtle with a side-panel that opens up, letting players ride inside it, even underwater.
High-level players will even be able to equip their ships with torpedoes, massive boarding harpoons and dedicated fishing gear. Given the steady expansion into more fantastical territory after just two updates, I'm curious what Atlas will look like in the end. There are of course a myriad of smaller bug-fixes and some decent looking quality-of-life improvements, but oddly, no mention of performance improvements. As with its predecessor, ARK: Survival Evolved, Atlas is notorious for bringing even high-end machines to their knees. That, it seems, hasn't changed with this update.
For the next 20 hours (at the time of writing) Atlas is half price, down to £11.89/€12.49/$14.99 on Steam. The game is still in early access, and still very rough around the edges. While somewhat improved now, much of Steve Hogarty's maiden near-launch voyage with the game still holds true.