Dark and Light has officially launched into early access

Following multiple development delays, weird PR moves, gorgeous screenshot dumps, and a month of closed beta, decade-old MMORPG sandbox Dark and Light has finally resurrected into its early access soft launch form here in the west today. Thanks to the current discount, it’ll run you just under $25.

Snail Games is clear that this is a true early access title. “We already know that we’re going to run into a lot of bugs, crashes, localization issues, and more,” says the company. “Did you die from punching a blade of grass? Did your tamed creatures stage a massive revolt out of nowhere? Did an NPC tell you ‘I AM ERROR?’ Is the Bestiary straight-up lying to you about how many creatures are in the game? We want to know about it.”

As usual, we’ve rounded up our coverage to date so you can look back at the twisting road this game’s taken to be born again!

Source: Steam. Thanks, Zander!
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

26 Comments on "Dark and Light has officially launched into early access"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
Reader
RJB

i can’t get over the blatant ARK ui rip off running on the same engine doesn’t mean you have to use the same UI

Reader

This game is not deserving of the coverage it gets in its current state. I spent much of yesterday and some of today reading up on the launch and watching Twitch streams. Its in a very sorry state and massively incomplete. If you put it along side other similar early access titles, its not even close. Its in the range of 20-30% complete and its NOT going to be able to support anymore players than Conan Exiles or Ark. So one of their biggest initial selling points is now ashes.

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

Disappointed with graphics. Looked way cooler in trailer

Reader
bobfish

Here are my 2 cents after playing to level 5.

1. Developer is Efecto Studios, based in Latam. They are one of the supporting studios for ARK Survival Evolved, essentially a work for hire studio. Based on this, I assume that Snail Games contracted them to take the base source code for ARK and build Dark & Light from that.

2. It’s built in UE4, so with the above information, there was no way this was ever going to be an MMORPG, and I think Snail realised the limitations of the engine and ARK’s source code, after they had announced it. Changing it to 100-person servers was the only good option they had.

3. Optimisation. This essentially doesn’t exist, whilst the settings and probably assets are there to make it look pretty good, it runs awful on every machines and every setting. I would’ve expected better optimisation given they were working from an existing game that has been in the wild for a long time, but clearly not.

4. Gameplay is essentially the same as ARK, if you really loved that, then you might like this. Or if you really wanted a fantasy survival game, this might be for you. Having magic, which is useful and available immediately is great. There is plenty in the game already, quite a decent amount of things to do and long progression, it’s fairly content heavy. We’ll have to see how it fares against Citadel in the long run, but at the very least, D&L has better animations and graphical fidelity than Citadel already.

5. RPG, there is nothing here, maybe they plan to add some elements later, but for now, it’s a straight up survival game.

6. PvE Servers, they said we would get these, but there are none at the moment. PvP is available from the start and plenty of players are just spawn camping in the towns killing anyone that gets in range.

7. Monetisation, nothing there yet, but Snail have stated on the Steam forums that the won’t sell any gameplay affecting items, purely cosmetic/convenience.

Verdict: There could be something fun here at the end of the day, but the game is pretty unplayable right now. Given how it is based on ARK, for now, we know exactly what it will be like when it is finished, so my advice is to simply wait a year or two until it is more optimised and closer to being finished. You won’t miss anything in the mean time.

ceder
Reader
ceder

Its disingenuous to take the stance that its built from Ark seen this so many times. Its like saying humans evolved from modern the monkey as opposed to human and monkey having common ancestry per se. As you point out, both use UE4 and that goes along way as to why they both have similarities. Then after that when you factor that because both are Snail games owned and both are using the same folks for asset and design development(Efecto, Instinct, and others) there are of course overlapping looks and feels. This is an all too common trend going on now in the industry to piecemeal and outsource under 1 corporate umbrella(just see the layoff of music director of bliz in favor of freelancing for an example too).

Point 3’s optimization… you can’t seriously expect a game that is in its alpha stage of development to be optimized. You don’t do optimization passes in any major significant way until you get into the beta phase because each asset and design features added would mean you spend too much time (thus labor costs) to optimize and worse each new addition may throw off previous opti’s done so you’re doing even more work than was necessary.

Primarily your post is to say this is a reskinned Ark and comes across like an ark axe grinding. By the dev’s own words, the game is only 30% done but you’re expectations are that of a done game or close to done game. Expectations mismatch. These are the same sort of complaints that one sees in almost every early access or alpha stage released game for purchase because people have been desensitized to the fact they’re getting an unfinished product.

Its like having expectations for a full new car but going to the factory and buying it with a frame and barely drivable engine with wheels and steering and then throwing a fit because that’s it.

All that said, you bought into the hype and ignored caveat emptor. At the very least though given the early state of the development there’s room to improve. You could’ve just as easily waited until it went on sale(as it will) and after you’ve seen how their development has progressed say by the time of the winter sale. Then you could’ve made a much more informed decision to purchase or not.

Zander
Reader
Zander

Thanks for this. Was going to buy, now going to wait and see what people think of Citadel instead. May end up keeping the wallet closed this summer, which sucks because I need something new to play.

ceder
Reader
ceder

These days that’s the wiser course of action for any game people are promoting before release.

Reader

This should make for an interesting evening on Twitch. I know damn well this game isn’t remotely ready.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Veldan

Went to Steam, first review I find:

“No PVE servers at the time of this post, as was advertised, just PVP servers. Was spawn killed 5 seconds after character creation by a group of screaming mouth breathers. No way to disable voice chat other then volume slider, and had to listen to a bunch of screaming idiots. Vital keybindings such as zoom in/out, toggle run, map, etc all didn’t work. Tutorial appeared and dissapeared within 10 seconds. ”

Better wait a long time before trying this one :D

ceder
Reader
ceder

With Ark, if they’re using the same official server model of play, the official servers will be the -least- desired mode of play as they’re nothing more than proof of concept/demo. Players were already saying they were going to be making pve unofficial servers and just like Ark, those unofficials is where the majority of the players play.

But indeed, yes wait. Not because of people having AAA full release expectations on a 30% done alpha build of a game, but because of how/if the game’s development team progresses and engages the community from their feedback.

Coolit
Reader
Coolit

It’s disappointing to see that it already has mostly negative reviews on steam so I’ll wait off until there is more info too.

ceder
Reader
ceder

Its also important to understand that reviews are also partly review bombs by those who were pissed with Ark. I know one person who was banned from ark forums just yesterday who hours later play an hour or two of DnL to then slam it in a review(mostly focused on his angst against ark).

Not saying to not wait mind you. I agree a waiting is wise. Just not from the information(or just ark ranting really) from reviews being bombed right now.

Reader
Fenna

i’ll wait for a while too. after archeage i’m a bit skeptical about this game

Reader

This really has very little in common with Archeage. It falls into exactly the same bucket as ARK and Conan Exiles at this point. Even more so since they are not going to live up to their promised server population sizes (dropped from 1000, to 500 to 100).

ceder
Reader
ceder

If the map sizes are the same as ark maps, that 100 is 100% not gonna happen either. Most of Ark servers become unsustainable test studies in ecocide, lag, and more after 15 or more average concurrent. I mean playing high pop servers on Ark is nothing but weaving through urban sprawl of mall sized bases and dino parking lots on official servers. Hence why most play small community unofficial servers with 4-8 concurrent folks because that way the maps still feel a bit wild, large bases are less and the owners of those unofficial servers take care to prevent actions by players that reduce the sustainability of em.

I’ve not watched yet(waiting for my main yt influences to do more than a few vids of it so I can just binge watch) DnL vids to get a full and proper view of their maps to discern truly if 100 is really a sustainable number but knowing that’s the max and how 100 max ones on other servers made of UE4 games like ark are, I’m fairly confident at this point that’s an equally unrealistic expectation and more marketing purposes to still make people feel its “big”.

Reader
MesaSage

“We already know that we’re going to run into a lot of bugs, crashes, localization issues, and more,” says the company.”

Do I care? No! As long as I can get in early by paying!!!!

Reader
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
agemyth 😩

Noooo its just another survival game -_-

Until yesterday I thought it was going to be an actual MMO.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
zeko_rena

Will hold off for a while, have so much other stuff to play

Siphaed
Reader
Siphaed

I’m waiting a few weeks for this one…maybe a month or more. Let the server bugs be hammered out and any population issues that arise can be sorted too. Also to see if Massively (aka MJ) has their own hosted server to be less PvP hostile.

Fortnite is fun enough to take up my attention for a bit anyways and GW2’s last Season 3 update is this upcoming week.

ihatevnecks
Reader
ihatevnecks

So far looks like a very messy Ark with magic. Maybe dArk and Light would be a more appropriate title.

ceder
Reader
ceder

Actually there are ark mods that have introduced heavy fantasy stuff and magic already just some of them got abandoned unfortunately. Mystic Academy mod was looking interesting for a while then the kid abandoned making the mod during the winter.

Reader
judas

Early reviews on Steam aren’t pretty, even for an early access game.

luxundae
Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
luxundae

This game looks pretty cool. I also have no idea what this game is or how it plays. Bit of a weird spot to be in. I think I’ll wait for a review (or preview? what does one call a review of an early access game?).

(If anyone has already jumped in, what do you think? Does it play mostly like a reskinned ARK, or is it its own beast? Thanks in advance!)

Reader
andistotle

Its in a horrible buggy and laggy state. Worst I have ever seen. played 2 hours gonna play more tomorrow. It seems like it has some cool ideas in it, but its in a terrible state atm

luxundae
Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
luxundae

Good to know. Thanks, andistotle and Jesse!

Reader
Jesse Schulkers

I gave it about 25 minutes before I couldn’t do it. I had all sorts of glitchy issues with menus and such. I think I’ll wait a year or so before I peek at it again. Just refunded this nonsense for now.

I get that its EA but damn… couldn’t really test it without having quite a few headaches.

wpDiscuz