Title: Endzone: A World Apart
Available on: Microsoft Windows
Publisher: Assemble Entertainment
Developer: Gentlymad Studios
Genre: Simulator, Early Access
Official Site: Endzone-Game.com
Release Date: Spring, 2020 (Early Access)
Where to Buy: Steam, GOG.com
It seems somewhat odd to be playing a game about the end of the world, while there’s a pandemic bringing the world to a fault. Is Endzone: A World Apart just teaching me about how I’m going to have to rebuild a community when the smoke clears? Well, if that’s the case, then at least it’s plenty of fun training simulator.
In reality, the game isn’t something gamers haven’t seen before. Most recently, in titles like Frostpunk. The point of the game is fairly simple. You’re tasked with first building and then maintaining a city or community in a post-apocalyptic world. Once you’ve first gotten your area set up, it’s all about finding a way to keep everyone alive. Like Frostpunk, this is not a remotely easy game.
The difference, of course, is that unlike that game, Endzone: A World Apart doesn’t force you to find a way to brave elements that have turned arctic. This time around, you just need to figure out how to find or make supplies and make sure you aren’t eating or drinking food that is going to make everyone in your complex sick.
Sim City With a Twist
If you’ve ever wondered what Sim City would look like if you were able to grow your civilization beyond the eventual space race and evolution of the species, all the way to the point where an inevitable war wipes out almost everyone, that game would look quite a bit like Endzone: A World Apart. It’s also quite a bit like Fallout before that game turned itself into Fallout 3 and Fallout 4.
While the game can feel like Sim City at times, there are some more immersive abilities than you’ll see in that game. Not only do you have to build facilities and make sure that they are all working together to keep your new civilization going, but you’ll also have to find a way to make sure the people who are living in your new city are doing their part. That means finding a perfect balance when it comes to assigning someone to a task.
If you assign too many people to construction or working a job, things will begin to suffer. Assing to many people to hunting and fishing, and you’ll notice you don’t have enough supplies to keep the power on. The game has a definite balancing act involved, and it works quite well.
There is a problem every now and then with how the game’s engine allows you to collect things. You might even over assign a task in order to try and build up stockpiles and still not see your supplies tick up enough, but that is, after all, what happens when it comes to early access.
The Virtual Wasteland Is As Unforgiving As The Real One
When it comes to the big difference between Endzone: A World Apart, and a game like Sim City is that in regular city builder, the point of the game is to set your people to a task and then sit back and enjoy seeing what happens. Because A World Apart is more like Frostpunk, there isn’t really a sitting back and enjoying. If you take your hand off the keyboard and mouse, everyone is going to die.
That’s not an exaggeration. You need to keep making sure everything is working, and everything is being used to make things bigger and better. There are certainly some things that are uneven that you can also feel as though you are slipping under the water at times. The good news is that you can tweak the difficulty levels a bit in order to make it something a bit more manageable.
This isn’t the kind of game that is going to ever become “easy.” Even the easier setting is something that is quite a bit harder than anything you’re going to see on most sims like this.
Wandering in the Wilderness
If there is an obvious downside to this build of the early access game, it’s that it can be hard to figure out how to get your tasks done. The tutorial is separate from the main game, and when you play that main game, Endzone: A World Apart leaves you on your own. Here’s hoping that when the title fully launches later this year, the developers can find a way to combine the two.
Verdict: Enzone: A World Apart is certainly quite a bit of fun, but the level of difficulty can even get rather frustrating. It’s hard to know whether that’s the point, like in something like Frostpunk, or whether that’s something that’s going to get tweaked in the near future.
NOTE: Endzone – A World Apart has partnered with One Tree Planted, a charity whose mission is to contribute to global environmental restoration efforts. Assemble Entertainment has vowed to plant a tree for every “Save the World” Early Access bundle purchased. Please consider sharing this campaign with your audience!