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Hide & Hold Out - H2o

First of all, you should keep in mind that the game is still a work in progress and so that many things are still missing before starting to see the original idea into... read more

2.2

Hide & Hold Out - H2o Review

Author: azarkal
21-Jun-2016

Category: Review

A simple online game of surviving and construction that places your character in the middle of several islands, you are one of the few survivors of this forsaken water world. Scour the world of this Early Access survival game to build an empire with friends or be a savage murderer of anything that dishonors your field of vision.

Hide & Hold Out - H2o Review
Introduction

Hide & Hold Out is a Multiplayer survival game taking place in a devastated water world. Gather, build, team up with your friends and establish the foundations of your future floating empire. It is still in Early Access and developers are still working on some details of the game and was released on. It has a price of $17.99 on Steam and was developed by Red Abyss Software.

Gameplay

After you’ve selected a server your character will materialize on one of the tropical islands with a piece of bread, pick for harvesting, 1 free boat and a flashlight in the large menu bar on the lower middle area of your screen. You have three bars on the lower right corner that you have to be focused on to consider your character’s current welfare, hunger/health and oxygen. You can traverse each island on the free boat you have or the next few boats and planes you can build or steal one, but crafting war boat is simple enough with the right materials. There aren't any territories but you can build houses like the ones I made or go all out and make fortresses.The user interface is easy enough to learn in Hide and Holdout as you navigate your mouse for click and drag options. The game inventory showcases current stuff, current health, customization and surprisingly a complete list of every other item you can obtain (large white UI on the right on the picture below).

That's your inventory in Hide & Hold Out.

Environmental aspect

You cannot swim underneath the water's surface but it doesn’t matter since there’s nothing to see and was probably neglected initially in the project priority. There are actual sharks in some of the water areas that will come in packs and cleave down your health. I have tried taking down trees, bushes and searched crates on multiple servers(with & without players) but none has yielded food or gain thus leading my character to die 5 times within 2 hours of gameplay. Funny thing is you can vote to skip the  night and proceed not to stumble in the dark even as the flashlight has infinite batteries.

Scoping out the islands.

Zero tutorial

The game gives you no indication of what to do or gives any pop-up hints on what to look for food, what are the limits of exploration, weapon designs and a lot more. There will be bases built by other players that you can check out their blueprint guides that can help you make new items and free unlocked materials…Shouldn’t have built a base where someone can jump through the open roof next to a tall cliff.
For food, there are multiple islands but no trees that bear fruit, grain, animals, fish cannot be killed and you only have 1 piece of bread when you start a server. Food of other characters cannot be eaten for some reason.

Crafting

It’s quick and easy but some mundane items have too many requirements and leads to tedious searches for the lowest tier. Harvesting items can be done with the pick from floating logs to scrap piles of different kinds.

I stole the chopper first, comeback!!!

Combat

Aiming is abyssal even with weapons from the standard pick to guns your character will miss hitting opponent 9 /10 times. Boats and choppers will not harm your opponents in any way and they will explode if these transports collide with the environment more than a few times. Punching will significantly decrease your character’s food levels even if you’re not in combat. Dying in this game like Rust will reset all of your progress.

Sever hackers

The coding must be simple enough to get these many hackers and it’s worse than Rust especially if they can actually force your character to starve by depleting the green food bar on the lower right corner.  At least in that game, you die when a cheater faces you but here in H20 you can gain a headshot while your character is in a corner of a room inside a cabin on top of a mountain with no one else in sight. My character’s boat blew up because someone punched it and still gained recognition of a headshot. Loud noises start screeching off and repetitive dance soundtrack echoes in the background often even if you mute all of the audio settings.

I was trying to look over my shoulder :)
Graphics & Sound

Graphics

Simple texture and very few rules in physics, you can scale a steep mountain by crouch movement or “crab walk” and sharks may glitch out and chase you down across the beach. Land details are too similar with the other islands and underwater details aren’t impressive at all with just sand and a few seaweeds. Weapon, building and item designs are good enough for the theme but some materials and the sharks look like draft concepts that were pushed into the game.

Sound

There is no ambient sound even if you’re next to the sea while standing on the beach bed, doors rarely make a sound(both metal and wooden), some guns make weird sounds except for the Ak-47 and dying has a soft thud sound effect. No musical soundtrack on any situation and at night the wind and trees have an eerie but cool sound effects as if I were in a horror movie. Swimming and boat riding have natural sound effects while you cruise through the different islands.

Hmm, there's at least one type of marine life to populate the ocean.
Summary

The game has potential with this apocalyptic water wasteland, traveling is simple, survival is tense and map details in land and underwater are scarce. Survival is confusing since you will find mostly wood and steel but rarely any food resources except for the ones present in containers of other players. Traveling to different islands was relaxing with tropical trees, sun shining on your face and lovely sharks swimming underneath your boat. Controlling a boat or a chopper is fun but it get's tedious with swimming since it does not allow you to deep dive, increase speed and your character is prone to shark attacks. Combat is bland as melee is the only option for damage since guns cannot land a hit even if you're just 5 feet away.

Glitches in this game are way off and can waste the time of players but only in certain areas. Hackers can easily kill all characters within a server or mess around your inventory. I rate this game for now at 5.1/10 because it may improve drastically in the near future since it’s in early access development.


Pros
Cons
 + Flight option
 - No deep swimming
 + Water Apocalyptic theme
 - Lack of food/advanced resources
 + Crafting
 - Fragile transportation

 - Poor aiming mechanic

 - Lack of sound

 - Lots of Hackers




SCORE: 5/10

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