When I saw this game on my Steam recommendations, I wasn’t expecting much. What else is there that a Sandbox game can offer at this point? My first surprise was, of course, the fact that this particular Sandbox wouldn’t be needing a shovel or pickaxe. That got me interested enough. I wanted to see if they could pull it off without the key “digging” element. So what I thought was going to be a 3-4 hour session turned into a 15 hour one.
You can get the game via Steam, and it is a Free to Play game.
Like many other Sandbox games, this one doesn´t have an actual story. Excluding the Minecraft: Story Mode game, most of the games in this genre tend to not have a story. And even Minecraft itself didn’t originally have a –story- per se. I still remember those early days of it when you didn’t have a clue what was going on or what to do. And like many other newbies, I died on the first night, not knowing the importance of shelter.
Creativerse does the same. There’s no background story to it. You simply appear in your world, which is named after your character’s name. In my case my world is simply called “Moldrar’s World” and you start walking around. The developers are a bit more easy-going and will provide tutorial tips on how to use or craft items.
The first thing you’ll notice is that you have a metal gauntlet on your right hand, which is your mining tool. With this gauntlet, you can dig and mine or get wood from trees at a distance. It’s worth mentioning that the gauntlet has a greater range of use than pick-axes, shovels and axes found in other games, which, to me, was great.
So, there wouldn’t be much else to say story wise, but that’s not rare in the genre. You usually don’t play a sandbox for its story or lore.
The sandbox general gameplay is pretty straight forward: you dig, mine, chop and kill for resources that you´ll need in order to keep moving forward in the game, creating better tools and armour to get to the valuable minerals. And that is pretty much the gist of it in Creativerse as well. I didn’t think there were any major improvements this game could introduce, but I was gladly proven wrong.
The crafting mechanic in Creativerse is a little bit different than most. There are 373 items to be crafted, and all of them are listed in the crafting menu. But most of them will be blocked. In fact, there’s only a handful of things you can do from the start. You can make yourself, for example, a wooden sword to replace your stick. The next swords (stone, obsidian, and so on) will be unlocked by doing certain things. They get unlocked by crafting the item right before them and finding a specific list of ingredients. The progress of every item is listed below it in a bar, so you can see which items you are close to unlocking, and exactly what you need to do to finally unlock it.
In addition to this, some of the items out of the 373 are “premium” items for which there are micro-transactions.
You are initially armed with your metal gauntlet and a stick to defend yourself should the need arise. You´ll learn that the gauntlet will need a few improvements made with the elements you find on the surface and beneath it. In addition to this, the gauntlet will sometimes not be enough. If you find a Coal or Obsidian ore, for example, you can’t mine it with your gauntlet, no matter how many improvements you have on it. In this cases, you’ll need an “extractor” which can be crafted on the spot if you have the required processed materials for it. The extractor then will take a few minutes to finish doing its job, and that time it’s determined by the material you’re trying to acquire. The amount of material you get from it depends on which of the multiple extractors you are using. The basic extractor will get you, for example, 6 coals out of a Coal Ore, while the next extractor will get you 8. The better the extractor, the more material needed to be crafted, of course.
This adds a new dimension to the Sandbox experience since you need to rely on this technological improvements and tools in order to advance further. As opposed to other Sandbox games where the tools you can make seem to be stuck in the Middle Ages.
The AI is nothing impressive. On my first night, I figured I’d try to fight whatever showed up on the surface during the night, being that I already had two pieces of armour and my trusty wooden sword. I figured, based on my previous Sandbox experience, that the enemies that show up on the surface are not that strong. I died pretty quickly. I was taken by surprise by the fact that the monster I found, called “Miru” was able to disappear in a flashbang that left me disoriented and that his vitality was being replenished.
The hostiles in this game are not as easy as in other Sandbox games, so I recommend you get a full set of armour before attempting a fight.
Another surprise I had playing Creativerse is that I respawned with all the items I had on my quick bar, but the items in my bag were missing. A pop-up message appears explaining that there was a loot on the place I died and that I could recover it. Now, keep in mind that this is a multiplayer-oriented game, so that means anyone can get the items from your bag. In the world, there’s a beacon that appears at the location you died. Even if you die deep underground, the beacon will show all the way to the surface.
The third time I died was because I fell on a small cave I didn’t see because I was already underground and a bunch of Mirus attacked me. My loot was at least a hundred blocks below the surface, and I knew I couldn’t kill the Mirus on my own. My resolution was to craft dynamite (one of those technological improvements I was talking about before) and blast my way from the surface to where my bag was. I used about 10 sticks of dynamite to get there and the sun did the rest. Besides, it was a lot of fun blowing up the ground.
Graphics and audio
There’s really not much one can say about graphics on a Sandbox game. But this one does have some points to its favour. At first, it may appear like a generic look Sandbox, with the exception of the player’s metallic gauntlet and swords, that look somewhat polished in contrast to the rest of the world. Animals and enemies that you find across the land are also polished, they are not cubical like in other Sandbox games. Which is a nice change. I read somewhere that this was considered a Low or middle-end PC game so I downloaded it on my non-gaming laptop (hp pavilion, AMD A8-6410 APU, Radeon R5 graphics 2.00 GHz) to test it, and I have to say it did run smoothly enough. It didn’t crash on me due to graphics at any point.
When you encounter enemies in the dark is a beautiful appearance. Enemies have this sort of blue tattoo on their bodies that glows in the dark. It’s a detail I found very well thought and appealing.
As for the sound, the music is uninteresting and somewhat irrelevant, and sound effects are acceptable.
Creativerse is a fun game, can be addictive. It is a Free-to-play but I have to mention that throughout the game I felt like I was playing a mobile game due to the way they deal with micro-transactions. Every time you enter your bag screen there’s that little message urging you to get the pro version. The Pro version, of course, offers advantages such as a glider, a bigger backpack, a permanent flashlight, the possibility to create worlds, longer sprint times and the ability to claim land.
Despite the micro-transaction nature of the game, it’s still a pretty fun and addicting way to play a Sandbox, which, in overall, provides a new experience to the genre. The fact that is multiplayer is a plus since you could play with your family or friends for free.
|+ Introduces a new take on Sandbox games||– Can get kicked out of server from time to time|
|+ It has a wider variety of tools than most games of the genre||– Pushes for micro-transactions|
|+ Doesn’t require a high-end PC||