For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a review code does not affect my judgement of the game.
There are some games out there that want to the players to be creative, some that make it simple and some that more difficult. For me simplicity is a key feature when it comes to creativity in these type of games, in order to keep to you engaged in what you are doing. Discovery has entered the creative field of gaming, but does it do enough?
I will normally look at presentation later in my reviews, but with Discovery this might as well be gotten out-of-the-way to start with, as it has a very similar look to another title. As you will see from the screenshots (below) the game takes on the visual style of the game that requires you to mine and craft. But, they don’t try to claim that is doesn’t, and for what the game is offering the visual style works.
I know people look at Discovery and like with Minecraft, will say it’s not visual strong – due to the simple pixelated design and look to the game. But, for me these worlds are impressive in what they offer due to the scales of the worlds, and like Mnecraft the worlds in Discovery are huge. Also, when playing Discovery the sky around you, and some of the sights you see in the sky look great. The best thing I found with these as well is the settings/colours of the sky will reflect the lighting on the world. For example I decided to build a house in the middle of a pool of water, and when building this the sky went all orange, which in turn made the water orange and the lighting around a little darker. When playing this in VR it really added to the immersion of the game. They have also placed a nice peaceful and melodic sound track over the game, that really relaxes you when creating your worlds.
There are three main environments that will be in each work you create. As you start the worlds they are all randomly generated, but the three main areas will be snow filled areas, grasslands, and deserts. Even though these are three reocurring areas it does not take away for the presentation at all. Finally if you are tired of or ready for break from VR, you the game can also be played in standard mode – so you don’t have to stop part way through your next creation.
Now lets look at the gameplay, firstly I would like to say this is just a creation game, unlike Minecraft it does not bring a survival element into it – think of it as creative mode. Due to it missing the survival element at first I thought the game would grow old, and to be honest I did find it a bit boring at first. However, if you give the game and your creativity time to flourish, you will soon be losing hours in the game without even noticing.
The game uses the same block building mechanic as Minecraft, and this is the perfect building mechanic in my opinion – like I said previously I love simplicity when it comes to creative games. Discovery brings with it loads of options/objects that means your creativity does not get stifled at any point. There are a number of materials available to help you build your world, meaning the possibilities are endless in what you can build, there’s also things like lights, vegetation and other random objects like carpets, signs and letters. I would try to list them all, but the all but it would make for a long read – all I can say is Discovery does not hold back. It also brings with it a few interactive objects, such as doors for your building, switches that can be attached to light sources and finally TNT which can be an easy way to clear some of the environment. In order to make your creations a bit more decorative, you also get a number of colours you can use to paint. Finally you can also place animals in your world, but these don’t do much and too many of them can ruin the aforementioned peaceful soundtrack.
That is pretty much all I can say about the gameplay, what you do with the worlds is up to you. The world is your creative oyster – so you make it however you want it from the materials available. The game will also allow you to play in the worlds with three other players, the only downside to this is they have to be on your friends list in order to join up, there’s no find players feature in the game.
At the present moment the game is played using the DualShock 4 controller only. What makes Discovery even more simple is the control set-up, and how easy it is to navigate the menu, and get materials ready. You can also assign items to a quick select menu, so if you are building a set structure out of certainly materials, you can switch through them even more quickly than usual. You will then use L2 to place the selected object, and R2 to delete it – making errors just as easy to remove as they were to place. There are three methods of movement on the game, these are walk, fly or teleport. I found I mainly used the teleport option, not down to walking or flying causing any sort of discomfort – just both of those options are both a bit slow-moving. The main time I found myself using the flying option was getting to parts of my buildings/creations to add more from a better angle. To be honest with the time I have spent with Discovery I can’t see how Move controllers would work and keep it as simple, so I wouldn’t be surprised if support was not added.
As with Minecraft the game is pretty much endless in gameplay time, it’s all just about you being creative and loosing many hours in doing so. I feel the area the game is let down in when it comes to longevity is the previously mentioned lack of survival element. I think it would be an addition that would make the game even more appealing to those who like a challenge while being creative at the same time – otherwise some players may get bored quicker than others.