Hi guys, before I start the review I wanted to apologize that I haven’t made any articles in quite some time. I had some RL-Problems that I needed to solve first. But now I’m back, bringing you a new Alpha-Review.
Hope you like it, Opa
Snow is precipitation in the form of flakes of crystalline water ice that fall from clouds. Since snow is composed of small ice particles, it is a granular material. It has an open and therefore soft structure, unless subjected to external pressure. Snowflakes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Types that fall in the form of a ball due to melting and refreezing, rather than a flake, are known as hail, ice pellets or snow grains.
Oh, wait. False notes.
SNOW is a game developed by Poppermost Productions. As for most Alphas, SNOW still has tons of bugs. Also, many features aren’t yet implemented but that doesn´t necessarily mean that the game is bad, actually it´s pretty good for its current status.
Basically SNOW is a skiing / snowboarding simulation. Well, the snowboarding part isn’t implemented yet but they want to do so as soon as possible. It advertises itself as a Open World Winter-sport simulation with a touch of realism. So lets go to analyze it.
First of all you get thrown into a basic menu. In the background you see a nice looking mountainscape with lots and lots of snow on it. Then there are three buttons: Alone, Leader-boards and Store. I searched for a button to get into some kind of Options-menu, but I couldn’t find one. After searching for it on Google I started to realize that there is no Options menu… So I searched for a way to set some graphics and sound settings. At least you can change the graphic presets in the console. Well, ok load the highest preset, click on “alone” and start. At least that´s what I thought. The game crashed, yay… I said to myself: “Hey it’s ok its an alpha version. This can happen sometimes.”. Then I restarted the game clicked on “alone” and now it works fine.
You can choose between two buttons to press. The first one is a mountain and the other some kind of tutorial. So naturally I clicked on the tutorial. The map loaded pretty fast and I stood on top of a ski run.
First I thought I have to wait for some kind of box popping up on what to do, but nothing happened. So I Googled again and found the manual for the game online. EDIT(October 15, 2013 at 11:08 am): Tutorial works fine now.
The controls of this aren’t the greatest in my opinion. Mostly because I like to use my mouse to look around. You can do this, but only when you stand perfectly still. The rest of the controls also struggle because they are spongy as hell. Also you control your flips with the same keys as you perform your standard steering. So when you get airborne through a little hill, you start to flip the instant when you hold your W-Key, which mostly ends in falling and this implies that you have to start from your spawn point again. EDIT: It´s possible now to respawn on the spot you fell(YAY!). You can also do tricks, like grabs etc., with your arrow keys, but I still haven’t figured out how this works. And if you know think: “Oh, why didn’t he use a gamepad to get better controllability” we get to the next problem: There are no gamepad controls yet. Maybe they patch some in, but for now the controls are a mess, in my opinion.
Graphically, the game looks alright. The animations are buggy but like I said earlier, it is still in Alpha status and I am confident that they will fix it. The textures look really nice and the atmosphere of the landscapes is really nice. Due to its existence as a winter-sport game there isn’t that much to look at except for trees, rocks, and mostly ice and snow. I like the fact that they are using the Cryengine to build their game on, because the lighting really looks gorgeous. You can customize your character through stuff out of the shop. At the moment everything there is free, but I guess there will be a cash system in the final game. There is clothing by many different brands like K2 or FACTION.
Normally,I would talk about the sound at this point, but unfortunately there isn’t any sound in the game yet. EDIT: (SOUND WILL BE PATCHED IN AT SOME TIME IN DEVELOPMENT!) So I’ll simply go on to the Verdict.
Overall, SNOW is a pretty nice game. If the development team gets all the features in they wanted to implement and fix the controls, SNOW will be great. But in its current state, the game isn’t that much fun, mostly because of the bugs and the terrible controls. Also the lack of content reduces the fun of the game. One mountain simply isn’t enough to keep me interested. I hope there will be more content coming because then SNOW have the potential to get a great game. At the moment the game is available at Steam Early Access in different founding packages. The cheapest one costs 13.99€ (around $15 i guess). The game is going to free-to-play after it is released. Everyone who paid for one of the founding packages will get a set of items and a special badge.
EDIT (October 15, 2013 at 10:56 am): For everyone complaining about that you can’t rate Alpha-Games. In this, so called “Alpha-Review”, I only describe my impressions while playing this game. I had much fun playing this. Ok, the name of this Section is a little bit misleading, the section should be called “Preview” instead of “Review,” that’s true. Also I’m going to update this (P)review when Updates come out. I’m sorry for rating it but this was intended to act like a placeholder.