life beyond might seem a little on the nose, when you consider how much the game itself pumps out buzzwords like a squid squirts ink. Described as a Socio-Tech, Play and Earn MMO, it’s no wonder when a normal person is tasked with saying those words in this sequence, it makes them want to roll their eyes.
End of June, life beyond has opened its Alpha version for those who own any version of the AAK NFT. AAKs are keys to accessing the apartment, and they were airdropped for free to Discord members last month. There are also Access Keys you can pay for and the Dolos Passport, all of which give you several additional perks like access to an “after-party event”, whitelisting for future NFT Mints, and special airdrops.
For those who couldn’t get their hands on an AAK, the Darewise team has opened the game up to anyone who wants to try out the game by introducing their Open Alpha phase on July 6th.e. Anyone can participate in the tests, whether or not they have an access key or a passport. I, on the other hand, got an AAK for life beyond through the drop. Now, after several hours of play, I’ve had plenty of time to form an opinion of Alpha in its current state.
life beyond is much better than I expected.
In Alpha, players will quickly become familiar with the main hub where you interact with others. Your intention is to create groups and then select the desired mission, much like other hub-based MOGs. In fact, the only time you would see more than 4 players was in the lobby. During my playtime, global chat didn’t seem to work, so if you wanted to create a team, you had to rely on random invites or coordinate through the life beyond Discord. The maximum team size was 4 players and it was difficult to find a full team.
It was much easier to enter a solo encounter, and due to the lack of a team and limited features, the Alpha felt very stripped down. There were only a handful of mission objectives available, even when you selected the higher tier difficulties of a particular encounter. Character creation had just enough options to qualify as a character creator and gear was almost non-existent, but there were a handful of items available for players to purchase from the lobby shop.
If you think that life beyond it doesn’t sound so good, I wouldn’t blame you. What surprised me was what happened once you entered a mission. Once you’ve selected one of four classes, you’re introduced to a unique alien world, with twisting roots and steep cliffs to explore. The available classes for the Alpha are the Sharpshooter, Trooper, Guardian, and Combat Medic, but stupidly enough, the Combat Medic has no offensive abilities, making it just a regular medic with no combat specialties. Because of this, you can’t solo the Medic, making it a purely party-focused class, and rather worthless since you can’t defend against the toughest enemies. Some enemies are extreme bullet sponges, and you really don’t want to be stuck in a prolonged battle against them alone as a Medic, or even a Guardian or Sniper with their low DPS.
Life Beyond is far from perfect, but it’s way better than I expected. It’s important to temper that statement with the fact that I didn’t expect much in the first place. Still, the level design was unique and gave me plenty of options to explore. The mission objectives are fairly mundane, but there are enough differences between them that they are worth playing if you can find a team. You can collect items, defend a position, or slay monsters, and the added challenge of completing them on higher difficulties was fun. There’s a spark of gameplay here, Darewise just has a ways to go to make it a hell of a game.
The life beyond has many problems, but it also has potential.
Each class also had some cool abilities that made me want to see what they might evolve into in the future. The sniper could lay down jump mats all over the world, making it easier to climb to new heights. The Medic, on the other hand, could install Zipline pads, to make it easier for his team to traverse from one point to another. The third-person shooter combat didn’t elicit prolonged excitement, especially when the bigger enemies soaked up damage to the point that I wished a fight would end, even if it meant I was the loser , but it was not. worst fight I’ve seen, especially not in an Alpha build.
Probably the most fun I had was exploring the level to find those special Nektar plants you could harvest. These plants are used as currency to purchase special equipment from the lobby market. I have found a lot of satisfaction in searching for these plants, mostly because I just like trying to get to places that seem inaccessible. As I jumped around the world, shooting my limited abilities and weapons, the game was decent. Outside of the mission area, nothing else seemed to work very well. I couldn’t place any items in my apartment, despite a quest to do so. I couldn’t chat with other players. I was often stuck in zoning, along with dozens of other players, because collision detection was on and I couldn’t walk through people. life beyond in Alpha has a lot of problems, but it also has a lot of potential.
It’s always kind of a roll of the dice when I jump into a blockchain game. Is it going to be good? Is it even a real game? life beyond is currently the skeleton of a decent third-person shooter. There is a placeholder market available in the menus with which I hope is wrong life beyond digital merchandise. Token currencies and acquiring NFT seemed completely out of scope for this test, except for the initial closed test where an apartment access key was required to participate. I can’t be sure how life beyond the economy will evolve once NFT and Tokenomics are booming, but for now I feel like there might be something worth playing on the horizon here .
Test for life beyond is planned in three distinct stages. This first stage will last until the end of the year. The next phase will focus on building, farming, and harvesting. Since Alpha 2 is slated for the first quarter of 2023, this gives Darewise a ton of time to shape the current state of the game before moving forward. In my opinion, the limited test content and lack of any real progress flow are more concerning than the bugs I encountered. It’s encouraging that Darewise has opened the game up for testing for all players, whether or not they have an NFT. Too often, even traditional MMOs require a purchase to get started in testing, which makes me think Darewise is serious about fixing bugs instead of earning an extra buck or two. life beyond has a long journey to beta and beyond, but I’m cautiously optimistic that there’s fun to be had at the end of their journey.
**Steven owns one airdropped Life Beyond AAK