Welcome to the uncharted and dangerous world of Durango: Wild Lands. This new title by developer What! Studio and publisher Nexon Co. may not be so new, but it’s been released worldwide today (particularly in the US).
While the game has been available elsewhere and in beta for some time, this will be the first opportunity many have to try it.
So what is it, exactly?
Durango: Wild Lands plays very similarly to an open world MMO style survival game like Last Day On Earth. But it also has something Jurassic World Alive players love… lots and lots of Dinosaurs.
And the scope of it all is really cool. Running beneath a massive Brachiosaurus as it feeds on grass in the tall weeds maybe 10 minutes into the game, let me tell you — there are some really incredible moments! Just take a look at the video.
So what else does Durango have to offer? Glad you asked!
The world of Durango is based on our current world, only random warp holes are opening up all over the place and sending people (with whatever clothes they’re wearing) plummeting into an uncharted land of Dinosaurs.
You open riding a train (getting to choose one of many possible starting characters) just before a fierce carnivorous Theropod attacks the train, signalling your entrance into Durango.
And here all you wanted was a nice stroll through the countryside! Next thing you know you’re holding a fire ax facing down a raptor and a giant set of teeth bust through your train wall!
And before you know it, you arrive in Durango and thank goodness you don’t get eaten by pesky dinosaurs because someone riding an awesome motorcycle finds you. And then you begin learning about the culture and democracy that goes into taming uncharted wild islands.
Our Impressions: While the intro sequence and continuing tutorial-style early missions seem a bit long, it’s simply the result of having a really expansive game with a lot of things you can do. You need to learn how to fight, how to gather, how to build tools, how to use skill trees, how to use skill points, how to communicate with other players, how to travel between islands, and that doesn’t even begin to touch on all the other cool facets (an open marketplace for buying/selling/trading, clans, player versus player battles on savage islands, taming/riding dinosaurs, there’s a lot going on here).
In truth, it’s engaging and keeps me coming back for more. And better yet, you can play the game solo if you’d prefer to lone-wolf it, or you can party up and play with friends.
The world itself is massive. Two hours in and I’ve barely explored my home island let alone some of the more dangerous ones. The landscapes are vivid and interesting. Seeing your character put up a hand as they sweep through the tall grass or cut through thorn bushes or splash through water and be pushed by the current — it’s all very visually rewarding.
You’ve also got ice terrain, and dance moves, and outfits that can be customized. Honestly, we were just overwhelmed at the level of depth the game goes into for all of these various things.
Even beyond the landscapes, you get your own personal island to set up camp and explore, a place where other players can’t mess up your campfire. The crafting trees are really interesting and rewarding as well.
And furthermore, you can build joint camps too with others, sharing in resources or skills, making the game feel really co-operative in nature.
And after 60 levels (that can’t possibly take that long, since I’m two hours in and already level 15), you get to the point where you really see the end game. Taking down massive wild dinosaurs, or taming them as pets or things to ride, you can fight dinosaurs or fight other clans with your own dinos at your side attacking with you.
There’s just so much cool stuff in this game. It’s truly hard to cover. I don’t think Nexon was exaggerating at all when they said this –
“Durango: Wild Lands offers players a huge amount of freedom to explore and grow in an expansive prehistoric game world in the palm of their hands,” said Tommy Lee, General Manager of NEXON M. “What! Studio has raised the bar for persistent open-world mobile games and we can’t wait to see how players work together and tame this massive, diverse and dangerous land of dinosaurs.”
Honestly, we’ve barely scratched the surface on DWL but we’re already feeling pretty engaged and encouraged. I’m sure we’ll spend a number of hours giving this game our full attention, and perhaps begin bringing you some DWL guides and content as we go!
Give it a shot and let us know how you like it!