Icarus: First Cohort is a much anticipated session-based survival game where players drop onto a broken terraformed planet called Icarus. Developed by RocketWerkz, Icarus puts players in a hostile situation in which players are literally dropped onto an unknown planet with nothing equipped other than their wits. Think Minecraft, but way more dangerous and realistic. You’ll need to figure out what it takes to survive, but luckily you won’t have to do it alone. Session-based gameplay means you can be joined by another seven of your friends and explore the mysterious planet of Icarus together.
Because Icarus: First Cohort is such a large and deep game, this will just be our initial impressions of it based on about three days of play. In that time, I’ve barely scratched the surface of what you can do, but so far my time with the game has been incredible. I’ve played solo and I’ve also played with a couple friends, which you’ll want to do as well. Playing with friends obviously can be tremendously fun, but playing solo can be as well if you just want time to yourself, exploring nature at your leisure.
Let’s start with what actually drew me to Icarus in the first place, and that was the fact that in many ways, Icarus is like Minecraft, but way more adult with more of an emphasis on survival and mission-based goals. You essentially drop on this unknown world of Icarus, with nothing, and must basically collect materials and craft items in order to survive. You start off making rudimentary tools like axes and pickaxes so you chop down trees and mine stones and other minerals. As you level up, you can unlock and gain access to more crafting blueprints like weapons and parts to build a shelter. That’s just the simplistic explanation because there’s actually a whole ton you can learn to build to help you survive.
Aside from the collecting and crafting aspect, there’s also hunting in the game, whether it be hunting land animals or fish. You may not want to do this, but you’re going to need to if you want to craft some of the more advanced and upgraded items that rely on leather, fur, and bones. You can also collect the meat to eat, though there are other things in the world you can munch on such as different kinds of fruit and vegetables. Pro tip: You’ll want to cook your raw meat, otherwise you’ll find yourself in a bad situation with stomach issues.
That brings me to just how realistic certain aspects of Icarus are. For instance, your health needs constant monitoring against things like starvation, oxygen, and hydration. Temperature can also be a big factor in maintaining your health as well as taking care of yourself physically. You can’t go jumping off a cliff because you will 100% break your legs. Environmental reality is also there in which you can set fire to the vegetation and it will spread to nearby trees and bushes. Strong winds and storms seem like they have the ability to knock down trees, and lightning here can be just as dangerous as it would be in the real world. The weather can also have adverse effects on your shelter depending on the materials used. All this makes for a wonderfully realistic and unpredictable game.
The world of Icarus also seems really large. A quick look at your map and you’ll find that there’s a vast land to explore with secrets to discover. While you can solo the game, having friends join in makes the experience less lonely and traveling far distances less of a chore.
Moving on, if you’re lucky enough right now to game with a graphics card that supports ray tracing, specifically with one of NVIDIA’s RTX cards, then you’re in for a visual treat. The world of Icarus looks so photo-realistic. Everything from the textures on the tree trunks to each individual leaf and blades of grass completely fully immerses you in this world. This includes the way weather works and how foliage sways in the wind and the way the water ripples in the lakes. Even the sky looks amazing here with full day and night cycles. Of course, even without an RTX card, the game still looks really good as my son is also playing this on a GTX 1660 and it looks great.
Lighting in Icarus: First Cohort is incredible. The way light produces shadows through the trees and rocks and the huge differences between light and darkness. Nighttime can be incredibly scary due to how dark it can be if you do not have a light source and even when you do, you can only see several feet in front of you.
So is Icarus: First Cohort worth a purchase? 100% yes so far. I’m a huge fan of Minecraft and this game basically takes that formula and turns it into an ultra-realistic survival game you can enjoy solo or with your friends. There’s a lot to love about this game and while you may encounter many odd bugs here and there, note that the developers so far have been taking an active approach towards squashing them and have been consistently pushing out hotfixes since release.
Icarus: First Cohort is available now on PC And Xbox.
Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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