On January 19th, 2024, a new game entered early access. It is affectionately dubbed by players as “Pokemons with guns”. In many ways, this title indeed resembles the popular series, but, unlike it, it combines action, adventure, and survival gameplay.
Have you had the chance to play Palworld? Or perhaps you’re contemplating joining the over five-million-strong player base and purchasing the game? Here’s a brief Palworld video game review!
Game Concept and Setting
As mentioned earlier, this title strongly resembles the popular Pokémon series but offers much more. The creators acknowledge drawing inspiration not only from the Pocket Monsters series but also from Zelda, Dragon Quest, Ark: Survival Evolved , and Rust.
This combination resulted in an intriguing adventure-survival mix full of action, interesting tasks, elaborate quests, and a vast fantasy world worth exploring.
In this game, players embody a character they create, embarking on a journey through a world where humans coexist with various peculiar creatures, called Pals, equipped with unique powers (e.g., electric, fire).
These strange, animal-like beings roam wild in meadows, forests, and mountains, but they also serve as pets, domestic companions, workers, and mounts. Similar to Pokémon, Pals are also warriors that people utilize in various battles – serious ones and tournaments.
Our tasks include capturing and developing the skills of Pals, which can later assist us in resource extraction, building, combat, or exploring the extensive game world.
Palworld is not just about capturing and training Pals. There’s much more to do in this game! As mentioned, these creatures can be used, for example, for resource extraction and building.
Crafting and base building are robust aspects of the game. Players can create farms, secure fortresses, homes, and even factories producing various useful or valuable items. Pals, appropriately adapted to specific tasks, can assist in each of these places, work and serve our character.
The game also emphasizes exploration of a large, open world, featuring dense forests, meadows, scenic plains, snowy mountains, and ravines. Players can admire the beautifully designed and detailed world, capture wild Pals, and complete assigned tasks.
Visuals and Audio
In terms of graphics and design, the game is indeed inspired by titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild and the Pokémon series. Some even find a stylistic resemblance to Pixar films.
Nevertheless, it boasts a very aesthetically pleasing, refined, and polished graphic design that is visually appealing. The game uses the Unreal Engine 5, making full use of its capabilities.
The game’s sound design may remind players of well-known Asian RPGs and action games, such as recent entries in the Final Fantasy series. Palworld combines pleasant piano music, Lo-fi pieces, and energizing electronic music during battles with wild Pals and other players. In summary, the music complements the visual aesthetics, creating a cohesive experience.
Story and World-Building
The game is almost devoid of a linear storyline, distinguishing it significantly from the aforementioned Pokémon series to which it is constantly compared.
Instead, Palworld throws players into a vast sandbox world where they must uncover its mysteries themselves. Players essentially “write the script” based on their own experiences and adventures. This freedom and almost limitless potential for diverse gameplay are what attracted players the most.
Players can focus on exploration and discovering the world, either solo or in cooperation with others. They can also choose violence, concentrating on battles with wild creatures and other players.
Players can simply hunt encountered Pals or collect them, or they can engage in breeding and reproduction (even by mixing different species). Pals can be used as mounts, tanks, or pets. They can also be utilized for work in factories, or players can build their dream home with their help. They can also help with cleaning and cooking! The possibilities are immense!
Controversies and Community Response
A controversial aspect that arose on the first day of the game’s release is the combat system, primarily based on the use of firearms. Many players and critics disapproved of the cute, sweet creatures fighting each other to the death, with players aiming shotguns and pistols at them.
Controversy also surrounded the freedom with which players can treat their Pals. Living in harmony and caring for them results in longer life and greater happiness, but there is the option to exploit them to the maximum – they live shorter lives but are more efficient.
Among the controversies, the significant resemblance to Pokémon was also mentioned, supposedly leading to potential legal issues. However, as evident from the sales (5 million copies sold in 3 days), none of these controversial issues deterred players from purchasing and immersing themselves in the world of Palworld.
Performance and Technical Aspects
Palworld was released in early access for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox S/X. So far, players haven’t complained about any of these platforms in terms of performance or technical aspects of the game. The only significant issue, as of now, has been disruptions in the operation of Steam servers – not surprising when over 1.5 million people were simultaneously playing the game.
Interestingly, within the first 24 hours of release, the game reached a surprising number of 1.3 million active players. Palworld was quickly hailed as one of the most played titles, securing a high position, just behind hits like Counter-Strike 2 (1.8 million) and Lost Ark (1.32 million). We can only hope and keep fingers crossed that it won’t repeat the anti-success of Lost Ark, whose fantastic result dropped to only 20-30 thousand players within a few weeks.
Players also emphasize that, unlike other titles available in early access, Palworld is performing phenomenally. Many games released in this mode are full of errors, unfinished elements, and bugs – after all, the purpose of games in early access and beta versions is to live-test game responsiveness to know what needs improvement. Palworld already looks excellent, even at this stage.
Developer Interaction and Updates
The creators probably did not anticipate such interest in their title. However, they announced further development and improvement of all aspects of the game. After all, Palworld is only available in early access, and its full release is planned for 2025 (the exact date is unknown).
Interestingly, the game’s release has been postponed twice. Initially, it was supposed to be released in 2022, then the premiere was moved to 2023, but it did not materialize either. Only in 2024 did we get early access to the title – as mentioned in the previous paragraph, players report no gameplay hindering bugs or issues, so it can be confidently said that Pocketpair’s decision was a good one!
Conclusion of the Palworld video game review
In summary, Palworld has quickly become an incredibly popular game, eagerly purchased by users worldwide, both on PC and Xbox. This title was inspired by many outstanding games, and as the saying goes, one can only learn from the best! Even devoted fans of the Pokémon series appreciate the fresh gameplay, modern graphics, and innovative mechanical solutions that Palworld offers.
For whom is this game? Aside from the age restriction set by the creators at a minimum of 12 years – for everyone. This title offers significant playability and gameplay freedom, and the visually pleasing graphics only enhance the gaming experience.
Currently, the game is only available on the latest Xbox consoles and Windows computers. However, we hope that by the 2025 release, the creators will decide to expand the range of available platforms to include PlayStation consoles, Switch, and other operating systems. Palworld truly has tremendous potential to become the game of the year next year!