Quick Look: Miscreated

Miscreated is an online, open world, post-apocalyptic, sandbox survival game built on CryEngine.

After the events of nuclear fallout humanity attempts to hang on of what remains in this unforgiving world, take control in this online experience to survive and be-friend others or choose to stand on your own. Stay alive from mutants that roam the land and other players in this unbelievably beautiful apocalypse reclaimed by nature.

Note: Miscreated is currently in early alpha stages so some features are still being developed and added. This is not a finial representation of the full game.

 

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Miscreated is a game that Steam has been flashing at me for years due to being similar to the other games I sometimes play such as DayZ and H1z1. I remember first being suggested it years ago, and all the reviews said it was crap, which is the case for nearly all of the Early Access/Zombie Survival games out there, so I didn’t pay it much mind and certainly didn’t buy it.

I’m forever looking for a good Open World Sand Box survival game. I wrote an article a couple months ago about DayZ Standalone being worth playing yet, which i said yes, but I have since changed my mind. While DayZ Standalone works good when you’re in a isolated area, the engine is such crap that the FPS is so low in city areas, which I discovered when I tried to get one of my friends to come play it with me, and I was attempting to meet him in a coastal town. Most of my time playing it alone was at the Airfield far away from the towns, so I was getting good FPS. I don’t think DayZ Standalone can be fixed, and that’s due to the engine. I even recently started attempting to play ARMA 3 since I upgraded my graphics card to a EVGA 980 TI FTW edition, and it still struggles to even perform, it’s simply the engine. So no hope for any game based on it, which has been obvious all along, which is too bad. I love the atmosphere of the engine.

H1Z1 is still a weird mess. I’m not so sure why I don’t like it. The of the movement/controls, atmosphere – such as visual and audio is just off. The zombies are awesome though. But meh, I just can’t get into it the way I do DayZ. Maybe it seems too arcadish.

Since I’m still looking for a decent Survival game, I decided to give Miscreated a shot, and I got a really good deal on it over at G2a.com (use them at your own risk).

And man did Micreated really surprise me, and made me wish that I had tried to much sooner.

Miscreated - under an Overpass
Miscreated – under an Overpass

Micreated comes with a proper server browser, which displays the player count, ping, and other info in the server title. I decided to join an empty server so I could run around and see how the game acts. At the current time, there are several servers to play on. Keep in mind that its 4am when i took the following screenshot, so many people are probably asleep. During daytime hours there are several servers with 30+ people in them.

Miscreated Server Browsers
Miscreated Server Browsers

While connecting to a server, the game displays the recent patch notes, and it seems the devs are actively adding to the game. March alone had 4 patches, one which added bicycles, and another which added a new AI system. So they’re actively supporting the game.

I spawned into a world that actually looked like something crazy had happened . Over grown weeds, grass, moss and vines on the buildings. The towns actually look abandoned, unlike the copy and paste of buildings that you see in DayZ. Also although alot of the buildings in Miscreated are the same, the interiors are often different, such as curtains, furniture, and loot, and by the way, the curtains blow with the wind. Not static as in DayZ and H1Z1, although I’m not too sure where the wind is coming from since the windows they’re covering are still in place.

Abanonded town in Miscreated
Abandoned town in Miscreated

Another thing that caught my eye is how filthy the windows looked, as if they have a grime on them, as you would expect in a post-apocalyptic world.

The audio too is amazing and immersive, could hear wind, insects doing their noise making, trees. The game has an amazing atmosphere. I haven’t heard any silly sounds, like random sticks breakingin the forest (one thing that annoys me about DayZ, sounds shouldn’t happen unless there is an actual reason for them to be happening).

The game does have close range voice chat built in, which seems to work pretty good. Also has the text communications as well.

The graphics are really nice . I pretty much maxed them all out, and get great performance. I like to leave v-sync on which gave me a constant 60fps. Low graphics setting in DayZ wont even give me 30fps.

But there is a major issue with the graphics in Miscreated and how it loads objects. There currently is no setting for view distance, so trees, some structures, and other things vanish as you get a certain distance from them, which isn’t a major issue since you’d have to be standing on a tall structure or mountain/hill to notice this. But the weeds load in front of you, i’d say with 50-100 yards, both of which ruin the immersion to a point. The issue with the weeds is common and every game has it. Hopefully the devs include a View Distance setting in the future. Being able to climb up high to have a nice view would be nice. I know keeping this setting low helps people with less powerful machines, but if we have powerful enough machines, we should be able to take advantage of them.

Miscreated - Grunge on the windows!
Miscreated – Grunge on the windows!

I started walking around and wow, the devs have paid so much attention to detail, which is a constant reminder in the game. When you walk through tall grass, bushes, weeds, etc they will bend and bend back behind you as you clear them, not only is this a visual effect, there is also a sound effect that goes along with it.

You can easily follow/track someone because your feet leave tracks in the dirt, mud, sand, etc as you walk, and the foot prints lasts a least a couple of minutes.

Shadows match up with everything else as well, unlike other games such as Rust which have odd clunky shadows. I’m not sure why the simple things amaze me so much anymore, but even turning on the flashlight gives a shadow where you can see your thumb move to flick it on – amazing!

 

Miscreated - Be careful, you leave a trail behind.
Miscreated – Be careful, you leave a trail behind.
Foot prints match your steps, whether you side step, walk backwards, or what. Also a glimpse at the nice lighting and shadows in the game.
Foot prints match your steps, whether you side step, walk backwards, or what. Also a glimpse at the nice lighting and shadows in the game.
TRACKS!
TRACKS!

The lighting in the game is really nice as well, and it affects the way you play. For example the flashlights come in handy because if you’re doing fast and quick looting, it takes a while for your eyes adjust to the light after you run into a garage or building out of the sun. Which is really cool, and adds to the immersion.

Another nice thing to do with the lighting is that the clouds actually cast shadows, which you can see slowly moving across the ground. THAT ATTENTION TO DETAIL!

The game has both first person, and third person view modes, which can easily be changed by pushing f1, or using the mouse scroll wheel. I wish it didn’t have third person since people can use it to cheat by seeing around and over things, but its helpful at times. I usually only stay in first person in these games, for the immersion, plus they seem to work better for me, but for many of these screenshots I took in third person to help display the graphics, and my current action.

Miscreated 04.04.2016 - 01.54.05.22
Miscreeated – Kicking is fluid!

The controls in the game are very fluid, and work very well. I’m not having any issues aiming, changing weapons, jumping, crouching, or anything. It all works pretty good. You can kick or punch enemies very easily and smoothly.

Miscreated -Dead Thorn hand mutated guy...
Miscreated -Dead Thorn hand mutated guy…

I am a bit tired of Zombie games, I would really just enjoy a realistic survival game, but since nearly every survival game has zombies, we might as well judge them, and how the devs implement them. I must give credit to the devs for not calling the threat “zombies”, but instead they are referred to as “grotesque mutated humans”.  There are several different types of mutated peeps in the game, some look stronger, some loot liked old me, and some have spiked arms.

The AI doesn’t seem to great at the moment. Some of the mutated fellas spot you in the distance, while others go on their way. Tracking is kind of stupid, once they spot you, they seem to know exactly how to get to you. The only way I’ve found to lose them is to run and run and jump over fences or maybe go through alot of houses. They seem unable to jump over fences, but weirdly they know to go to the closest opening in the fence, and get to you that way. I know the new AI system is, well new, so they’ll have to tweak it here and there. The mutants aren’t bad, and are a threat, but just need to be smarter and more intuitive. For example, they should be able to slowly crawl or climb over fences.

 

Miscreated - Oh no! I've been spotted
Miscreated – Oh no! I’ve been spotted
Miscreated - Being attacked by a mutant!
Miscreated – Being attacked by a mutant!
Miscreated - Dead Mutant
Miscreated – Dead Mutant

I’m not too sure how the game spawns the mutants, I’m not sure if they’re spawned by the server and always exist, or are like DayZ and spawn and despawn based on the player. But I don’t see mutants randomly popping out of light poles as they do in DayZ, which is good. I’ve only ever seen a random mutant here or there, but most of the mutants I see around towns and neighbor hoods, where the population used to be, which makes much sense.

Being chased by two mutants. The skinny one is much faster than the muscle one, about as fast as players are.
Being chased by two mutants. The skinny one is much faster than the muscle one, about as fast as players are.

 

Miscreated - Looting a house - very dark other than the sunlight shining in through window, flash light is very helpful
Miscreated – Looting a house – very dark other than the sunlight shining in through window, flash light is very helpful
Bones!
Bones!
Looting, found corn on the stove!
Looting, found corn on the stove! Using a Flashlight in doors, makes it much easier!

The game handles loot very well. I’m not too sure of the loot spawn cycle such as in the time for the original spawn, and then respawn, but there always seemed to be enough loot, especially food. Weapons don’t spawn as much as other loot does, but I was able to find a pistol, shotgun, and plenty of melee weapons such as bats, axes (which can also cut wood apparently), and knives. I’m satisfied with the loot system. Seems to certainly work much better than the system H1Z1 has in place.

There is a food and hydration level in the game and a hud that displays your levels. Your levels will eventually drain, and you have to eat and drink to raise them again. It’s a decent system, and isn’t overly annoying as in DayZ or H1Z1. The levels go down at a realistic pace, and isn’t much of an issue if you’re drinking and eating every now and then. I hope they keep it the way it is, and don’t make it as stupid as it is especially in DayZ where it seems you have to drink every 30 seconds, and THANK DEVS, that there aren’t any “I feel thirsty” messages that pop up every 10 seconds as well!

Miscreated Inventory Screen
Miscreated Inventory Screen

The inventory screen is pretty much what you’d expect in Survival games, and really looks no different than the one DayZ or H1Z1. There is a tab system where you can click over to crafting, and the Clan info. Also displays your weight, I haven’t noticed any weight affects in the game, such as unable to carry more items, but this is a great idea if it does go that route. For example, carry as much as stuff as you want, as long as its not too heavy. I wonder if this effects your food, and hydration levels.

Micreated has a crafting system, which I only fiddled with a bit. I’m still new to it, so i haven’t came across enough resources to really craft all that much. I’m constantly finding things that you can use for crafting, such as lights, rope, cloth, and many other things. I’ve only made things such as a backpack, which worked flawlessly. You can use an axe to gather wood to craft many things, and objects to build bases, i think you can do the same to gather barbed wire, which is used in alot of crafting recipes. Unlike DayZ, it pretty much tells you which ingredients you’ll need to craft, and it doesn’t make you “discover” recipes like H1Z1 does by fiddling with randomly loot,  NICE!

Miscreated Bases
Miscreated – Cycling past user built Bases which look identical to ones you’ll see in H1Z1

I see bases that other people have built, which really much look identical to the bases in H1Z1, but from what I understand, you can place objects any which way you’d like, and it’s not a snap together thing as you see in other games. It’s more freeform. And I think there is a base protection system. The game has a clan system built in where you can create clans, add members, etc and only those people can alter your base.

Claimed Land
Claimed Land

I think you have to claim land in order to build, and you can see these claimed land signs at new bases.

Truck just waiting to be fixed up and driven away!
One of the vehicles that you can fix up and drive in the game. A nice grungy truck.

The size of the map isn’t too big, but isn’t small either. I’ve played for several hours and I’m still finding new places, and also getting lost still. I think the map currently is only 8km x 8km, which is total  64² km. The devs have stated that the map is only 20% completed, and will add to it over time.  The map is large enough that traveling can be a chore, and thankfully, the Devs have already added vehicles and bicycles for traveling. There are also lot of rivers and streams in the game, and they added boats so you can navigate via water!

Miscreated - Map
Miscreated – Map. the red areas are parts of the map that have yet been added to the game.

There are in game maps that you can discover amid the loot, which look, and work realistically. For example, you have to actually equip the map one of your object slots, and physically have to open it and look at it in first person view, which I thought was amazing. Like I said, the immersion and this game is amazing, and the attention to detail such as this really adds to it.

There are several vehicles in the game, which work kind of the way they do in DayZ. You have to find parts to the vehicles, such as wheels, spark plugs, batteries, engine belt, fuel and oil. I haven’t messed with the vehicles too much. I did spend time fixing up a quad on a empty server. I found all the needed parts but the oil.  The fuel level constantly goes down, which means you have to constantly look for more fuel. I find fuel all over the place so it’s not an issue really.

The devs recently added bicycles. They’re in a early state, so they don’t seem to go faster or slow, just the same pace all the time, and there is no pedaling animation yet, but they work and get you to places faster. I think the bicycles despawn if no one touches them for a certain amount of time.

Miscreated - Abandoned Gas Station.
Miscreated – Abandoned Gas Station.

I haven’t had any issues with PVP in the game. I usually stay to myself far away from populated areas in survival games, but periodically run into other outsiders as was the case earlier. I was running around looting houses, and I ran into one and as my eyes adjusted, I spotted a guy standing directly in front of me, he was probably as shocked as I was, and he immediately said Hi to me over voice. I didn’t have my mic hooked up, which wasn’t much of an issue because the game has many gestures built in, such as hands up, waving, etc which are easy to access since they are the Function keys such as f2 f3, etc, so I immediately put both of my hands up to show that I wasn’t hostile, and then we talked over text chat. He didn’t seem to have any weapons, so i gave him my Axe, Hunting Knife, and a shot gun I had found. Then we used the wave gesture, and both went separate ways, which was a really nice moments. So many times in H1Z1 and DayZ, i would’ve been punched or shot immediately.

Miscreated - Waving goodbye to a new friend!
Miscreated – Waving goodbye to a new friend!

I’m not too sure why Miscreated has gotten such a bad rap.

I’m not too sure why Miscreated has gotten a bad rap. It could be due to the logo being a nearly identical rip of of Day’z Logo concept (white letters, silhouettes of zombies/people cutting out the lettering, etc), and the art on the loading screen is nearly indentical to the art style used by WarZ/infestation blah blah blah,  so people may assume its a cheap copy/rip off, or maybe people are just really burnt out on Early Access titles.

It’s too bad though because this game is really great, and it’ll be the survival game i’ll be playing for now on. I’m perfectly happy with it, and I haven’t came across any game breaking bugs or issues. I hope the Devs keep up the good work, and the game only gets better.

Miscreated LOGO and Art style might chase people away.
Miscreated LOGO and Art style might chase people away.

Micreated has the most realistic feel and atmosphere out of any of the Survival games I’ve played so far, and the immersion is amazing.

Keep in mind that this is still early access, and isn’t feature complete and there are some bugs, even though I haven’t ran into any. Like many other Early Access titles, it can go downhill quickly. But in its current state, it’s amazing and i’m really enjoying it.

Links:

Steam Store Page – $19.99
Miscreated Wiki Page – All the info you need to know!
Official Website