Durango: Wild Lands Preview: Into the land of the lost

Durango

The Basics

  • Name: Durango: Wild Lands
  • Developer: Nexon & What! Studio
  • Genre: Survival, RPG
  • Price: Free, with IAPs

The Details

  • Installed size: 517 mb
  • Best played in long sessions
  • Lots of bugs and translation errors
  • Playable Offline: No

What is Durango?

Durango: Wild Lands is a long awaited survival RPG published by Nexon. Still in its beta testing phase, the game has been opened up to the public in a number of countries. In Durango players are dropped into the odd dinosaur filled world and must do whatever they can to survive. That includes completing missions for the game’s factions, hunting dinosaurs, crafting new equipment, cooking, building shelter and more. In a feature rarely seen in mobile games, players can sell their loot and crafted gear to to other players via the game’s market. The game has 12 different skills, each with their own skill tree, to level up and customize. While you might not need to master them all, you will need to be familiar with most in order to survive the world of Durango.

The survival aspect of Durango comes into play with the game’s fatigue and stamina systems. If you find yourself on an island with a cold temperature, and jump in some water to get a drink, prepare for the adverse conditions to cause your fatigue to rise rapidly. On the other hand if you’re bundled up in warm clothing sitting next to a bonfire your fatigue may actually drop. This makes preparation and planning important when heading onto islands with harsh weather conditions. On the other hand, stamina is depleted with every action you take. A lack of stamina will stop you from performing certain actions in combat, or give you the option of using your health instead when crafting.

Durango Gameplay

Content

  • 12 different skills to masters, including things like archery and cooking
  • Stamina system: No*
  • PVP: Yes
  • CO-OP: Yes
  • Social features: Friends list, chat, clans, and more.

Presentation

  • Graphics quality: Good
  • Audio quality: Average
  • Audio recommended: No
  • UI quality: Average
  • Overall presentation: Average

*while Durango has a stamina system, it is a part of its survival mechanics, and stamina is easily recovered. This is entirely different from typical stamina systems designed to limit the amount of time one can play

Recommendation

Durango: Wild Lands is a game with a ton of stuff to do, different locals to explore, and a lot of bugs. Given that this is still in early access and that the game is pretty broad in scope, a lot of the bugs can be overlooked. What’s left is a really good survival game. The skill and crafting systems are deep and compelling. While the game looks good, the frame rate may dip on low-end devices. There are also some pacing issues with the game. The first 20 levels go by in a flash, then after than things start to slow down, and every 5 levels each skill requires an upgrade that’s linked to a timer. This starts off as a small 5 minute upgrade that you don’t need to worry about, but even at level 30 it becomes 1 hour. That might not seem bad, but remember, this is needed every 5 levels for every one of your skills. It is worth remembering that this is still a free game with in app purchases, and these timers can be skipped using premium currency. Compared to most other mobile games, Durango has surprisingly little focus on in app purchases, perhaps that will change when it gets closer to launch. Regardless, right now the game is great, and a must try for anyone looking for a deeper mobile experience or just a good survival game. For a list of countries that are a part of the beta, take a look at our Durango beta news article.

Get it on Google Play
Note: This preview reflects the author’s views on the game at the time it was played. The state of the game may have changed since that time. Please note that installed size includes optional downloads where applicable.