Deiland is a title that can attract attention right from the main menu, not even if she were the prettiest girl of the whole afternoon group in the park. The concept, however, is one of the simplest and perhaps even abused, since it looks like an action rpg sandbox with elements survival and crafting. The question of how all this can be concentrated in a title like this arises spontaneously, and in any case it needed a thorough test to analyze the accumulation of mechanics.
The project around the title is certainly interesting, since it was originally created for smartphones and then land on PC and PS4, with a clear and well-targeted operation of expansion of the game proposal.
DRAW ME A SHEEP
The title of CreativeForge immediately appears to draw on the timeless Little Prince of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, with the protagonist whose commands we will take, the young Arch, who awakens without memory on the tiny planet Deiland. From here begins what we can call the main quest of the game, with the mission of becoming aware of ourselves, the potential of the planet and the importance of the latter, if compared to the entire universe.
In this first phase of the game comes to our aid the space explorer Mûn, who acts as a real tutorial to learn the basic commands and activities to be carried out. She herself, fascinated by having discovered a new and unique planet, informs us of our status as direct owners of the celestial body, being the first to have set foot on it, and that therefore we have as our task its absolute protection. In a scattered order, Arco will have to cultivate food, build specific equipment or buildings in case of need, or even defend the planet from attacks by alien creatures. Deiland places the greatest emphasis on these two aspects, namely on the management of the planet and on the little history that will allow us, gradually, to move to different areas beyond the planet itself. Precisely in these mechanics you can see the great trick behind the title, although you play it on PC or PS4, Deiland remains a title anchored to its original system of “portability”, which requires the player not too long sessions of play, under penalty of a strong redundancy in activities that can lead, for the same reason, to a quick abandonment of the title.
There is a story that, however, will prove to be an end in itself, just like the different side missions that will turn out to be simple quests of delivery or creation of certain objects. In the latter case we are faced with a very simple system of crafting, which will take our Arch to wander around the planet collecting rock and wood to build the first tools of the trade, such as picks or hammers, and then devote himself to the construction and enhancement of structures such as our shelter, a bonfire or a well from which to recover water. It should be stressed that all these activities present a system of progression to the limit of frustration: it will happen many times to remain short of trees to be felled, so we will first have to plant the seed, wait for the growth of the new shrub and then cut it down, recover resources (always few) and start the operation again. The result is that, to get to a quantity of at least 50 units of wood, we will have to pass on the activity just described at least an hour or so, always taking into account the high construction requirements.
In addition to the classic bars of health and experience, it will be necessary to keep in check also the energy factor, since Arco will spend a well-defined amount for each action performed (fight, collect resources, work the land, felling trees), at the end of the energy will be necessary to return to our shelter and sleep, recharging the energy and feeding any level up of our protagonist. The management of the experience itself does not differ much from the camps of Final Fantasy XV, which is why, if we want to advance level, we will always be forced to return to our small camp.
THE ESSENTIAL IS INVISIBLE TO THE EYES
As already pointed out, after a couple of hours of play is revealed the only – but big – flaw of Deiland, namely to try to support many game mechanics, never implemented in a perfect way.deiland review
THE GAME TRIES TO SUPPORT TOO MANY GAME MECHANICS, NEVER IMPLEMENTED IN A PERFECT WAY
To put it better, it seems that every dynamic of the gameplay exists outside the course of events: our Arch will suffer hunger, for example, but there will be almost impossible to remain without food or, if it ever happens, just approach the bonfire to recover all the energy. Even the few fights that we face, based on a scheme hack and slash rather crude, will be very easy to complete because of the obvious possibility of bringing the enemy to the same dining points, resulting in virtually invincible and canceling, thus, any degree of difficulty. And it’s a shame, given the incredible artistic direction of the game: net of a light and naive graphics, Deiland looks like a happy marriage of colors in which, however, each session of the game will be accompanied by a sweet and fascinating soundtrack, capable of abducting the first listen.
And it is on these characteristics that the game acquires a strong identity in presenting itself to the player: with all the signs that, however, sanction a limited ability to surprise, in the face of the lack of refinement of the mechanics, Deiland manages to be an experience full of joy, fun and lightheartedness. The innocent and childish aspect is never an end in itself, and helps the narrative progression when, for certain reasons, we move elsewhere, or even when other nice NPCs land on the planet, ready to commission this or start market activities.
Without telling anything truly original, or presenting really convincing play mechanics, Deiland proves to be a fun and carefree “game curtain” without real commitment, aiming at a very wide range of players who will displease those looking for a survival naked and raw, while thrilling the youngest or, at the limit, a user who wants to approach the genres of reference with a level of difficulty with little punitive.