“Atlas is the truest pirate game. It takes your money and runs.”
Being announced a week before release, Atlas looked like it had ambitions that the gaming industry had never seen before. 40,000 people on one server? A huge map full of hand-crafted and fun things to do? Fun co-op and PvP interactions between players? None of these were delivered on launch. People had doubts about the game, as it was coming from a company that has not had the best track record, but the industry was willing to give it a chance. A chance that the game blew.
Atlas was announced at The Game Awards 2018 as a life-size pirate epic with survival elements, that looked to improve on the mediocre take on the genre earlier this year in Sea of Thieves. The game was due to come out a little more than a week after The Game Awards on December 13, 2018, but was later delayed day after day until December 22. Something fishy was going on, but nothing could stop the excitement for the world’s first Open World-Survival-Pirate-MMO.
The game came out, and it was littered with bugs and glitches. It is still close to unplayable, with it taking over 2 hours to load into the game, and barely scraping by 60FPS on a 2080ti. Most early access titles have bugs and glitches, but this game was worse than any other. While this alone would not garner all the hate the game got, there were many more monstrosities sticking up the proverbial finger to players who paid 30 dollars for a broken mess.
The game was confirmed by fans who did some digging into the game files to be a poorly designed reskin/mod of the company’s previous game, ARK: Survival Evolved. The reskin was so badly hidden that if you went down from the last option on the menu and hit enter, you were in the “create new world” settings area from ARK. This game was originally planned to be a boat DLC in ARK, but the devs realized that all the people still playing ARK own the season pass, and they needed to steal more money from the gaming industry. In this menu Atlas is listed as the “Ocean” DLC for ARK.
Even aside from all this, and when the gameplay works, it is trying to be too many things at once to excel in any one area. The PvP and the co-op are not fun at all, piloting your boat is not fun, and managing your hunger and thirst bars are atrocious. The only fun I have had in the game is on the Twitch streamer Forsen’s private server. It was still not enjoyable, but a hillarous community made one of the worst games of this year slightly more enjoyable. It is still not worth 30 dollars to get memes blasted into your ears while you deal with frustrating mechanics on a server that will most likely shut down in a few days, when Forsen moves on from this game.
My Rating: 2/10
Atlas does not deliver on any of it’s ambitions, while breaking all of the video game industry’s unwritten rules. The game is the truest pirate game. It takes your money and runs.