Don’t Starve: Giant Edition Review (Xbox One)
Seems these days that the Xbox One and Playstation 4 get left behind when it comes to a lot of titles. Sure, they have their exclusive games to keep us all interested, but it’s no secret that for smaller games, you’ll usually get them earlier on Steam.
Don’t Starve is no exception. Don’t Starve: Giant Edition includes the base game and the Rise of Giants DLC, and having now hit the Xbox One Arcade it’s time to raise the mantle of Wilson, a Gentleman Scientist who pushes the boundaries of experimentation too far, and finds himself in a wild, unexplored land with one goal; Don’t Starve.
Clever, isn’t it?
Don’t Starve was always well received in a world of games that followed a similar formula; Player winds up in an uninhabited world, player has to find and build tools to survive. Don’t Starve never shied away from its obvious Minecraft influence, and it serves the game well. You start with nothing in your inventory (well, that depends on character; Willow, for example, starts the game with a lighter) and need to find the basics of survival. You’ll need sticks to make an axe so you can get wood, and finding food is, of course, crucial.
Don’t Starve features a day and night cycle that massively impacts how you play the game. During the day, it’s time to explore, searching for food and materials to help you along in your quest. As night falls, however, you’ll want to build yourself a fire and just sit tight near it, for the night is dark and full of terrors. You can use the lull in action to build and repair your equipment, cook and eat your food, and contemplate the meaning of existence as the fire crackles, all while trying to ignore the noises coming from off into the dark…
The various randomly generated worlds of Don’t Starve are littered with creatures that can help and hinder you. You can harvest honey and stingers from Bees, if they don’t kill you first, monster meat and string from Spiders, if they don’t kill you first, and scavenge crucial materials from the villages of the Pig people, if they don’t kill you first. Of course, you can use the stuff you find to create weapons and armour to give you a better chance of killing them first.
There’s an obvious Tim Burton influence to the music and art style of Don’t Starve, which helps it to stand out in an otherwise saturated market. You can have your character examine anything they come across in the environment, and each character you can choose has a different opinion about different objects and creatures, which is refreshing. You unlock these other characters by surviving for as long as you can before dying; death is permanent in Don’t Starve, but the longer you survive, the more experience you get.
As is generally the norm with these types of games, the controls work admirably on a consoles gamepad, but were obviously designed to be used with mouse and keyboard. It doesn’t hinder the experience in any way, but it takes a while to get accustomed to the controls.
Don’t Starve: Giant Edition is a good game. There’s a lot of fun to be had here. If you’ve already got it on Steam, then you’ll have access to a lot more content. After all, Don’t Starve is two and a half years old now, with the Rise of Giants DLC launching in April 2014. If it’s a title you don’t have already, however, it’s absolutely worth a shot if you enjoy rogue-likes, and games like Minecraft and Terraria
7.5 nights survived out of 10