Atrio: The Dark Wild is, according to developer Isto Inc., a survival game set in a cyberpunk-inspired post-apocalyptic world. You are a nameless android tasked with restoring Station 3. Where are all the humans? What is your real purpose? What are these giant statues? The only way to know is to head into the dark wild. The game comes out in Early Access on Steam on August 10th, but I had a chance to take it for a spin this last weekend. I really enjoyed my time with Atrio: The Dark Wild, so here are three excellent reasons you should add it to your wishlist.
Fun and Creative Gameplay
The core gameplay of Atrio consists of creating assembly-line productions to help get Station 3 back online. There are countless options to choose from when trying to procure the resources you need. I found myself often making as creative and obnoxious tracks as possible, even though a simpler option would have worked fine. One of my favorite mechanics is the importance of keeping the lights on in the game. If you let the main generator run out of power, the lights will dim, and you’ll find yourself attacked by the mysterious creatures hiding out in the darkness. You can craft torches and lightbulbs to help light up the area, but always keep an eye on the amount of energy they have left.
There are not a ton of resources to craft and work with at the moment, but the game is still in the early stages, so I expect we’ll see more as time passes. What I will say is that I never found myself getting bored despite the more limited options. There are creatures in the world that play an important role in the gameplay, especially the pooping deer. Yeah, you read that right. Even better, you actually need that poop as you progress further into the game. Hard to hate on a glorious mechanic like that. You’ll also be able to use some of the other creatures to help with your factory builds, but it’s best if you experiment around with that on your own and discover new and unique ways to use the environment around you.
A Wild and Wacky Story That Will Keep You Engaged
Atrio could exist as simply a mining and crafting simulator, but I imagine in a vacuum that would get old fairly quickly. Where Atrio really shines is the use of its wacky and witty story to keep the player engaged. You play as nameless androids that are constantly dying out and needing to be replaced. They may be nameless, but they do each have some personality to them. I found myself desperate to know more and more about Station 3 and the mysteries behind it. Why are there no people in the world, and why are the androids there in the first place? These are all mysteries that will continue to unravel as you explore the dark wild in Atrio. I can’t wait to see where the story continues to go after what I have played so far!
A Beautifully Eerie Atmosphere
While the entire game may not be complete, the atmosphere inside of Atrio is truly breathtaking and gives a pretty clear vision of the world they are looking to create. The music is eerie and dark, and the visual design choices in the world are just fascinating. The looks of the various creatures are unique and truly amazing as well. I was honestly drawn to Atrio first by screenshots of the art style, and it does not disappoint when you see it all in action.
Personally, I’d like to see a bit more variety in the music, but that’s also just because I’m a firm believer in there being no such thing as too much amazing music. Still, count me in on day one to purchase the soundtrack for what we have in-game if one ever becomes available. I still have the main menu theme running in my head days after playing.
Atrio: The Dark Wild launches in Early Access on Steam on August 10th.