The closed alpha of one of my highly anticipated games of the year finally dropped over the weekend. While I've only spent about an hours worth of time in the game, I believe that's about all the time one can really sink into the game at the moment. I've been invited into many alphas and betas before, and Wild West Online does not even feel like an alpha at this point. I would not hesitate to call it a pre-alpha. It's extremely unfinished and needs a lot of work before it gets into a beta state. The game is missing many components, and while this is completely understandable, there should have been one of two things done before they released it into a closed alpha.
- They could have much better set the expectations of what folks could and couldn't do in the closed alpha. Very little can actually be done in the world, before you simply get bored and log out. OR
- Polish it up a little more, and add in a short in-game tutorial on basic mechanics and add 1-3 quests so there was something to do besides wandering around aimlessly.
The world has little to no NPCs, very little environment to interact with, the environment that does exist has some untextured items (mostly found in houses), very little audio (they just barely add footstep sounds), somewhat forgettable control schemes, and lots of bugs (which are definitely to be expected). I also couldn't find anywhere to see how much money I have, I figured hitting the 'I' key which is noted as the inventory would do this, but hitting the key yield nothing.
Bugs I found include:
- There is a messed up horse in the starting area. I've found out that she's now known as Broke Neck Sally.
- You can just walk through certain doors.
- Calling for your horse can spawn him/her hundreds of meters away.
- You can get stuck on random and sometimes unseen objects, requiring you to log out and log back in.
- Walking on what appears to be dry land gives off the sound of walking in the water.
- Amount of money your characters has appears to change between logins (for example, one login I couldn't afford a drink at the bar, but could during another login)
- Lots of missing text in many of the menus.
I do however have hopes for the game and I very much wish that it will be a successful title. It's still very early in the development process, but I think a holiday 2017 delivery date is not achievable at this point. At least not for the depth and quality of a game I would expect. I really hope they take their time and do this right. The game has a lot of potential, though if all else fails it'll keep me occupied until Red Dead Redemption 2 comes out.