Orion: Dino Beatdown is the recently released first-person, dino-blasting, vehicular shooter. It looks like Halo, plays out like Call of Duty and has a bit of Starsiege: Tribes feel to it. There's somewhat of a glaring issue with the game, though, it's nearly bugged to oblivion.
The game recently launched this Friday, and my initial impression was positive but reluctant. The game obviously needs some patch-work. Paying gamers weren't really keen on waiting it out though, because the day-one patch from Spiral Games didn't quite bring the game up to par. The result? All kinds of a furor broke out on Reddit.
Here's the thing...the game is being offered on Steam for $9.99, but it's only partially playable in its current state. It's designed by some indie guys from Spiral Games Studio. It's not a big budget blockbuster. Orion does have potential, though. I would suggest you hold off on buying the game until the patch arrives, lest your expectations be met with something unsavory.
As one Reddit member brought out, it's like the game was released as a finished product while still being in pre-alpha. Some of the sound cuts out, the vehicles still need a bit of polish in their functionality even though some of them are usable. Weapon behavior is pretty good and the iron sights are about spot on. Each gun feels about right. The dinosaurs have AI path-finding issues and there's very little incentive to actually explore the maps just yet, other than camping an area and killing dinos from a safe place. Still, the shooting mechanics are very satisfying, many of the rifles and assault weapons react and shoot spot-on. The melee is executed superbly. Skills function about right. Multiple players can still make good use out of the vehicles. And the in-game upgrading and weapon unlocks are quite engaging.
Given that the game is 10% off right now on Steam and has only been available for just over a day, there's still room to grow. Had this been released on console for $59.99 from a larger publisher, that would have been completely unacceptable. However, this is coming from a team who designed and marketed their own game on a shoestring budget. I think there's room for leeway in this case.
According to the flame-engulfed forums on Steam, David Prassel from Spiral Games Studio addresses the game's biggest flaws and assures paying consumers that a fix for most of these issues will arrive by Monday.
The version I played was the version pre-patched before Friday's release patch. So it was tough to tell what would actually get fixed by the time the game was ready to be released. It has tons of potential but needs some serious patching.
I'm looking forward to the update come Monday. However, is the uproar necessary for the game releasing in such a dysfunctional state? Well, it's hard to say...gamers who don't mind Bethesda games requiring a dozen or so patches to be playable will probably feel right at home with Orion. Gamers who expect a fully playable, bug-free game from an indie studio working on a large-scale ambitious project like this to hit day-one may have their sights set a little too high. We'll definitely key you in on how improved the game is come Monday and whether it lives up to its $9.99 budget price.