Palworld Review: Pros and Cons

Palworld Review: Pros and Cons

Observers dubbed it as Pokémon with guns. Some have noted that it is a total rip-off of the popular video game title that banks on shock humor without addressing its unoriginal game design and game mechanics. Nevertheless, despite these divisive opinions, Palworld has sold over 2 million copies within the first 24 hours of early access release on 19 January 2024 and 8 million after six days. It has become one of the most talked-about games for 2024. Time will tell if it can live up to the hype. This article reviews the pros and cons of Palworld.

Pros of Palworld: Notable Gameplay Features

Palworld is an action-adventure, survival, and monster-taming video game set in an open-world environment. It is being developed by Japanese game developer Pocket Pair. The open-world setting is called Palpagos Island. It is inhabited by over 100 animal-like creatures called Pals which players can battle and capture to use for combat with other players and Pals and for building their bases. The main objective of each player is to survive by managing their hunger level, gathering resources, and crafting basic tools as he or she builds his or her base while also battling threats from non-playable characters and other players. Below are its notable gameplay features:

1. Classic Survival Game Mechanics

This game has the same traditional features as common survival games. These include building a base camp and customizing it with structures and decorations. The player is also required to either scavenge for food or farm and grow crops and raise livestock for survival. A tech tree allows the unlocking of new technologies for crafting tools, weapons, and structures.

2. Creature Collecting and Breeding

A central feature of Palworld is monster-taming. There are over 100 creatures called Pals that can be captured through battling and using an item called Pal Sphere similar to Pokémon, purchased in a black market, or traded with other players. A captured creature can be used for battles, mounting, or helping with tasks such as harvesting, cooking, and fishing.

3. Interactive Open World Setting

The game is set in a vast location called Palpagos Island. It can be explored various modes of transportation such as boats, cars, and Pals. This gameplay feature involves encountering and battling different non-playable characters, joining an alliance, encountering and capturing other Pals, and teaming up with other players to participate in events and raids.

Cons of Palworld: Limitations and Key Issues

There is a lot to unpack from Palworld. The entire gameplay is a little bit more complex compared to Pokémon and other monster-taming games. This is understandable because it is a mixed-genre video game that is centered on the classic survival genre and integrated with elements from action-adventure and open-world genres. It remains a fun and well-rounded game. However, because of its satirical premise and use of shock humor, it is not intended for children or should be played with parental guidance. Some gamers might also find it an outright desecration of Pokémon due to its relatively tasteless humor. The following are its limitations and key issues:

1. Weak and Vague Narrative Elements

One of the most notable problems with Palworld is that it has a weak and vague story. It is dependent on exploring the open world environment and survival elements. This is somewhat similar to common massive and multi-player RPG games. The narrative is not as engaging and interesting as classic Japanese RPG games with deeper world-building lore.

2. Controversial Unethical Gameplay

Fans of Pokémon have criticized this game for ripping off the beloved game franchise. Others have noted that its reliance on shock humor is disturbing. Take note that players can choose between peaceful and exploitative playstyles. There is an option for players to consume their captured Pals or exploit them through hard labor in base camps.

3. Performance and Optimization Issues

Another drawback of Palworld is that it is limited to Windows and Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X platforms. This is also playable in handheld PC gaming devices running on Windows. It is still also under continuous development. The early access version has several bugs. These include issues with Xbox controls and server performance bottlenecks.

Review Verdict: Pros and Cons of Palworld

Fans of monster-catching games would find Palworld somewhat refreshing. The same is true for lovers of survival games. There is something novel about this particular game title. It cannot be denied that its obvious satirical take on the entire Pokémon franchise is part of its appeal. Perhaps, for adults who love satires and politically incorrect entertainment, this game could pique their interest. Even serious gamers could also give it a go because it does a lot of things that other traditional and older monster-catching games failed to do. A notable drawback is that it is currently limited to Windows PC and the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X consoles. It is also undergoing further development and it would take a year or two for it to cement its position as a true hit similar to titles like Minecraft and Fortnite.