Cube World is something that I've had my eye on for a good while now. So when we got Fight the Dragon I figured why not get this at the same time? They are similar in the sense that they are both hack and slash RPGs but that is about where the similarities end. Instead of diving into maps, players explore randomly generated procedural open worlds. Whether attacking this alone, or with a friend, its one hell of a world to see.
Currently within its alpha as of last year, Cube World is an Action / Adventure RPG that makes me think of 3D Dot Game Heroes as players explore the world while leveling up their Characters to obtain better skills for their chosen class. At the moment Cube World offers two options for playing with the first being a solo experience while the second is through a LAN setup. I haven’t touched the solo portion as much other than when she went out of town for a few days mocking me to keep up level wise. While performing LAN at home is great, currently for players who wish to join each other online will require Hamachi or some other VPN based software to link up to create a LANed environment.
I’ve had a few chances to try out the variety of classes that players are offered in which to explore the various open worlds that are generated. At first this was viewed with a bit of disdain as I was holding up our explorations as I continuously fell back in levels until she realized that she was not bound to one class either. In the end I settled on my warrior Cloud, because let’s be honest he looks like our famed spiky haired hero, who ran around weidling this giant club that should not be lifted by regular mortals to pound enemies into the ground. Outdoing me as usual, she chose the path of the mage with the power of fire at her call and was normally done before I could make it up for the fight. While the mage was quite powerful and the rogue quick quick they just didn’t fit how I wanted to fight monsters in Cube World. While different weapons changed certain aspects it was nice to see that different classes could act differently and suit players of various styles even if it may not be their normal class types.
As it stands at the moment even without having a story or quest lines to follow, however this feature has been announced, there are a lot of things to do in these open-ended expansive worlds. Characters are not bound to one world but can go into just about any regardless if they are local or not. So with that in mind regardless of which world they decide to explore, players can venture further and further away from the starting area / town, as well as fight monsters, run away screaming from stronger monsters for fear of impending death which we’ve both done separately while laughing at the other from a safe ledge, explore dungeons, caves, mine resources, craft weapons and armours, and forge enhancements.
Exploring is made more fun as players level up because there are two skill sets that while not quite useful in combat are a godsend when exploring. The first, and while the harder of the two to achieve, is the ability to acquire an animal companion that levels up beside you. Depending on its size, it has the ability to be ridden making traveling that much quicker. The reason that this is harder is that because every animal has a specific food that they wish to have and sometimes finding these is not easy. I found a sheep, verbally named him Sir Woolhelm, and we rode across the various fields battling monsters side by side as I could hear laughing from the next room over as she said “You didn’t really just call him that did you!?!”. I proudly did.
The second, and technically the easier of the two is the ability to use a hand glider. Yup. That's the easier one. Level up to get the skill points, go to a shop and buy one. Just not as cool in the long run because it requires scaling tall objects to jump off instead of riding straight but it is still pretty damned cool.
It’s easy enough to spend hours playing Cube World whether within one world or within multiple. The combination of that un-restrictive exploration combined with a decent combat system and RPG leveling elements alone makes its time worthwhile. Adding the crafting abilities makes this something to keep an eye on as it updates and eventually moves over into Beta.
Article by Pierre-Yves