Even when it was in the beta stages, Durango: Wild Lands was known as that mobile game with dinosaurs and half-naked people. Developed by What! Studio and published by Nexon, this is a stealth, scavenging, open world, sandbox, MMO, constructing, and an adventure game with dinosaurs in Durango Colorado. The game had an astonishing 2.5 million pre-registered players even before the official launch in 2017, which was probably due to the fact it had an excellent marketing campaign.
The game feels like a Jurassic Park movie and it even has an NPC announcer who looks exactly like Jeff Goldbloom. The amount of gameplay mechanics is enormous as you have countless aspects to get into. Firstly, you need to choose your character (each with unique skills) and set his or her appearance, which is mostly cosmetic stuff like hairstyle, beard, voice, skin and eye color, outfit and that sort of stuff.
Durango mobile game features an MMO open world gameplay style, so it can get really hectic as you go on a quest of survivability, gathering, and other stuff. As mentioned, the game has quite a wide range of features and options for a player to explore.
For instance, you gather virtually anything found in the wildland, like leaves, feathers, fruits, sticks, and various other resources and you need to craft it into stuff you can use to survive. Your survival naturally includes having as many resources as possible, but also fighting dinosaurs and not just killing them, but taming and riding them as well.
The options in this game can easily become overwhelming, as you also need to factor in your limited inventory capacity, stamina, skills, levels, and abilities so there is an RPG factor too, on top of everything else. Since it is an MMO game there are also communities you can be a part of.
Your skills trees are all about choosing a specific path and giving you a sense of accomplishment, as you choose careers for your characters.
Durango mobile game can become a grinding fiesta at times naturally, but it certainly manages to keep the player interested, as it does not feature an auto-quest or auto-grind option.
The main idea behind the entire Durango: Wild Lands game is to rebuild a society out of nothing, or more accurately out of what you can find in nature. Because it is an MMO game, it is probably good to note that it doesn’t feature dungeons or raids of any kind, but it does, of course, have a questing system.
Instead of the standard raid/dungeon MMO RPG play style, players can choose careers and jobs for their characters, and for tribes which later evolve into societies, with other players from all around the world.
The gameplay in Durango mobile probably gives the highest level of player freedom, in terms of activity and options, as the game is flexible and enormous.
For a game with such a large scale of details and options, the graphics are beautiful but messy at times. It is often counted among the best looking games for mobile, but it is even more praised for its atmosphere.
The effects and the lighting are incredibly well done, and the detailing even covers sunshafts and raindrops, giving this game an artistic and stylish presentation. But, the downside to the incredible detailing of this game is that sometimes textures mash up and can confuse you.
Free to play and free to roam!
Nexon is very ambitious about this game because they plan to service Durango mobile game for at least the next 10 years. This means incredible numbers of societies and players in one gigantic sandbox, but this is probably why this game took 5 and a half years in development.
The plans for this game include one massive server, which will naturally be separated into regions because of the time zones and other convenience, but it will still feature an incredible amount of players all in the same world. Eventually, those different regions will merge into one world, as the publisher stated.
The game is free to play and judging by the feedback does not in any way promote spending real money, but Nexon states it does have plans to monetize it, although it will be exclusively targeted towards appearance and cosmetics, and will not in any way affect game mechanics or player strength.
The company has ambitious plans of pushing the boundaries of MMO player interaction and exploration beyond anything so far seen in any other game of this type.
Mr. Lee Davidson, the head of quantitative research at Nexon, shared this story from the beta stage of the game:
“There are many things you can create in the game. You can even draw on a signpost, and there was a player who drew the faces of leaders from each country in the world on the signpost. Then, the Indonesian tribe conquered the Korean tribe and took this signpost as their loot. The Korean tribe was angered by this and waged war against them for the signpost. They were enjoying the content in a way that none of us could’ve imagined, just by making the signpost as their trophy.”
Durango: Wild Lands certainly is unlike any other video game, be it mobile or from other platforms. It is not only incredibly large in its scope but manages to keep the player’s interest and to bring people together over a common goal, without having the raid/dungeon system MMOs usually have. When you add that it features riding dinosaurs through open fields, it makes up for an epic and rewarding experience.