Palworld, the open-world survival and crafting adventure from developer Pocketpair that looks a lot like Pokémon with guns, is launching into early access on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, and Game Pass next Friday, 19th January.
Pocketpair describes Palworld as a “monster-catching, survival and crafting game” over on its Steam page, but notes it also features “a variety of mechanics from other genres in order to provide a completely new experience for everyone.” And while harmonious living alongside the Pals you catch (initially totalling over 100) is certainly possible – with the likes of idyllic farming, land and sea exploration, dungeon crawling, battling, building, and breeding all featured – it also looks to have a darker side too, and not just because of those guns.
Players that choose to take on the game’s ruthless poaching syndicate might, for example, find themselves traversing perilous climes where limited resources could mean they’re forced to eat their Pals. Meanwhile, Pals can be put to work making fire, generating electricity, or mining ore, or sent to a factory line where they can be made to automate different tasks – until they drop dead, that is. Then, there’s poaching, with players able to do crime, sneaking into wildlife sanctuaries to capture rare Pals that can be sold for cash.
All this supports online co-op for up to four players, and dedicated 32-player servers will also be available at early access launch, with that number likely to grow as development progresses.
Pocketpair says it expects Palworld’s early access to continue for at least a year, during which it’ll introduce PvP, new Pals, new areas and dungeons to explore, plus new survival items and buildings (the initial early access version will include 70 buildings and 350 item types). It’s also “considering incorporating entirely new game systems based on player feedback and ideas.”
Palworld will be available on Xbox One, PC via the Windows Store and Steam, and Game Pass when it launches on 19th January.