Daath Origins Early Access Review – Close But No Cigar

The game starts out typically enough: you are a new recruit on an exploratory vessel, out investigating an anomaly on a nearby planet. Suddenly you are met by a fleet of Draconian ships that attack your mothership and somehow only kill the bridge crew, leaving you as the highest-ranking survivor, and thus, the new ship captain.

As a fan of sci-fi, RPGs, and the weird, surrealist humor used in its trailer, Daath Origins intrigued me enough to try it out. Made by a single developer under the name Black Lodge Games, Daath Origins has a lot of potential, but in its current, early-access form, it’s lacking many, many elements.

One thing I will give the game credit for: it gives you a lot of options. You’re able to pick your character’s class, their skills, and even their morality. Your choices throughout the game determine if your crew likes you or not, and also what kind of ending you’ll get.

Immediately, however, the game faces a few problems. There’s no kind of tutorial to tell you what you can expect during a battle, so the timed QTEs caught me off guard.

Moreover, the game isn’t very user friendly. The player is expected to use the map in the pause menu to navigate to different quadrants of the universe, while making it difficult to know what quadrant you are presently in. The player’s ship itself is tiny on the screen, enough so that it gets lost on a regular screen, and it’s downright impossible to see in very crowded ones.

This is an image of my ship trapped in a spacial anomaly. As you can see (or maybe can’t see), it’s nearly impossible to tell what’s happening or where you are on the screen.

My advice to the developer of Daath Origins is to focus more on user interface. Give the player a waypoint when they have a quest to complete, tell them what quadrant they’re in while they’re in the overworld, and make it easier to see their ship. It also would be nice to have some kind of mini-mission at the beginning that can serve as a combat tutorial and also introduce the various menu options.

Daath Origins is a game obviously made with love and thought, but it still has a long way to go before it can be considered a polished gaming experience. With a few quality of life improvements, this game could be a unique addition to any RPG-lover’s library.

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