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‘Darwin Project’ joins the battle royale skirmish on March 9

Scavengers Studio’s battle royale game Darwin Project enters Steam Early Access and Xbox Game Preview on March 9, the indie studio announced in a press release.

Multiple alphas and betas have been held on PC since the title was announced at E3 2017, but this marks the first time the game will be playable on a console.

While other popular battle royale games such as Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have drawn comparisons to The Hunger Games, Darwin Project really earns it.

Darwin Project‘s dystopian future takes place in the snow-covered Canadian Rockies where overpopulation has become a grave concern. Reality TV batttle royale spectacles are held to keep the population content and distracted. Up to 10 contestants are dropped inside a hexagonal arena broken up into seven zones. Each player has an ax and bow (but no arrows). Players must compete against each other and the conditions. The temperature constantly drops, forcing you to chop down trees to create both fires and precious arrows.

Throughout the match, more advanced items like shields and teleportation devices are dropped. Every player knows where the drop will be ahead of time, raising the stakes. Additionally, zones become uninhabitable as the match wanes on, bringing players closer together for tense arrow-shooting combat. When you encounter an object another player has interacted with, you can temporarily track their footprints to try and hunt them down.

The most intriguing aspect of Darwin Project is that a human player can act as the Director, a puppet master who makes decisions about supply drops, zone closures, and other random events that compel contestants to utilize their survival skills. The role of the Director can also be filled by Twitch and Mixer viewers to let audiences make decisions about arena changes.

Even though it’s entering into competition against a pair of juggernauts (Fornite, PUBG), Darwin Project impressed us when we had the chance to check it out at E3 last year. It is as much about surviving the elements as it is about taking out other players.

Darwin Project will be available on Steam Early Access and Xbox Game Preview on March 9 for $15.

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