From the creators of ARK: Survival Evolved comes ATLAS and just like ARK, ATLAS is an open world MMO survival game that offers a great adventure, the only difference is that ARK is about dinosaurs and ATLAS is about Pirates. Unfortunately if you played ARK before you'll feel more like it's an ARK DLC so for ARK players so I'll do a short review for you which will be a small comparison between ARK and ATLAS and the rest will be a long review for non-ARK players.
For ARK players:
After you login and create a character you spawn naked just like ARK (or any other survival game of course lol) and then you'll be surprised that the trees,the sky,the landscape,the environment even the tools's skins are all the same as ARK, the creatures aren't the same because ARK has Dinosaurs and this one has normal ones like Bears, Giraffes, Lions, Pigs, Elephants etc but in a fantasy theme however you can tame and manage them just the same way as ARK, the building system is the same, the upgradeable stats (stamina, health, weight etc...) are the same, the things your character can wear (Head, Torso, Legs, Hands, Offhand and Feet) are exactly the same, character creation, most of the craftables are the same as well and much more... that's why this game will feel very familiar for you. The only difference is you can build ships and few more things I'll talk about in "For non-ARK players".
For non-ARK players:
You choose a server (There are 4 official servers, 2 for NA and 2 for Eu, 1 is PvP and the other is PvE, as a new player I don't recommend you to choose PvP first because you'll probably rage quit, and then there are tons of unofficial servers that are made by other players), anyway, you spawn naked in a Freeport Island (a freeport island is where new players spawn) without any clue just surrounded by a vast ocean and a variety of wild creatures and here your adventure begins, you'll get a mini tutorial that'll guide you a little however everything will be up to you now, the first thing you need to do is grind resources to get your first ship and honestly that's what you'll be doing the whole game, grinding. There's a shipyard that'll build you a ship if you get him the necessary resources (wood, hide etc) so you can either do that or just starve to death. Once you do that you'll have to set sail and find a Lawless island where you can build and grind and much more and here your real adventure begins.
Once you've reached a Lawless Island you'll be free to do whatever you like, craft, build, level up, unlock recipes, travel from one island to another and discover its secrets, build ships, tame wild animals, do treasure hunting and much more.
Map & Travelling: Oh boy this game is massive, once you choose a server you'll be asked to select a region in the map to spawn in, there are literally 225 regions and each region has like 4 islands at least, to travel from and island to the neighbor one it took like 10 to 15 minutes for me and it could be worse if the wind is coming from the opposite direction, so there's basically over 900 island(I guess) if we do the maths that'll take ages to explore them all however for each island you visit you can place a bed that'll allow you to fast travel to it again, unfortunately you'll lose your stuff if you use this feature.
Leveling & Skills System: Leveling is the easiest thing in this game, just keep grinding, crafting and exploring and you'll get massive amounts of exp, even your ship can be leveled and upgraded, just keep sailing. For each level you get you gain skills points to spend on the skill tree and stats points to upgrade your character however, unlike ARK the skills system is totally different in ATLAS and that's one of the big changes. In ARK if you want to build a thatch wall you spend 1 point on the thatch wall recipe to unlock it but in ATLAS it's an MMO style skill tree, you spend 1 point on a skill called Basics of Building and you'll unlock all of the thatch structures and every time you unlock a skill a new one will be available to unlock which is very fun. There's 15 skill tree not just one that'll be very fun to manage depending on your needs which are Survivalism, Construction & Mercantilism, Beastmastery, Hand to Hand Combat, Melee Weaponry, Archery & Throwing Weapons, Firearms, Armory, Medicine, Artillery, Seamanship, Captaineering, Cooking & Farming, Music & Dance and Piracy.
Crafting & Building: The crafting system is so basic because most of the Craftables require raw materials players collect from the world around them which are Wood, Stone, Thatch, Hide, Fibers, Flint, Keratinoid, Metal, Oil, Salt, Sap, Coal, Coral, Crystal, Gem and Mythos. To be honest I'm kinda disappointed because all of these stuff are so easy to get except for Mythos which is used to craft Mythical items. It gets boring very quick because you keep grinding the same materials over and over which are used to craft almost everything and you can find most of these resources even in the starting island (Freeport island). About Building, I really like the building system, It's like ARK but I feel it's a little bit better. you can design buildings as you please without a limit which is cool, except if another player comes around and build close to you, trust me you won't be happy with that. You can use Thatch, Wood and Stone only and you need to unlock the recipes for each type of structures.
Ships: Ships are the core of ATLAS. You will need to create a shipyard to construct a ship, and you unlock the ability to do this via the Seamanship skills tree.This I guess is my favorite part of the game because, it's "Constructing" a ship not "Crafting" one, you don't just get huge amounts of resources and boom your ship is ready, instead you have to build it plank by plank, every single plank is crafted independently and then you assemble everything together in the shipyard, the planks the sails the steering wheel the deck etc, and then you can dye it as you please. It's probably the most fun thing that is worth the time grinding for. If you play solo, it'll be very difficult to sail the ship because you can't steer and control the sails at the same time that's why you'll have to hire crew members (NPCs) or just play with friends, that's more easy and fun.
Taming: Taming is one of the major and most useful things in ATLAS but personally I don't think that it suits a pirates game, it just feels weird for me. Most of the creatures in ATLAS are tamable and to tame you need to unlock the Beastmastery skill tree. The animal must be damaged to below 20%, then you can use a "Bola" which is a crafted tool used to knock down the animal then you feed the animal the required food, unlike ARK where you can give the animal narcotics and food then go afk, here you have to stay close and knock down the animal again each time he wakes up until the tame meter is full (animal abuse ;)). Tamed animals can be useful in many things including farming and combat, they can be leveled and upgraded too.
NPCs: There are Mammals, Birds, Fish, Invertebrates, Reptiles, Ships, Monsters and Humans. All of these creatures except humans are Fantasy Themed especially the Monsters, they are not just fantasy themed monsters, they are some legendary monsters we read about in books and stories, there's Yeti, Gorgon, Hydra, Mermaid, the almighty Kraken etc...
Treasure Hunting: At night you'll find floating bottles in shores that contain treasure maps, leading to great loot. Every Treasure Map is different, providing new adventures and varied journeys, enemies and rewards each time (Gold and Blueprints).
Discoveries: Discoveries are special areas found around the world of ATLAS. Every island you visit counts as 1 discovery, but often other areas can be found on islands as well, you get 1 discovery point for each discovery you make. Discovery points will get you extra levels after you reach max level.
- Technically an MMO.
- I find my self wanting to explore more and more.
- Ship battles are addicting.
- Item complexity.
- Massive world.
- Good combat system.
- Ship building is fun since you can design it as you please.
- Good graphics.
- The game's price is ok ($29.99).
- Bad FPS even on a gaming PC.
- Ping Widely inconsistent on ALL servers(it says 40 before you join and then it's much more after you join).
- You will not survive long in PvP.
- Difficult to play solo.
- TONS and TONS of bugs and glitches.
- Game could be Exhausting (For example you keep farming 8 hours to build a medium ship that can be easily destroyed in 1 minute).
- Game could be repetitive.