We here at HYVG love a good sandbox game, and so the three of us (Lemonsmith, Virindi Puppet, and Gimmick) purchased Tree of Life to give it a whirl. The cartoony graphics looked fun, and a new MMORPG offers excitement during the discovery phase of the game. We each paid our $20 dues on Steam and downloaded it. The premise of the game is simple enough. Players find themselves in an unknown country with lots of angry monsters and must survive.
This is our initial impressions from playing the Tree of Life video game.
1. Fun Theme – The characters, monsters, and overall look of the game have a cartoony look and feel to it. Discovering new monsters and NPCs was always exciting, because they looked goofy and fun. An example is Mr. Boboo who is a local salesmen who roams the map. He’s a green ghost with a treasure chest shackled to his back. The first time we saw him we rushed over to explore whether he was friend or foe. Numerous times we encountered players, NPCs, and monsters that were thrilling to look at.
2. The Feeling of Accomplishment – The game has a good grind to it. It’s not incredibly easy to level up, but at the same time you feel like you are rewarded for the work that you put into the game. There are some MMORPG’s in which a person grinds for hours upon hours with little headway. Tree of Life is not this type of game. If you work hard you will increase in level, skill, and resources at a pace that gives you a feeling of accomplishment as you play.
3. Not too Complex – MMORPG’s can be notorious for being overwhelmingly complicated. There are times when trying out a MMORPG when it just feels like it’s too much. We didn’t feel this way with Tree of Life. Upon launching our first characters we quickly understood how to acquire resources, build settlements, and fight monsters. The basics are simple enough that anyone with MMORPG experience will be able to execute quickly.
1. Poorly Optimized – Gimmick and Virindi Puppet both have great computers that rarely have issues running games at higher settings smoothly. Both of them (and myself) suffered from a consistent stutter in the game. We messed around with settings and could not get the lag to go away. This didn’t affect the gameplay, but it was annoying.
2. Lacked Uniqueness – Other than the actual look of the game (we loved the theme!) Tree of Life seemed to pull mechanics from other popular sandbox MMORPG games and mash them together. If you take elements of Minecraft, Rust, H1Z1, DayZ and put them in a blender, stir them up, and put a cartoon filter on it you’d get Tree of Life.
The Bottom Line
Tree of Life is $20 on steam, and if you like survival MMORPG’s you’ll probably like this game. Don’t expect crazy new mechanics, but do expect a fun theme that will give you many hours of fun gameplay. It should be noted that we didn’t put enough time into the game to build a real proper base or get into any end game content (is there end game content?).