It's been in the news for decades and we've all seen it illustrated in just about everything from comics, film, and even gaming. The dream of being able to explore the unknown yet intriguing landscape of Mars has always struck a chord in our hearts and now ROKH, the latest survival exploration game from Nvizzio Creations is allowing us to embark on that very expedition to that far away land without paying big bucks to do so. It's a game that caters to fans who enjoy collecting and gathering vital materials in order to thrive, while throwing various curveballs at you to see how you cope with threats. There aren't too many games that share resemblance to ROKH which can be seen as a good thing, but as you'll see further in our review it may not be the dream we want coming true.
What to Expect
As a reminder to everyone reading this, the build that we were given is still in early access which means we're bound to experience a lot of bugs and visual inconsistencies. That means you should take everything here with a grain of salt since a lot of changes will be made, and just use this as a reference as to what to expect. Again, as we mentioned earlier, ROKH is very much a unique experience that promotes survival on a planet with very little resources, and whatever you can scavenge will need to be used carefully. Let's put our suits on and get ready for a wild one.
Now this is where things are going to get a little edgy because we don't like to hold back on anything that bothers us. Before we go straight for the cons of course, let's focus on what makes ROKH a pleasing experience that, with enough cosmetic changes, can truly be a wonderful title. So one thing that really stood out for us from the get go was the overall presentation of the game. The minute you log into the game, you're greeted with a very visually stimulating opening trailer, and from there, the presentation on the UI is clean and very minimalistic. For those who are new to the game there's a starter's guide available directly on the main screen for assistance, or you could just jump straight into the action and play trial and error as you go. ROKH does a decent job at providing a tutorial that helps you understand the mechanics pertaining to weapon crafting, but it could certainly do a better job. We hope that come full release the explanations will be a lot more concise and perhaps add some visual aid in some cases.
We're not saying the game is difficult to grasp in any way, but it could certainly use some extra pointers to guide players in the right direction. On the topic of direction, this is where we're going to have shift a little to the cons and talk about just what the game is trying to aim for. We know that it's supposed to appeal to the premise of surviving on a desolate planet and you'll need to be meticulous about your decisions, but everything felt sparse when running around. Unlike in other survival games where locations are decorated with beautiful backdrops to reel you in with, ROKH lacks in that area severely and you're basically left with this red world with nothing to really interact with other than random item boxes that are scattered around. Most of these boxes contain a lot of the same items which, to us, kind of defeated the purpose of it being survival in a way. Yes, it's clear that the world we live in is scanty but at least throw in something more interesting in terms of item variation to keep things fresh.
Running around grew tiresome very quickly because it felt like there was no direction to take. Just red everywhere. Comets falling from the sky at times and then the occasional frame rate drop to really shake things up. Of course, you can build your own little futuristic home, but there needs to be more incentive in the game for players to look forward to because not everyone is going to enjoy darting around Mars with very little to gain long term. Let's take games like The Long Dark and The Forest for example, where both games really engage with you as you race through the freezing cold in search for refuge, or gathering materials to build a proper trap to catch prey. There's variety in both games which encourage further exploration and often times inventiveness because you truly feel immersed in a world that feels true to reality.
ROKH unfortunately doesn't share that same feeling and as we said earlier; it's more of a dream than a real experience and perhaps that's why it was hard to immerse ourselves in it. Crafting items weren't concise and there wasn't much prey to run around and catch, etc. It felt like an open playground but no jungle gyms or swings to run to and enjoy yourself with. So this is where we had to draw the line and stop playing because well, there was nothing left to play. We grew tired of using our pickaxe on the same things, and got bored of eating our mint cakes. Throw in more variety, some extra environmental elements and maybe some surprise enemies and perhaps ROKH will feel a little more "Rokh solid". For now it's not in the right state and needs a little more fine tuning before we think players will want to jump in.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
ROKH is a game you can neither like or hate. It lies firmly in the middle because it does have good points like having multiple servers for players to play on among other things, but the severe lack of anything around you is very bland and doesn't really provide much in the area of true in depth exploration. Tie in the many bugs and framerate issues that plague the game, despite altering our PC settings, and you have a game that has a lot of work to do before it can truly take off in the way it wants to. It's early access but with the aforementioned titles also being in early access and proving to have way more content, there shouldn't be too many excuses here. There’s the multiplayer option too which is quite a nice
addition but due to server issues that we ran into and not too many players online to begin with, there wasn’t much we could do to experiment with this function. We hope the team can take the feedback they receive with a passionate embrace and use it to really create a world worth living in. Until then, Earth is a pretty nice place to live so we'll stay here a little longer.
You can run around, craft, and do what you want when you want.
Feeling like you’re on Mars is kind of cool.
The starter’s guide helped quite a bit.
A lot of framerate drops occurred.
The game just feels unfinished with much left on its plate.
Bland and nothing really stands out.
Honey's Final Verdict
So that about covers our preview on ROKH for now, since there’s really nothing much left to go over in great detail. The game still needs a lot of touching up before it can really be taken seriously simply because, at the moment, with all of the current framerate issues and lack of content to draw players in, it’s not going to attract the right attention. We only hope that the team can come up with the right solutions and take the right feedback from the community to see that ROKH can really solidify itself as a true competitor in the exploration/survival gaming genre. Be sure to follow us on Twitter to know when new updates come out and of course follow us on Twitch to know when we go live with more games! You just never know, we may play one of your favorite titles on stream!
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!