We are steadily approaching the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 outbreak, and our pandemic fatigue makes it all too easy to forget that the virus is still very much present around the globe and is affecting our daily lives. One of the places still severely affected by the pandemic is Auckland, New Zealand — seven weeks into a lockdown and counting.
RocketWerkz’s new AAA studio (which was formed specifically for their work on ICARUS) is based out of Auckland, and when the lockdown began at the end of August the ambitious team had just launched its ICARUS Beta Weekends. (Thought game development over video calls under lockdowns was behind us, huh?)
RocketWerkz demonstrated strong devotion to their playerbase by continuing on schedule so far. Yet, there is only so much you can keep up with while working remotely and ensuring your developers get healthy breaks in between (we discussed this respectable decision in our previous update).
Desert Beta Weekend Postponed
Understandably, some rescheduling had to be done going forward. ICARUS devs nonetheless keep showing us that they never want these changes to be made at the cost of our quality play time:
Desert Beta Weekend was moved to the 23-24 October (it got moved one Beta weekend);
We get extra 24 hours this Beta Weekend. It will continue through to Monday evening, PDT;
This weekend will now feature a newly designed three-part mission “to recover crashed bio-satellites and learn more about Icarus’ terraforming”;
A new southern Arctic region will be added, but other regions will not be left forgotten: the new mission will span all areas unlocked so far.
I don’t know about you guys, but I did not get enough of the Arctic last time and I am stoked to venture into the area again this time around. Moreover, I am excited for this weekend’s special demonstration of how ICARUS’s session-based gameplay is supposed to feel like once the game is released.
This time around we are getting a very specific goal (and rewards), and a bit of a story reveal about corporations behind what’s being being done on Icarus. This might shed some light on what we are trying to achieve as prospectors to begin with.
What we are after is lost UDA terraforming tech with the power “to warp worlds.” I have to admit that hunting a mammoth is pretty darn cool, but this piece of tech sounds closer to the work we will be doing in orbit as we collect exotics (the system we won’t see until after launch), and I can’t wait to see what this is all about.
This mission will also prepare us for the second one we were going to have on Beta Weekend #6 (after the Desert reveal), scheduled for 6-7 November. All of this might give us more lore exposure overall than we were originally going to get prior to the game’s release.
New Release Date for ICARUS
Let’s touch on another important change: ICARUS’s launch date is now postponed by two weeks to 4th of December, 2021.
This is an equivalent of adding one more Beta Weekend for us to play with, so it’s definitely not too bad overall, but RocketWerkz have stressed that this is still subject to change. More than anything, the developers want to deliver a complete, high-quality game to fans around the world. With the team juggling schedules, much-needed breaks, and resources, more changes might be inevitable.
The community so far is loving the testing experience, but many are more than ready to transition out of the bi-weekly weekend schedule and into full-time play with all of the features unlocked. Still, choosing between an incomplete launch and a much better final product built with patience and love, I am sure that most of us are more than willing to wait.
We really want to hear from you, dear readers!
What are your plans for the Artic Beta 2.0? We certainly have learned some lessons last time around, and you bet we will be venturing into the winter land with more experience behind us, carrying extra tools on our shoulders and definitely not dying to wolf packs… well, that’s the hope, at least.
Please let us know how these changes have affected you, if at all, and what your experience with the game has been like so far!
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Dedicated contributor at EIP Gaming and a part-time collector of books she will never have time to actually read. Jumps on the newest releases just as quickly as on the uncovered dusty collections from the basement. For her, shiny graphics can never be an excuse to not have a polished player experience or an immersive story.