Palworld: The Wicked Good Review (In Progress)

Palworld, in its one week of launch, has broken several records. It’s the second most played game on Steam of all time, the most played game on Xbox, and has over 8 million sales in less than a week. It’s only a matter of time until you’ll probably see Palworld merchandise online or at Walmart. Palworld is here to stay regardless of any controversies online.

I have a combined playtime on both Xbox and Steam at a total of 26 hours, with more hours planned soon. I play on a private server I run with friends on Steam, and a few Xbox playthroughs with other friends stuck on that version. The Xbox version unfortunately is a few updates behind Steam, making it incompatible with each other at this time.

Early Palworld screenshot
Environments in Palworld can be stunningly beautiful

As for what I think so far? It’s pretty damn good. For a game people say is “Pokemon with Guns”, it’s actually way different from that. It’s more like Ark but with Pokemon instead of dinosaurs. For most of the game, you’ll be gathering resources and “Pals” to build and work your base, allowing you to venture out further in its huge world to find more pals, other humans to fight, and settlements to visit.

Back to the Base Again

My main gripe right now is how much I find myself going back and spending 10-25 minutes crafting “Pal Spheres” to capture more pals, and more ammo for my weapons. I would prefer my base to be completely automated, however, the pal’s poor AI pathing makes that less than optimal for time. Most times I’ll be finding my pals stuck around something, unable to feed themselves and starving. Sometimes pals will just refuse to work, even though they aren’t doing anything.

A dungeon in Palworld
Cave dungeons will usually lead to a huge world boss

The combat is fun, involving third-person shooting or melee combat with some pretty good movement options, like dodge rolling. Guns aren’t unlocked until at least 10 hours into the game, so you’ll most likely be using bows and arrows or clubs until then. Dungeons are short, and fun, with massive bosses you can catch if you’re powerful enough. Each boss drops ancient civilization parts which you can use to build some pretty sweet stuff in your base.

Palworld Is More Ark Than Pokemon

The crafting and tech trees are almost exactly like Ark. You level up, and get technology points, which you use to unlock more stuff to craft. Then you get a stat point for your character. You can level weight limit, work speed, attack, stamina, or HP. Although work speed seems useless to level, the crafting speed for items can get pretty long. Holding the key to build an item for a few minutes at a time can get tiresome, and it makes me wish I could just press it and forget it.

Major boss screen in Palworld
Major boss battles have their own cutscenes

There are multiple levels of biomes in the game, however, I haven’t found any snow or desert biomes yet. Those will be mentioned in my full review. There’s specific clothing to deal with these climates, yet my only experience with temperature so far was to get out of the rags I started with to stay warm at night.

There’s also a breeding mechanic I haven’t looked super into yet. However, you can find eggs by exploring around which you can hatch in an incubator you can build on your base.

Palworld is much more a survival game than RPG. Don’t expect to go into this thinking it’s like a Pokemon game. It may have cute creatures to battle with, but it’s a far cry from any feeling that Pokemon gives.

Stay Tuned for a Full Review

Expect a full review soon here on Wicked Good Gaming! If there are any mechanics you want me to dive deep into, let me know in a comment!


Games Journalist, Competitive Pokemon/VGC Player, Content Creator

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