WorldBox – God Simulator is great. You get tons of toys and they’re all fun to play with. But there’s one exception that I think may keep this from becoming a classic – it’s a true sandbox. I am reviewing this under two months from release, so this may not always be a relevant concern… but as of today, there’s just no reason to be doing anything. Please let me elaborate because the foundation of an awesome game is here.
When you start the game you have a few options, but the two that stand out are “create a new world” and “load from workshop.” The workshop already has a ton of maps, including whatever your most hated country might be and some pretty cool fantasy setups. Whether you opt to start from scratch or go with a community map, there are all kinds of units, terrain, and powers to play with.
There are a bunch of races and creatures at your disposal. Add some orcs, some elves, and some ice wizards and let them battle it out. Or don’t, you can dump some druids in a forest and watch them cultivate and thrive. Drop a dragon on them and watch them run for cover until everything is set ablaze. Currently, each unit has its own stat sheet, but micromanaging on a unit level seems way too difficult and you don’t directly control their actions.
The big draw for me is the havoc you can wreak. Get a few nations established, force them go to war and see who dominates. After a winner has emerged, you can erect volcanoes, drop meteors, fling napalm bombs, and nuke the crap out of everyone and everything.
This is all fun, but the novelty wears off quickly. I enjoyed Black & White and Populous because there was a clear objective to overcome, and obstacles put in my path that I would be required to clear. Right now you create and destroy “a little different” each time you play, but each play through gets a little more redundant.
Before you disagree with me, I am basing my opinion on the current state of the game knowing this may be subject to change. If comparing to other sandbox titles, I keep returning to games like Terraria and Don’t Starve because there is so much to discover and learn. They are also compelling because there is the risk of failure. When its all thrown in my lap right away, its like finding out what you got for Christmas before you open the presents… the wonder goes away.
I think WorldBox has the potential to become an amazing game. Robot armies, killer tornadoes, and Tsar Bombas are super fun to play with. I recommend the game as it stands, and will be keeping an eye on it hoping for a reason to extend my playtime.