The alpha is launching alongside a first developer diary video (below) that explains what helps the game stand out from the pack. Darwin Project places a strong emphasis on tracking, which reduces some of the downtime you see in games like PUBG. You have to craft fires to avoid freezing to death, but those give away your position — it won’t take long before someone knows where you are. Footprints can reveal your path, too. Combine that with up-close weaponry (you have a bow and axe to defend yourself) and a strong emphasis on spectating and it promises to be tense whether or not you’re playing.
The game isn’t due to launch until spring 2018, when it should arrive for both PCs and Xbox One. It probably won’t usurp PUBG‘s crown (Bluehole’s title has already sold over 20 million copies before it’s even finished), but it could offer a refreshing twist on an increasingly well-worn formula.