Oort Online: Just Another Voxel Sandbox?

by Ryan Munt

Voxel-based sandbox games have been immensely popular in the last few years ever since the release of Minecraft, but the genre’s novelty seems to have worn off lately, especially with the older gamers. We have seen countless titles where players are forced into a procedurally generated world and must hunt, mine, craft and build for survival, so why should Wonderstruck’s new project, Oort Online, hold any promise? Is it a bold new take on the world of procedurally generated voxels, or just another Minecraft replica? Let’s take a look.

Oort Online is, according to the game’s website, going to be a massively multiplayer online game set in a universe of connected voxel-based sandbox worlds. Players will be given the freedom to mine and build to their hearts content as well as craft weapons to defend themselves against many native enemies in the universe of Oort. There’s a plethora of features planned for this game, and while it looks typical of its genre, Wonderstruck seems to be planning for a lot more RPG elements. They have mentioned raids, guilds, races, gigantic monster boss’s, and even a leveling system. So far, a cross between Minecraft and World of Warcraft seems like the fairest analogy.

But these are all just promises. What does the game look like now? Well, I gotta tell you, despite all the promises we’re expected to trust, they weren’t lying about one thing. The game looks gorgeous. Wonderstruck boasts about its beautiful voxel world, which consists of stunning rendering, water effects, and a clear potential to make some truly interesting worlds further down the development road. Their website also displays some very tasty looking concept art, showing off some of the creatures and characters they’re designing for the world; as well as a generally very creative and fun theme.

However, I must bring up the elephant in the room. While the game looks very good visually, it also looks very reminiscent of something else. Yes, the first time I looked at the in game screenshots I could’ve sworn I was looking at a glorified Minecraft texture pack. We must put this fact aside, however, as it is a voxel-based game and just because Minecraft looked like that first, it doesn’t mean every other game like it should be classed as a “Minecraft rip-off”. Oort Online holds some serious promise, and the community obviously sees that. In just a few days Oort Online has raised almost $30,000 with its unique kickstarter system where backers can vote on what will be focused on in development next, as well as gain alpha access to the game.

We’ll have to wait and see if Wonderstruck can really pull this ambitious title off successfully. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be the game Minecraft Oort to be.

Edited by Jake Fong


Ryan Munt is a Freelance Writer at B-TEN.com

I enjoy gaming, I enjoy reading, and I enjoy nerding.

“Open your mind son, or someone will open it for you.”

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