First time in Overland (First Access)

With Overland, by Finji, recently going into First Access I took the opportunity to have a look at it myself. I've been keeping an eye on this game since late last year and was one of the first to pick up a key. In fact, my confirmation email is timestamped at 1 minute after First Access was made available. This series of posts will give an overview of my first run through the game, starting in this post with the first zone - the Woodlands. So, without further ado, let's start our journey.

Here I was, scavenging for supplies, barely surviving by hiding from the creatures. It had been a while since I'd had contact with another human so I was naturally a little suspicious when I saw this guy on the street. He introduced himself as Ralph. Real name or alias? No way to tell, and I'm not sure it mattered anymore. I told him I wouldn't be averse to working together, but I wouldn't put up with him slowing me down either. Ralph replied that this might be my lucky day.

I'd seen a fuel can by the side of the road as I approached, but it turns out Ralph had stashed even more in a dumpster. If that wasn't enough to cheer me up, he'd come across a working car as well. He was just about to skip town when I'd come across him. The car was an old green hatchback—beat up and not exactly the most stylish ride. At that moment, though, it was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen. We made short work of fueling it up and moving the dumpster out of its way. As we got in we heard the familiar crunching-churning noise of one of the creatures surfacing, obviously attracted by the noise of us moving the dumpster. Without a second thought we got the car started and left the town in our dust.

I'd heard that Sutherland was fairly safe, at least as safe as anywhere was these days, and there might even be useful supplies for someone who looked in the right places. As we drove through the area we spotted a group of dumpsters and a woman already gathering supplies. Hoping she might be able to help us out I stopped the car and cautiously approached her, shouting that we were friendly. She barely gave me a second look though, simply telling me that she didn't want trouble and to leave her alone. Even when a creature surfaced nearby she barely flinched, simply continuing her gathering. Knowing that things could go south in an instant, I grabbed a nearby set of tools and got back to the car. When Ralph joined me I saw that he'd picked up a bottle, still half full. Seeing my raised eyebrow he simply said "got some weight to it".

As we drove on, we spotted another person by the side of the road, cornered by one of the creatures. We had to help her, unless of course she refused our help like the last one. As we jumped out of the car she surprised us both by running at the creature and beating it over the head with a huge rock, knocking it down for the count. Guess she didn't need our help after all. I was starting to feel that everyone else had rather more of a grasp on post-apocalyptic life then I did. Whether the creature was dead or unconscious didn't matter as long as we got out soon. I asked her if she wanted to join us and she told me that she was glad to see someone civilised at last. Searching the immediate area we didn't find much in the way of supplies, though Ralph managed to trade up his bottle for a hefty branch and the new woman, Charlene, picked up a bunch of old planks, maybe from a small fence, to use as a shield if need be.

After a short rest and something to eat we decided to keep driving through the night. Luck, something that is easy to run out of in this world, turned out to be on our side—we came across another car in working order. Another hatchback, and to be honest I would be happy for a little more space, but this one had planks mounted along the sides for extra protection and a sturdy-looking length of pipe stashed in the back. Even better, it turned out to have a reasonable amount of fuel in the tank. As we transferred our things to the new car I tried to siphon some fuel from the old one, but this is where our luck ran short. A group of creatures turned up looking for a fight and I had to ditch the fuel so we could get out. Good thing the car already had fuel, things were starting to look up.

As it turned out, my thoughts on the fuel situation may have been a little optimistic. A few hours after our last stop and we were starting to worry that we'd run out before we found any more. All of the cars we passed were dry, either driven until empty or siphoned off to use elsewhere. Then we caught a break—two fuel cans sitting near to the road. As we came to a stop, though, a creature much bigger than ones we'd seen before clawed its way out of the ground right next to them. We almost kept driving, but we knew this might be our only chance to keep the car running. I took the pipe from the back of the car. Carefully climbing out of the car, we took out a couple of smaller creatures that happened to be nearby and then crept up to the large one, trying to surround it before it realised we were there. Even though the creatures are super-sensitive to sound, their other senses are lacking. Taking it slow and careful is always the most important thing when dealing with them. It must have been focused on something else happening nearby out of sight because we got almost on top of it before it suddenly turned on us. Almost acting as one person, we simultaneously jumped it at, swinging whatever we had at hand. I'm not sure how we all avoided its thrashing strikes, but somehow we did and the creature was on the ground unmoving. Quickly, before any more creatures made themselves known, Ralph grabbed the fuel and took it to the car while me and Charlene kept a watch around the area. As soon as the car was fueled up we jumped in and got out of there.

We drove on without incident until we spotted a couple of dumpsters blocking the road up ahead. The ground around the road was too rocky for us to drive around them and the presence of several creatures nearby told me that this was clearly a popular place for them to pick off unsuspecting drivers. Maybe they weren't as mindless as we assumed. Our only choices were to turn back or to try to move the dumpsters, and none of us liked the idea of giving up. We already knew that there were very little supplies and no fuel back the way we came. Approaching slowly, hoping to draw as little attention as possible, we stopped in front of the dumpsters and got out. In a flash the creatures were on us. We made short work of the first few, but for every one we killed another two dug their way out of the ground. Soon our improvised weapons were broken beyond use and we were completely surrounded. Even worse, the creatures had done a good job of keeping us away from the dumpsters. Suddenly Charlene, our newest companion, stepped up to the challenge. Shouting to me and Ralph to keep the creatures away from her, she dashed to the closest dumpster and started pushing. I have no idea how we managed it, but me and Ralph beat away the creatures snapping at her long enough for her to move the dumpster completely off the road. Seeing our chance, all three of us rushed into the car with the creatures closing ranks all around us. Knowing that this moment would decide whether we lived or died out here, I barely managed to start the car with my shaking hands. After moments that felt like hours the engine sprung to life and I put my foot down. Creatures bounced off the front of the car as we plowed through the mass and then just like that we were free again. Only the open road in front of us and the rapidly shrinking horde behind us. We drove for an hour and then set up camp, still unable to believe we made it out alive. We slept well that night and made ourselves ready to face whatever lay in front of us next.

I hope you've enjoyed this walk through my first experience in Overland. If it interests you then check out the game website and follow the developers on Twitter. If you want to see more of this game, or of posts in this style then let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

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