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Game Info:

Pantropy
Developed By: Brain Stone GmbH
Published By: Brain Stone GmbH
Released: January 31, 2019
Available On: Windows
Genre: First-person shooter; open world; sci-fi
ESRB Rating: None
Number of Players: 64 online at a time; no offline mode
Price: $19.99 on Steam

Thank you Brain Stone GmbH for sending us this game to review!

Pantropy is a sci-fi first-person shooter with a very open-world environment. Its entire design revolves around the game’s multiplayer aspect, which is a shame because I couldn’t do anything, really, due to the fact that no one was online in any of the several servers I checked. There is also no visible single-player whatsoever, meaning the player has to join a server. Some servers are locked with a password, which is good because Pantropy would therefore be capable of private servers.

When Pantropy is loading, it gives a warning to not click randomly because the game might then crash because of it. This is understandable due to the fact that it is in early access. However, when I was playing the game, it crashed on me twice; once when I was simply exploring. It started to lag, and then it stopped entirely. Said lag was warned about in the menu, but the fact that a lag caused it to crash is annoying, to say the least.

Once you pick a server, and the world starts loading, Pantropy gives you gameplay tips, as well as helpful pointers that explain some of the mechanics of the game. Oddly enough, some worlds take longer to load than others, even though they’re practically identical to each other. When the world finishes loading, the player is given the choice of choosing between two factions: Andell Biotech and Itokawa Corp. After this, they’re greeted with a long read that tells them where and how they should begin to set themselves up. Said reading has a few typos, as well as some in-game text blocks seen all throughout Pantropy. 

Pantropy
Highlights:

Strong Points: Stunning graphics; lots of servers, most of which are official; tons of stuff to do with friends; Discord server for support (lots of members too)
Weak Points: Completely deserted; the top posts in the Steam forum are asking if Pantropy is dead; no updates since March; has a tendency to crash; not a sign of animal life anywhere; while graphics are good, worlds are identical throughout the servers
Moral Warnings: Killing people for “research data;” examining carcasses for the same thing; shooting lasers and guns in all-out war against the other faction; (however, killing a member of one’s own faction has consequences); suicide option in server menu; data can be sold on the game's black market

When online, or when picking a server, you can’t tell how many people are currently online. The only way to tell if someone joins is if it says that [username] joined the game via the chat. One of the few things that you can do with only yourself is mine different ores with the pickaxe you are provided with, as well as craft. The crafting system is somewhat intuitive; it looks at your materials and tells you what can be crafted, but you’ll have to scroll through all of the recipes to find what you want to craft. Also, the best crafting only happens when you’re at the research base.

As this game is structured around the interface of a first-person shooter, you can kill players residing in the other faction. Doing this allows you to obtain player data, which can be sold for lots of money at Pantropy’s black market. You can also observe the carcasses of dead creatures for research data, but I haven’t found any animal life in any of the Pantropy servers I went to. If you kill your own faction member, however, the game will punish you. (How you will be punished is unknown, because I was able to glean this information from the provided tips. Like I said before, nobody was online whatsoever, so I wasn’t able to test any of this.)

The graphics of Pantropy are stunning, but there are a few things off about them. Once, when I walked into a lab, there was grass and foliage covering the floor, even though it wasn’t dirt, and looked to be brand new metal of some sort. As I looked around the lab, I found that there was tree branches going through solid walls, and jutting through odd places as well.

The player also has the ability to build a base to keep all of their valuables in. It’s encouraged but not required to raid others’ bases, but said bases cannot be raided if the owner is offline.

As I was playing, I found that notifications would slide in and be visible during gameplay. When I paused and slid it away, it would click out of the window, only to reveal that the window has a Unity icon. The pause menu itself has three buttons: Options, Disconnect, and Suicide (in red). One of the options allows you to adjust your controls, which can also be done in the pre-startup menu that Pantropy provides. Said menu also allows you to change the graphics quality, as well as the resolution and which monitor it will be displayed on.

Pantropy
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 63%
Gameplay - 7/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 3.5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 77%
Violence - 0/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8.5/10

The physics are also a little odd. When you fall, there is no fall damage whatsoever. When you walk in water, you walk normally, and there is no oxygen meter to show that you are holding your breath. The character’s walk is somewhat slow, but you can hold Shift to run.

The sound quality is one of the better parts of Pantropy; it’s quiet, but still hearable, and won’t damage your ears at 100% volume. The background music present is somewhat fitting to the theme, but it seems like the same few orchestral tracks over and over again. The music itself somewhat reminds me of John Williams' music, which was probably the intended effect.

Sadly, Pantropy is all but deserted and abandoned. There wasn’t a single person on, and the most recent topics in the Steam forums all ask if Pantropy is dead, and most answers are saying yes. However, Pantropy does have an official Discord server with almost three thousand members, with quite a few members online at any given time. (Usually, none of them are playing Pantropy.)

Overall, Pantropy seems like it has a very good concept, but the fact that no one plays it anymore robs it of so much of the potential that it has.

- Kittycathead

About the Author

Kaitlyn

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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