Open Country

I recently stumbled upon Open Country, an open-world, hunting-heavy survival title from FUN Labs, and I found my interest to be properly piqued. The only problem was I had scant information to go on regarding how much of a survival game it would actually be, as compared to a more traditional hunting game. This was compounded by the fact that, by all accounts, Open Country is also something of a spiritual successor to the long-running Cabela game series.

After watching some beta gameplay footage from the Blitz YouTube channel, I was able to glean quite a bit more info, so I wanted to share that for anyone else with an interest in this game but little else to go on. I have posted Blitz’s video at the bottom of this article if you want to check that out for yourself. In the meantime, let’s dive in.

As far as crafting is concerned, Open Country seems to have it in spades. It looks like, with the proper material in hand, we can expect to build makeshift shelters and campfires, as well as beds for when you’re out in the wild and can’t make it back to camp. In addition to being able to build these basic items, you can also upgrade them once you have the proper materials. So, for instance, if you’ve built your lean-to shelter but are sick of getting wet from the rain, you can upgrade that lean-to with a waterproof covering, so long as you have a tarp.

Open Country

In addition, you can also use campfires to cook any meat you’ve harvested. It seems that there are recipes of some sort, although it isn’t clear if this is on par with, say, Breath of the Wild’s culinary cuisines or more in the vein of The Long Dark, with your options never getting much more complex than hunks of cooked meat. In the Blitz video, we only see options for cooked meat, mushrooms, and fish, but nothing like a combination of mushrooms and meat for a stew or anything. But that could just be the result of cooking over a campfire instead of, say, a stovetop, which may or may not be an option.

There are stat meters present, as is typical for survival games. In Open Country, you’ll be tasked with maintaining your character’s hunger and thirst, as well as staying warm and keeping up your general health. It looks like one negative effect of being hungry is a blurry screen, which I assume is meant to simulate being dizzy or light-headed from lack of nutrition. In addition to these meters, you might also deal with wounds from animal bites, or parasites from drinking dirty water or eating raw meat. But worry not, because bandages and digestive remedies appear amongst the many items it seems you can craft.

Open Country

There are roughly 30 story missions in Open Country, which from a quick glance mostly involve hunting or scouting. It’s unclear from the Blitz video if there are any human NPCs out in the wild, aside from the area lodge owner named Gary (who was mentioned on the official Open Country website). So, it will be interesting to see if there are other quest givers, or if perhaps maybe you get some missions from an area message board, or from letters or notes you might find along your journey.

One thing we get a look at in this video is the HUD, which includes your aforementioned stat meters, as well as a Skyrim-style marker at the top to show the proximity and direction of nearby landmarks and mission objectives. You will also have a noise and visibility meter to keep an eye on, as well as a wind direction meter. Animals seem to be able to hear, see, and smell you, so being mindful of all three of those — noise, sightlines, and scent — will be crucial.

There is also a meter to indicate the time of day, since Open Country does have a dynamic day and night cycle. Weapon condition will also play a factor in your survival, which suggests weapon upkeep. It wasn’t clear if your other items will also need to be maintained, but I would assume that degradation would also apply to tools such as knives or hatchets, and probably also bows and perhaps even fishing rods. We will have to wait and see, however.

I addition to hunting, you will also need to gather all the resources you need to continue your survival. And it looks like Open Country will have the staples, from branches and logs to berry bushes and herbal plants to everyone’s favorite: rocks.

Although you have a hatchet at your disposal, actively chopping down trees wasn’t shown or discussed in the Blitz video, so I’m not sure whether you will be tasked with felling timber or if this is just a game of pick-up sticks.

Perhaps the coolest detail that was on display in Blitz’s video is the interaction of the animals amongst themselves. At one point we see an eagle swoop down and almost abscond with a rabbit that Blitz was hunting. Later in the video we see what appears to be a fox hunting a different rabbit as well. So, one can only imagine then that the deadly animals will have to choose between mauling the player character or the deer just over the glen.

And yes, wolves certainly will attack you. Depending on what other predators are present in Open Country, I have to imagine wolves won’t be the only critters nipping at your toes.

Open Country

And that is pretty much what I was able to piece together from watching this 17-minute sponsored video. And I gotta say, with everything I now know about Open Country, I am super pumped to get my hands on this game and see what else it has in store.

Open Country releases on June 3, 2021, and it sounds like it has a planned price point of only $20 US. Needless to say, I will be hitting those trails.

You can watch Blitz’s 17-minute gameplay video below.

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