Dark and Light - First Impressions: Sad Launch for the Fantasy Survival MMO

Published: Jul. 23, 2017
Updated: Dec. 10, 2023


After the monumental success of ARK: Survival Evolved, we here at Guided, along with many others, had both high hopes and expectations for the similarly constructed fantasy MMO Dark and Light. However, on the 20th of July Snail Games released their sandbox survival into Early Access on Steam, and we all got quite the shock. With a barrage of negative Steam reviews, it seems that Dark and Light will not be ARK's survival successor.

A Tough Act to Follow

In 2015 Studio Wildcard, developer of ARK: Survival Evolved, and Snail Games, Dark and Light creator, merged into one company. It was abundantly clear that similarities between these two games was going to be inevitable. However, Dark and Light is not only visually similar to the Dino-MMO, but is almost mirrored in play-style, interface and game menus. Unfortunately, it looks as though Snail Games just used the core mechanics of ARK; levelling up, farming resources and learning to build new items, without adding something new and special to the mix.

Admittedly, ARK: Survival Evolved is a tough act to follow, making expectations for this fantasy successor extremely high. So when Dark and Light dropped on the 20th of July many were disappointed. Early Access players experienced performance issues, bugs, glitches and graphics not nearly as nice as the trailers and screenshots promised. It's not a good start.

Steam Reviews Show Disappointment

Shortly after Dark and Light went live, wave after wave of negativity flooded in on Steam. Just a few hours in and only 10% of the reviews and comments were positive. Over the past three days these statistics have fluctuated, with a current 51% of Dark and Light reviews remaining negative.

But remember, don't rely solely on the ratings. In our experience, players tend to write an angry review if disappointed with the first few minutes of gameplay. It's always worth giving the game a chance to prove itself.

Our Assessment

Dark and Light presents a brilliant fantasy world full of magic and mythical creatures to explore and discover. This initial release, however, has been terrible. Straight off the bat, in-game tool-tips have not been displayed correctly and the tasks all seem to be trial and error based. The graphics are of a very low standard, providing muddy and dull textures that are not much better even with epic settings.


Muddy blotted graphics.

But if you can get past the glitches and graphical errors, there may very well be a shiny little gem of a game underneath. To all who are disappointed with Dark and Light, remember that this is Early Access and ARK wasn't much better when it first launched all those years ago. Give it a few months and let Snail Games mend what's broken.

Welcome to our Survivethis archive. Every post accessible under this account originated from our former survival-focused website, Survivethis.news, and was written by various authors.
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