So I’ve been trying out the Closed Beta for “Palia“, the upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game from Singularity 6, and I thought I’d give you my initial thoughts so far.
First of all, the game is pretty much exactly what I thought we’d get from this so-called ‘Cozy MMO’. “Palia” is very pretty, despite having graphics that are fairly easy on the video card. Much in the same vein as “World of Warcraft”, the graphics seem easy to render on most computers, including the toaster I’ve been playing the game on (a four year old MSI laptop, running an nVidia GTX 1070 video card, an i7-7700HQ CPU, and 32 GB of DDR 5 RAM).
But graphics aside, the gameplay has been just what I imagined we’d get, as well. There is a heavy reliance on questing and crafting, with Singularity 6 pushing players to be social, make friends with their neighbors, and work together. This social push seems to be an attempt to make up for some holes in potential gameplay, as let’s be honest here: There’s only so many crafting quests one can do, before players get bored.
Had “Palia” been launched back in the Spring of 2020, it well could have been an amazing hit, rivaling “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”… but now, will all but the most hardcore Cozy Game players be hooked for long?
Yes, I think they will.
Look, I get it. A lot of people will be bored fairly easy when they find out that “Palia” lacks any real combat, has no dungeons or raids, and absolutely zero Player vs Player content. In short, there is no competition in this game, and many MMORPG players will quickly find that “Palia” is not their cup of tea. But this game isn’t for them, is it?
“Palia” is unapologetically a Cozy MMORPG, and the Cozy Game community will absolutely love it!
I see it this way: “Palia” is very much like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”, just with deeper questing and crafting systems. Personally, I have been playing ACNH like clockwork every day for over three years now, and I can see “Palia” being the sort of game I log into every day, if only to water my garden after work, and play for hours every weekend.
It is like “World of Warcraft”, without the stress and griefers.
But that all said, there have been some issues with the Closed Beta testing. For example, there have been graphical glitches here or there, in the form of brief freezes with the graphics. I haven’t experienced this issue very much, but it is there. You are also locked into a single character per account, and once you continue on from the character designer, you cannot go back. There is no controller support at this time, although they say this is coming soon (it better be, with the game set for a planned launch on the Nintendo Switch this winter). Also, make sure your video graphics driver is up-to-date before you try installing the game, or you will get errors, like I did. Actually, you should be keeping your drivers up to date, anyway.
So what are my thoughts on the game thus far, overall? It’s good. I am hoping that Singularity 6 is holding back some content and/or features for the Open Beta, and especially for the live game after launch. I’m not saying the game is lacking, but there are some features I’d like to see for the game, such as Swimming. I would also like to see more quests, or more involved, multi-step questlines. The story of the game thus far is fine, but I want to see more. Right now, I find myself having to grind for crafting materials and money, with not much else to do.
Grinding eats up time, but it gets old, fast. Considering that Singularity 6 was founded by former devs from Blizzard and Riot, I hope they aren’t thinking that grinding and repeatable, daily quests will be enough to keep Cozy Players entertained. Sure, it may well work, but I’d like to see more in “Palia”.
This game feels like they want to do something different from other MMORPGs, and I hope they live up to that challenge.