When it was initially unveiled at E3, I was confused as to what Darwin Project was trying to be. I knew what it was aiming for with a shoutcaster on stage, and it felt as though it was doing a little too much to convince me that it wants to be the next big esport. And then Riley and I played some of the closed beta back in November and were both pleasantly surprised.
Darwin Project is yet another entry into the Battle Royale genre that places an emphasis on survival and crafting. Ten players must survive not only encounters with one another, but fight the bitter cold to stay alive by finding materials to craft weapons, armour and any other gadgetry.
One of the game's coolest features, the Show Director, basically turns a spectating mode into a really engaging way for players to directly control the outcome of the match. As the Show Director, you are given control of which zones to close, where to place precious electronic drops, and you can even aid players by healing them or warming them up. It's a game that feels designed around streaming so much that last weekend's open beta had some ways for viewers watching on Mixer to vote on how to help or hurt players, as well as place bets.
Overall, it's still a really unique and interesting entry into this genre that I'm actually having a ton of fun with. You can watch Kotaku's very own Riley MacLeod and me take the newest open beta for a spin above.