Palworld Review – More Than Just A Rip-off

A twist on the monster-taming genre with Pokémon and assault rifles!

Palworld Review
Overall
4.5
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

Palworld is one of the most unique games in the survival genre, which is often generic and repeating the same elements in almost every other title.

Pros

  • Well Designed Open-World
  • Good Exploration
  • Variety Of Pals
  • Excellent Crafting Mechanics
  • Challenging Combat
  • Fun Gameplay

Cons

  • Confusing Narrative
  • Frequent Crashes
  • Major Bugs
  • Generic Pal Designs

The developers of the acclaimed survival entry Craftopia are now back with another title, Palworld. However, it isn’t another mere survival game with generic mechanics repetitive in the genre. Palworld brings a taste of uniqueness with its gameplay design and mechanics. 

Key Takeaways
  • Developer: Pocketpair
  • Publisher: Pocketpair
  • Release Date: January 19, 2024
  • Platforms: Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
  • Game Length: 30-50 hours
  • Time Played: 35 hours
  • Editors Note: We thoroughly tested Palworld on PC, putting roughly 35 hours into fully understanding the mechanics.

Venture on a new adventure in Palworld that combines both the survival and monster-taming genres spectacularly. It blew away my expectations of how the blend of various gameplay elements works so well together, and I aim to factor that into my review.  

Story And Setting

Palworld story
The message on the tablet (Image by eXputer)

Palworld is set in an open world consisting of various Islands named Palpagos Islands by default. You are journeying to catch various Pals, defeat strong adversaries, and conquer towers.

While the premise is generic, the main plot is integrated interestingly across the open world. It is not explained much to the players right off the bat, giving an incentive to explore the open world more to better understand the plot. 

Palworld allows you to live a peaceful life, where you can peacefully spend the day on your bases with your friends and Pals or choose to commit war crimes with your monsters. It’s entirely up to you how you want to spend your time in the open world. 

Palworld has a unique setting with dark elements in a world full of cute Pals, a combination I wasn’t expecting to go well at all.

When you first wake up in the open world, you will get a message on a tablet prompting you to visit the towers, telling you they are the key. Defeating the bosses in towers offers a nice challenge for the players, requiring them to strengthen their Pals. 

If you want to focus more on exploration than combat, you can set the difficulty levels according to your preference. You can make many changes to the world, such as increasing or decreasing the experience, catch, and drop rates. 

Overloaded Cuteness With Guns

palworld catch pals
Catching Pals in Palworld (Image by eXputer)

Palworld has a unique setting with darker elements in a world made entirely of cute Pals, a combination I wasn’t expecting to go well at all. It was uncanny to see charming monsters holding guns engaged in killing.

Along the way, you will encounter many syndicate members engaged in various illegal activities, such as capturing and imprisoning Pals unlawfully. Defeating the Syndicate member in the open world and rescuing Pals are exciting premises. 

Crimes are not limited to thugs and sorcerers; as a player, you can commit atrocities in the open world, such as catching humans and killing NPCs. You can even sell your Pals to a trader for a few pieces of gold, although I personally found it pretty dark when I realized I could even sell the humans I caught for a bit of cash. 

Gameplay

killing pals
Defeating a Pal (image by eXputer)

Palworld fixes one of the major issues with the survival genre and provided better early in-game guidance for players. It adds a survival guide covering all the basics you can access through the menu. The title also adds tutorial quests that players can complete to understand the gameplay better. 

I found the gameplay addictive as I could try several things, like exploring the world to search for more Pals and completing my Paldeck as I progressed. You can cook various dishes after getting ingredients through hunting, during which your Pals can also help you around your base, tending to your farm and collecting materials. 

Palworld’s gameplay is definitely one of its most vital selling points, where it fuses several elements together to make an exciting combination.

Palworld has excellent building mechanics, you can create large houses and structures similar to Minecraft and Fortnite. I liked how the title provided a multitude of crafting options, from crafting wooden clubs to guns and a lot more. 

At first, I thought it was weird to add guns and weapons to a monster-taming game; however, after I tried Palworld out, my expectations were blown away by how well the elements worked.

sweepa palworld
Beating Sweepa (Image by eXputer)

I’d say the combat in Palworld is fairly interesting for its style, as using a mix of weapons and Pals to tackle foes creates that synergy that you’d often struggle to find in a monster-taming game. Furthermore, you can unlock special Pal moves for more enriching gameplay. Some of these moves will aid you during exploration, while a few are helpful in a fight. 

Each Pal is assigned different types from nine elemental types in the entry. It makes the combat more complex as you must factor in the types’ strengths and weaknesses, especially during the middle and end game, to win more battles.  

Survive With Your Pals

palworld dungeon
A dungeon in Palworld (Image by eXputer)

Palworld’s gameplay is definitely one of its most vital selling points, where it fuses several elements to make an exciting combination. It is more than just a mere Monster-tamer; it adds survival mechanics to make the gameplay more engaging. Playing with a friend is highly recommended, as the co-op makes it more immersive. 

You can damage and kill hostile Pals without using your partner, which is not how it usually works with the genre, and that’s what makes the gameplay so unique. Survival mechanics made the entry more immersive as you can craft various buildings, weapons, and tools while searching for food, striving to get through the day. 

The exploration of dungeons alongside Pals is pretty immersive and challenging. It requires you to prepare beforehand to make enough resources as you will face off against a few enemies and can catch some new Pals.

Visuals And Performance

palworld visuals
Environment in Palworld (Image captured by eXputer)

I found the visuals in Palworld stunning as I ventured across the open world. Various landscapes are designed well, whether tropical, mountainous, or coastal. Furthermore, there is an excellent focus on attention to detail and depth. 

As I ventured across the islands, I saw breathtaking scenery and excellent environmental design. Great attention is paid to the day and night cycle and the resulting change in the surroundings. 

A lot of the Pals found in the world are creatively designed. However, a few of them seem generic and look similar to monster designs found in other titles in the genre, with minimal changes. 

As I ventured across the islands, I came across breathtaking scenery and excellent environmental design.”

Palworld is decently optimized when it comes to performance, too. It runs smoothly for the most part, except for a few crashes and glitches along the way. But then again, the entry is still in the early access stage, so I hope the issues are rectified eventually. 

The Verdict

verdict
The Verdict (Image taken by eXputer)

Palworld is one of the most unique games in the survival genre, which is often generic and repeating the same elements in almost every other title. It combines survival and monster-taming genres, making it look harmonious in a surprisingly elegant way.

A few might argue that it’s a rip-off of other notable titles in the genre, especially Pokemon. However, its unique gameplay mechanics make it a cut above the rest. Exploring and interacting with my Pals in an open-world setting was an exhilarating experience. 

This wraps up my Palworld review. While you are here, consider giving the following reviews a read.  

This is box title
Get This Game
If you are a fan of both survival and monster-taming genres.
Dont Get This Game
If you do not like open world games.
Do I Need To Get This Game
Yes, it’s an innovative take on the genre with creative gameplay mechanics.
Alternative Games
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Rabiya is a versatile writer at eXputer who can cover everything ranging from Guides, Tier Lists, and the hottest news in the gaming industry. Rabiya earned her Bachelor's in English Literature, further enhancing her writing skills. With hundreds of hours on Persona 5 and Genshin Impact, Rabiya has been proudly playing video games for eight years. Follow Rabiya's gaming activities on her Steam and Xbox Profiles!

Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly Covers Tier Lists & Guides

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