Some time ago, the German studio Blankhans announced Coreborn, a new survival MMO. The first alpha test ran over the weekend. The MeinMMO editorial team took a look at the game and our survival expert Benedict Grothaus sees the potential.
What is Coreborn? Coreborn is based on the Pen&Paper rule set Ultracore. You play there as one of the different peoples of a world that is under attack by an extraterrestrial force. Your goal: survive and rebuild the world.
The game relies on classic survival and RPG elements such as construction, crafting and action combat. Alone or with friends you move through the world, build houses, villages and fight opponents. The look is strongly comic-style and reminiscent of WildStar, WoW or even Fortnite.
Behind the new survival MMO is the German studio Blankhans, in which the story genius Hauke Gerdes is involved as creative director. Hauke is responsible for the story of the game.
You can see the story trailer here:
What did we test? The first alpha test ran from March 2nd to March 5th. However, there were always disconnections and at least one reset, as far as I could observe.
The experience you read here is therefore based on roughly the first 4 hours in the still very unfinished game and is only intended to be a first glimpse of what Coreborn could be.
Good for beginners, very easy for veterans
Four of us played Coreborn at the weekend: our colleagues Dariusz Müller, Maik Schneider, his fiancée Alicia and myself. The constellation came about because we only played through Sons of the Forest the night before and the dynamic fits well.
We’re all experienced survival players, so we got along well and quickly with Coreborn. In the test, the capital, Coreheim, was full of NPCs, but none of them offered any interactions.
Accordingly, we quickly went into the open world via a portal and started. The first few steps are a bit arduous because you are desperately looking for resin and plant fibers for your first ax and pickaxe.
However, this hurdle is already overcome after about half an hour to an hour. As a team of four, we were soon awash with resources, owning rarer materials, and even having our own home and village center.
Coreborn is quite natural. There is wood from trees, meat from most animals, and help with crafting is available at every station and via the help key F1. If you already know survival games, you can build a good first camp in no time.
I can’t yet estimate how difficult it will be at some point. But I can already see that the start is extremely beginner-friendly. Coreborn will be ideal for beginners who have had nothing else to do with survival.
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Building is reminiscent of ARK
In order to provide a first insight into the construction system, I will hand over to Maik at this point:
As soon as the first cheap ax has been crafted, it’s time to start building, because you can craft the construction hammer. When opening the construction menu, it was immediately clear: The Dino-Survival ARK is the template here. The radial menu is just like ARK and the buildable parts are also very reminiscent of the dino adventure.
However, Coreborn takes a different approach with a village center. The centers protect my base and can be expanded, thereby unlocking new dangers and recipes.
When building a base, you have to be very careful that the parts fit together correctly. Otherwise you end up with gaps between the walls, roofs and floors. But with a little experience, you can handle it.
The base provides better workshops when expanding the village centers and at higher levels there is also a kind of tower defense aspect. Upgraded villages are regularly attacked and need to be protected.
In principle, this sounds similar to the invasions from Conan Exiles, in which enemies try to tear down your base if you build too much. However, we could not see that in the test.
Blankhans is quite ambitious with Coreborn. In the interview, the devs revealed that they want to have the influence on survival MMOs that WoW had on MMORPGs. Lured by the project, I checked out the first alpha. MeinMMO editor-in-chief Leya Jankowski has already spoken to the creators. In the one-hour interview, Hauke and his colleagues introduce you to Coreborn:
Action battles like in Conan Exiles
Since Maik is our dedicated master builder, I threw myself into testing the combat system and getting meat, leather and more during the test period. So far my only weapon has been a sword.
Nevertheless, the system already comes with combos and dodges that I already know from Conan Exiles. With a little practice, you quickly learn the movements of the opponents and can kill them without taking any damage yourself.
This is pleasant for farming, but can become boring in the long run. Since Coreborn also wants to lure with strong opponents and special loot, I assume that there will at least be something like boss fights.
At least for the time I had, the system was fun though. I liked to beat up horses for their skins or goats for their moss and feathers. Yes…don’t ask, Coreborn is a little wild when it comes to imagination.
MeinMMO video producer Anna Alberg also took a look at Coreborn:
The idea of Coreborn intrigued me from the start. It sounded like a mix between Albion Online and the forefather of MMORPGs, Ultima Online. I’ve always wanted to play a survival MMO where a lot of people come together and shape the world.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend Coreborn’s alpha test and was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by the creative director himself, who explained the game to you. Even though the game still has a lot of work to do, it felt very familiar. Above all, the building system was very simple and easy to use, it was really fun to build your first city and set up the first crafting stations.
Due to the lack of a tutorial, you had to find out a lot of things on your own. So I ran around aimlessly for a while, looking for resin, which was necessary to make the first axe. The help tips said that you get resin from the felled trees. Well, how do I chop down a tree without first crafting an axe? Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible with fists.
That’s where the sword came in – I found out that you can use it to chop down the trees, although it took a little longer. My surprise was even greater when the tree landed next to me and I was hit so hard that I almost died.
Another thing that wasn’t immediately obvious and bothered me a bit: How do I get my sword out now? Where in most games you already have your tool in your hand and can use it with a mouse click, here you first had to pull out the weapon with the “Tab” key. On the other hand, what was very positive was the people who participated in the Alpha. The questions were answered in a friendly manner in the chat and everyone shared their experiences.
Video producer at MeinMMO
Unfinished but with a strong foundation
The first test was just that: a test designed primarily to show how stable the servers were. From what I’ve seen, that went pretty well too. A lot of basic mechanics like actual character creation, professions and certain UI elements were still completely missing.
For example, I starved to death several times because I had few life points and no food display. A growl in the stomach announces hunger and immediately consumes life. And without hotkeys, I couldn’t munch fast enough.
However, these are all things that are not too important for the first impression. The basic systems like combat and building already convey that Blankhans know what they are doing.
Here’s some more gameplay from Coreborn’s Alpha:
There were always players somewhere in the world, even with a relatively small test. It felt like a true survival MMO with housing and all that entails.
I’m excited to see how Coreborn develops. The community has given feedback diligently and some of this has already been implemented in the test to make the game better. If the developers stick with it, Coreborn is indeed a contender for the title of “King of Survival MMOs”:
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