The tale of the rancher of slimes continues again with a larger and more abundant planet. In this story though you drop right into the heart of a beautiful observatory right away, but with no real introduction. With a giant tree at the center you can’t help, but be in awe of the scenery that you find. This doesn’t bode well though when you find out that the whole ranch is the same size as the old one! You get a lot more space, but the same amount of plots.
Underneath this amazing building though you can find the crafting station. This is the same machine as you used in Slime Rancher 1; however, you can use this one as soon as the game begins. This takes out a lot of the early game needs for farming though and such as you can just walk around to get all the plorps and such you need. They added more slimes and items, but nothing to make it need actual ranching.
The removal of the quest system added even more onto this ordeal. They removed quests completely and replaced it with just communications with the characters and blueprints they can just give you. To initiate these you need to find the new notes that are scattered through the world using cute little drones. This change though isn’t one I like. As I played through and had 0 use of farming for my entire playthrough since there wasn’t a good incentive to do it.
The new notes that you find are not the only thing you need to search the large map for. They have also scattered capsules that contain all of the other blueprints in the game. There are a lot of machines, decorations, and upgrades. After getting the jetpack and an upgraded storage I felt none of these really had any effect anymore. You just get to go everywhere and use 1 slot basically to pop the Gordos which is a bit disappointing.
With the change in crafting they also changed how you unlock areas and such. You now don’t need the slime keys anymore. Everywhere you look you will find a Gordo of some kind. These are the giant slimes that take 50 items to explode. I would love to see something that expands on the Gordo and maybe is some type of hybrid that takes 150 items and you need to feed it VERY specific items (NOT THE NECTAR THOUGH) so that farming is needed. Or maybe have food and plorps it needs and a larger amount. That way you have a bigger need to farm and make a variety of slimes in your ranch.
With this idea of new Gordos though you have 1 item I would not want to see as a requirement. The nectar has to be the WORSE thing in the game to have to feed something. You can not farm it, it only grows maybe once a day, and it only is in one small section of the map. At the very least it would be sweet if you could buy one of the expansion areas and there be like 3 or 4 plants that grow this so that you don’t need to run a mile every time to feed butterflies.
With these added slimes such as the butterfly slimes you increase the amount in all areas which cause a MASSIVE amount of Tarr to show up throughout the game. It’s not a huge issue when you get the water blaster, but until that point you just need to run for your life. When you are in small areas though like a good bit of the map introduces throughout you will have a hard time with this. I don’t think you will ever get taken out by them, but it sure is annoying.
With smaller spaces also comes a larger map. I am not sure about the exact sizes, but the map overall feels MUCH larger and to be honest seems to have so much more that has yet to be released. You just stop at 2 massive dead ends and honestly, I am not happy about that. I really think they could have put more of the story into the game already and not just left us with what feels like where it will stay. The entire game technically “ends” right now and can be passed off as such. Hopefully they will not do that and actually release something.
Overall though I am not happy with this Early Access as it’s just a rebranded Slime Rancher 1 right now, but without the really cool and in depth story that goes along with it. Feels more like this should have been a beta if anything. They have so much more they can expand on and it just isn’t there. The mechanics are still kind of clunky, the crafting is boring to say the least, and the machines are useless. Without the quests or anything larger than a Gordo being a rancher isn’t really valuable.