Don’t interfere, she will eat you! We played Palworld so you don’t have to

We intend to investigate and take appropriate measures to address any acts that infringe on intellectual property rights related to the Pokémon.”

While The Pokémon Company doesn’t explicitly name Palworld or its developer, Pocketpair, in its statement, we presume it’s investigating the record-setting Steam title based on the specified release window and recent controversies surrounding the game’s alleged infringement of Pokémon IP. 

Those who have so far resisted the temptation to play the main hit of early 2024 risk making a mistake in its essential assessment. The fact is that Palworld is firmly labeled as “Pokémon with guns.” A standard story: some incomprehensible thing suddenly gathered a cloud of players, and journalists needed to somehow explain its essence in a nutshell. 

Someone wrote something like “Pokémon with guns are tearing up the Steam charts,” others chimed in… There really are Pokemon with guns in the screenshots! But in this case, the stamp invented on the fly ended up completely missing the mark. But before explaining why, I would like to tell a story – also, by the way, about the damned gamer.

Game play

At the turn of the 1990s and 2000s, one specific Russian gaming magazine—we won’t go into details—had a humorous section. The column was run by a trio of fictional characters, distinguished by an extreme degree of dementia, who regularly went into a madhouse according to the plot and discussed games from their stupid bell tower.  

And so, in the next issue, their tomfoolery gave birth to the concept of an ideal game project of the future called “Network Game of Games” – by analogy with the Old Testament “Song of Solomon.”

The game of games was supposed to combine all popular genres, mechanics and fictional characters. In it, everyone can choose a character, a weapon and an activity to their liking. No frames or stylistic restrictions – take either an ax or a BFG. And, of course, it should be multiplayer, so that there is an opportunity to compete in your favorite activity with other “dads” and boast of your achievements to your friends. That’s what they say, there is no prophet in his own country.

Those who call Palworld “Pokémon with guns” demonstrate the same lack of foresight as the three blind men who groped the elephant in the famous parable. If only there were Pokemon! Of course, a lot has been taken from them here: from the design of the animals to the mechanics of catching them: first you need to reduce the monster’s health as much as possible by any means, and then throw a pokeball at it in time… excuse me, a “pal-sphere”.

 Even not the most obvious mechanics, such as rare shiny Pokemon, which have unique features and spawn with a negligible probability, have been copied. But the matter does not stop there.

Everywhere you look, in Palworld you can see borrowings from hit games of recent years. The mechanics of moving and exploring the world moved straight from Zelda. Possibly transiting through Genshin Impact . That being said, sometimes ears pop up unexpectedly in environment design—hold on to your chairs— Elden Ring . I’m not crazy:

the game has literally one-to-one locations copied from From Software’s creations. For some reason, certain elements of the visual style, such as the appearance of people, are obviously borrowed from Fortnite . And the mechanics for building a base are a mix of developments from the most popular “survival” games: from Ark to some already forgotten Don’t Starve .

Construction and crafting in general take no less time than catching “fires”. And clearly more than other secondary activities: clearing monotonous dungeons and rare trips to bosses. This is all implemented exactly as you most likely expect. Hit trees with your fists until you save up to craft an axe. Collect stones around the world until you have enough money to build a mine at your base. 

Slowly create consumables until you allow yourself to build a conveyor plant that automates these actions. Unlock new recipes to change a wooden club into a spear, and a spear into an assault rifle. Slowly, rehearsally, extremely understandable. On paper, it just can’t be fun. But here in front of you is a person who was initially extremely skeptical about Palworld , who spent 16 hours in it over two nights. In the end, I was left with a gaping emptiness in my soul and the question “ How the hell does this work?” »

The best fish is sausage

I would immediately like to put aside thoughts about where homage ends and plagiarism begins. Let’s leave this debate to Nintendo apologists and haters or lawyers. In the end, if you look at it, even collecting summoned monsters is by no means an invention of Pokemon. 

Much earlier, this feature was implemented in the much darker and hardcore JRPG Shin Megami Tensei. Within the framework of art, many generally adhere to the principle “ If you stole well, well done, steal more .” Let ’s just clarify that this is clearly not a case where a young author was inspired by someone else’s development and wanted to make something of his own based on it. 

There is nothing unique about Palworld . Not a single idea of ​​my own. There is no trace of the human touch that is often visible in unsightly but original indie games. There is nothing at all in it, except progression and licked mechanics that encourage you to continue playing.

 Moreover, there is no sense of any artistic vision behind their articulation – the stylistic inconsistency is rather repulsive. And you feel the desire to make a hit game from pieces of other hit games. At least, the authors clearly succeeded in this.

Moreover: for some, this release, similar to Frankenstein’s monster, will also seem fresh. Everyone’s gaming repertoire is different. Someone played the conditional Elden Ring , but did not touch modern survival games. For them , Palworld will be both familiar and innovative. Here, after all, we have the best mechanical developments of different genres under one cover! 

Game play! And while the same “Zelda” and “Pokemon” are locked in the Nintendo dungeon, where a large audience of PC games will happily enjoy Palworld . “ Well, yes, here you can climb mountains like in Genshin Impact , and the design in some places is clearly copied from Fortnite , but you can also build a base and collect monsters! »

Such success would not have been possible without a certain skill, and here we have to give the authors credit. There is a real sense of craftsmanship behind Palworld’s implementation . Not at all similar to the skill of an artist, but rather akin to the skill of a sausage shop operator. Which also deserves respect. While playing, Todd Howard’s famous mantra “ It just works!”

came to mind more than once. ” Everything really works here. Let it be imperfect. There are, of course, bugs, the AI ​​is extremely stupid, the interface is overloaded with garbage in the worst traditions of Ubisoft. But none of this prevents you from playing further. Key mechanics and leveling up are implemented conveniently, extremely accessible and do not require special brain work. As it should be in a quality time killer.

The plastic world has won

Palworld’s closest conceptual relatives are not Pokemon, Zelda, or even the notorious survivalists. Most of all it is similar to some kind of clickers. You press a button and the numbers grow, be it the pumping level of a captured monster or the amount of wood in a chest.

 The only thing missing is the idle mode, so that the rebuilt farm can work even without the participation of the player. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s added in updates. And this is really enough to kill time, without particularly involving the brain. Problems will arise only if the player discovers that he has spent the last tens of hours behind monotonous slotting, which has given him nothing but numbers on the screen. On the other hand, not everyone and not always needs something more.

The main, if not the only, value of Palworld is that it brilliantly fulfills the recreational function of games. Allows you to escape from pressing problems and forget about everything around you. What’s even funnier is that its gameplay loop is remarkably similar to the idealized operating formula. You spend time and get resources so that in the future you can spend less time and get more valuable resources in larger quantities. 

This doesn’t always happen in life, but here it’s a key rule. Work is always rewarded. I’m not sure what the sky-high player count says about us as a human species in this light. One thing is clear: the audience has clearly accumulated a demand for an extremely accessible and unencumbered timekiller – neither plot, nor original ideas, nor artistic content. And Palworld filled this niche perfectly.

For those who are looking for something more in games than an opportunity to kill time and relax (and, apparently, remain in the minority), there is another life-affirming parable. Sorry for the abundance of lyrical digressions, but the specifics of the game itself encourage you to escape from it somewhere. And since King Solomon has already been remembered today, it would not be amiss to recall that, according to legend, on the ring of the wise ruler of Israel it was written: “ This too shall pass .” 

The progression that has attracted millions of players will sooner or later exhaust itself. And the authors, apparently, abandoned their previous development forever in “early access”. It is possible that the same fate awaits Palworld . After all, if we assume that the goal of the developers was to sell as many copies as possible – even if it’s a crazy idea, don’t judge rashly – then they have already achieved success. And no amount of player outflow or review bombing will harm them.

Palworld Pals with Legend Trait List

In the list below, you will find the Pals that spawn with the Legend passive skill / trait in Palworld. You can get any one of them to begin the breeding process. However, if you want to complete the Paldeck, you’ll need all four. Keep in mind that all of these are level 50 creatures, so come prepared.

  • Jetragon – Legendary Dragon Pal that appears in the volcano biome, north of the Beach of Everlasting Summer fast travel point, at the following coordinates -792, -319.
  • Frostallion – Legendary Ice Pal that appears in the snow biome, east of the Land of Absolute Zero fast travel point at the following coordinates: -351, 516. It can fly and it can be used as a mount.
  • Paladius – Legendary Neutral Pal that appears in the desert biome, northwest of the Deep Sand Dunes fast travel beacon at the following coordinates: 451, 680. Appears at the same place as Necromus.
  • Necromus – Legendary Dark Pal that appears in the desert biome, northwest of the Deep Sand Dunes fast travel beacon at the following coordinates: 451, 680. Appears at the same place as Paladius.
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