Should you buy into Atlas right now? I’m going to say no, but caveat that clearly with I haven’t played and I’m simply sharing the advice that I’m following myself. Atlas has right now an overwhelming amount of negative reviews and a lot of chatter online about how buggy, broken, etc. that it is. There is also the fact that it’s allegedly just an ARK DLC wrapped around a new standalone game, ala Fallout 76, which was a DLC wrapped around Fallout 4’s engine with multiplayer added. There is also the fact it’s still one of the most watched games on Twitch this far out.
So why do I say you should hold off buying? Well, it’s to let the community sort out if it’s going to adopt it or not. If you haven’t bought it yet, I would hold off and see how the community withstands the next few months. Unlike Fallout 76, which has limits on how many can be on the map at any given time, Atlas is a true MMO and for it to be fun, at least from what I’ve seen, it needs to have players playing it.
With these sprees of massive disdain for the game, it could be a scenario where it goes into the darkness, never to return after the launch hype wears off. A dedicated few remain to play the shell of a game that could, while everyone else plays Sea of Thieves or Puzzle Pirates. As an MMO, you want a healthy community playing. You want to know that your time invested is going to pay off.
Likewise, it could also be heavily discounted. It’s already at somewhere around 15% off, but it could drop even further. A lot of Fallout 76 players were angered that they bought at the day 1 price of 59.99 only to see it drop to $39.99 very quickly. Atlas is $29.99 and $24.99 through January 2nd, likely to continue to either discount or remain around the $25 mark.
It’s not a ton of money, but it’ll likely come down some more. It hasn’t truly launched, because it’s still in Early Access, so waiting a bit at this point is probably worth it.
If you do take the plunge and buy the game, make sure to give it more than 2 or 3 hours. It seems many Steam reviews play for an hour or two and then leave a negative review, but it’s likely from the buggy gameplay and unpolished start of the game. The start level is one of the most important parts of an MMO or any game, as it gets you into the world. Monster Hunter: World does a pretty good job of explaining a rather complicated game through a slow and steady onboarding into the world.
Which may also be another good reason to wait. As they continue to polish, your first experience in the world might be better.
Anyway, if you’re on the fence, I suggest stopping by Twitch and watching others play for awhile to see if it’s what you’re into.