Park Beyond Beta Impressions: A Narrative-Driven Approach to Park Management
In the realm of management and simulation games, Park Beyond promises to be a new, engaging entry. This game offers a narrative-focused campaign mode designed to entertain players while also teaching them about its management dynamics. The appeal of Park Beyond lies in the challenge of building a new park from scratch and ensuring it meets the needs and expectations of its audience.
I recently had the opportunity to participate in a short beta test for the game, which featured two main missions from the campaign mode and offered a sneak peek at the Exploration and Sandbox modes. As the game is still a month away from its official launch, several features were noticeably absent when I tried to construct new structures.
I’m unsure about the strategy of blending a narrative with park building and management. While it does motivate us to play through the story mode, as we’ve seen in games like Jurassic World Evolution, the execution in Park Beyond doesn’t seem quite as enjoyable. The cutscenes, which commence abruptly during gameplay upon the completion of certain tasks, feel jarring, and the writing leaves a bit to be desired. The cutscenes often present a choice that adds new features or changes the objectives, which could potentially offer some replay value.
As the beta only contained a few missions, I was only able to play through the first two. Each mission took less than an hour to complete and, while not particularly exciting, hinted at the potential for more engaging gameplay in the final product. The game functions seemed basic, and as a controller user, I initially found it challenging to place items on the map. However, after a bit of trial and error, I found playing through the missions with a controller was quite manageable, which bodes well for those intending to play on a Steam Deck.
On the topic of the Steam Deck, the game ran smoothly on it and didn’t seem overly demanding. While it’s possible that performance could suffer in later missions as the park evolves into a more complex entity with a higher number of rides and items, my experience with the beta showed a steady 30 FPS with minor adjustments to the settings. The text might be a little hard to read, but it didn’t seem like the visuals had to be downgraded significantly. However, the final game, which will launch soon, might offer a better gauge of overall performance. For now, Park Beyond seems to be a well-optimized game.
In conclusion, Park Beyond appears to be an intriguing experiment within the simulation game genre. Its main appeal is the campaign mode, which attempts to engage both casual and dedicated players. Although only time will tell if the final game is more enjoyable, what I experienced in the beta was decent, if not particularly groundbreaking. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the game’s release and taking it for another test run.