Last Updated on January 28, 2020 by Michael Brockbank
In December 2019, Redbeet Interactive pushed out the Raft update many of us have been waiting for. And after playing for a while, I can say that it was worth the wait. The amount of material that came out was impressive to me.
And I know a lot of people probably have hangups regarding how long it took Redbeet to move Raft forward. But personally, I’d rather have developers take their time and producing something of value.
Which is why I didn’t mind the Raft end game as it was…because I had a gut feeling the game would still be worked on.
I mean, we don’t want a super-rushed, multiplayer mess that is simply broken…Bethesda.
What Notable Additions are In the Raft Update?
After a long period of waiting, a lot of the things we hoped for in the game came out with Raft update 10. Although I haven’t fully explored the end of the release yet, I have come across some extremely awesome additions.
I thought the game was a value at $20 before.
Rudders and Engines!
One thing I was hoping for was dropped in this latest update. You can now build a rudder! Which is great for those of us who have OCDs about keeping the raft straight.
I tell ya, nothing messes with me more in the game than nudging an island and having the raft float askew for the rest of the journey.
Another element that is pretty nice is the engines you can build. Of course, you’ll need to progress further in the game to find the recipe to build it.
Still, after floating along with a paddle and sail, building the engine is a nice change of pace. Even if the only time I’ve used it so far is to go backward to an island I forgot to visit.
The Raft update also comes with revamped island layouts. Instead of getting as close as you can and building roofs to get to the surface, they’re realistically laid out.
Now, it’s all up to a bit of parkour to get to the tops instead of burning through the wood to build roof pieces.
Before, the islands seemed more like towers of boulders stacked by some gigantic force. Now, there is more realism to the beaches and underwater plant life.
Easier to Get Materials
With the revamps of the islands came the ease of getting materials. For instance, you had to dive pretty deep to get ore pieces before. If you didn’t have an air tank, you could probably get one or two before you start drowning.
Now, it’s not too difficult to get ore as well as the underwater chests of goodies.
I’m kind of torn on this aspect. Personally, I like the challenge. So putting everything near the surface was kind of a bummer for me. But, it did make the game progress a bit faster than it was before.
So, I guess I am on the fence about making it easier to get supplies with this Raft update.
Added Storyline in the Raft Update
I am a huge fan of a good storyline. Now, you’re provided with a book where you can collect clues and place them for future reference. This is kind of a fun addition and gives Raft more life than simply floating in the Pacific Garbage Patch.
For example, it took me about 2.5 hours to fully explore the Yacht that you come across. This is because I like to look in every nook and cranny to find every possible thing you can.
Plus, I enjoyed reading the notes and tapes in the game.
Speaking of the yacht, the Raft update also added more critters. Namely, the rats that look mutated and are extremely aggressive, also known as Lurkers. Though, three quick stabs with a metal spear puts an end to them nicely.
The next island area I am making my way to includes bears. And given how the boars whoop on me pretty good, I have no idea how to deal with something larger.
Still, adding the different animals is a nice addition and expands what you can do and how you develop strategies to play the game.
Since I am on the topic of creatures in Raft, the blowfish no longer have a “scum” spawn area. Before, you would have to find green-colored collections of junk near the larger islands to get blowfish.
Now, they just spawn en mass near the beaches. I was accosted by four all at once. But, it’s not difficult to defend yourself as long as you have a bow handy and plenty of room to swim backward.
Improved Graphics and Visuals
Aside from the additions I mentioned, the Raft update also brought new visuals and graphics. For example, the radio tower you come across has added vines and graffiti.
Another graphic improvement I found interesting was the revamp of seaweed. Now, it looks more like underwater plantlife.
I still think it would be nice if you could customize your character. But unfortunately, you still only have the male and female versions of the same appearance.
It’s all good though. I still find the game engaging and fun.
Improvements to Bruce the Shark
One thing I want to point out, since I’m on the topic of graphics, is how the shark no longer goes through the island. Its collision path is improved, so no more sneaking up behind if the rock is at your back.
Also, the shark will no longer eat your raft if you’re exploring an island. It’ll attack the raft as soon as you get back, though. But it’s nice to not have to worry about replacing a ton of pieces cause the shark at them.
Great to Play with the Kids
One of the biggest boons to Raft is how great it is to play with the kids. It’s not overly violent, you have to work together to survive and a lot of fun is had when you have a small two-by-two block to start and three kids jumping in on the fun.
I felt bad for accidentally pushing my youngest into the water when trying to collect plastic and wood.
Of course, this was always the case outside of the Raft update. But it’s such a kid-friendly game, that I thought I’d mention it here. If you’re looking for a way to interact with the children on a lazy Saturday, this is a great game to install.
It’s Still in Early Access for $20
At the time of this blog post, Raft is still in Early Access and available from Steam for $19.99. And to be honest, it ranks right up there with the $20 I spent for Subnautica. This is especially true considering that it’s still Early Access.
And I hope that means that there are still more improvements to come in the near future.
The Raft Update is a Boon to the Game
To be honest, I wasn’t sure just how much development would go into Raft. I mean, I’ve been burned by Early Access games before. So, I am glad that Redbeet pushed to keep this one going.
I like the additions brought by the Raft update and look forward to seeing what the developers come up with next.
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