Is Orion: Prelude a good game?

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Orion: Prelude has been on Steam for a while.

When it was first released it was billed as the worst game on Steam. No, seriously, even the developers said that it was one of the worst games ever.

“Why are we directing you towards a game that once bore such a damming title?” You may ask. Well, here’s why this game is a great addition to your Steam library, and why we can guarantee you’ll get a ton of fun out of it (or at the very least your money’s worth).

Orion is one of the great underdog comeback stories of Steam.

On release it was a broken, unplayable mess and the Steam reviews soon reflected the playerbase’s (if you could call it that) displeasure. However, instead of giving up and abandoning the game, the developer dedicated all his spare time to learning from his mistakes and fixing the game he had inflicted on the general public, eventually turning it into the creation he had initially envisioned.

General Info

Orion: Prelude doesn’t have the most groundbreaking mechanics and there’s no real deep underlying story, but oh-my-lord is it fun. Essentially, it’s a horde mode dinosaur shooter where you can buy better weapons and augments as the rounds go on. There are a small number of different game modes and several different difficulty levels to spice things up, along with a fantastic selection of maps. In the later

In the later waves, bigger dinosaurs will spawn along with the smaller guys and you’ll find yourself doing battle with T. Rexes, Triceratops’ and Spinosaurus’ amongst other things. The aim is to stay alive and keep the generators running, fixing them as the dinos try and do damage to them.

Orion: Prelude truck flight
Someone’s truck being rammed across the map and into the sky by a Triceratops.
Image taken in-game

The graphics are really quite good for a game of its price tag and the general map design actually makes the game pleasant to look at, with a range of expansive maps to trek across and smaller, sunnier ones to power jump around.

Leveling is quite fast in Orion: Prelude, and although it does feel a little too rapid at times, it’s better than it being too much of a grind. This also means you become a kickass dinosaur hunter much faster, so who’s complaining?

There is a small, but regular multiplayer community and you can usually find matches to join that have other people in. If not, then people will often join you mid-match. The community so far has been really friendly and the more hardcore players are extremely helpful towards those less experienced.

Orion: Prelude upgrade
The buildings where you buy your awesome upgrades.
Image taken in-game

Gameplay

The gameplay is simple and solid. The gunplay is decent and thankfully doesn’t feeling like you’re handling a brick. Orion’s driving mechanics are great fun and there are achievements for running over dinosaurs, so there’s definitely a reason to spend an entire round speeding around the map, aiming for clumps of them.

Once you start to get augments you can have even more fun; power jumping around the map and turning yourself into a tank of a character that can resist being chomped by one of the big guys. When you get downed you have a ‘fight to survive’ window, where you can kill a dinosaur to revive yourself if a teammate can’t get to you in time (think Borderlands).

How Does Orion: Prelude Run?

I have briefly tried the game on a laptop with integrated graphics, and it functioned well enough (albeit with a graphical downgrade). On my PC it runs smooth as butter, aside from some slight stuttering if I level up in the middle of some combat. If you’re using Windows 10 then you may need to change the compatibility mode to Windows 8, but there is also an extremely helpful thread in the Steam forums covering other fixes.

Orion: Prelude spinosaurus
A Spinosaurus flying elegantly into the air. Nature can be beautiful.
Image taken in-game

Conclusion

Orion: Prelude is a great game. I’ve been enjoying it immensely and will definitely continue to play it on a regular basis. The developer, Trek Industries, currently has a game in Early Access called Guardians of Orion, which is the spiritual successor (and prequel) to Orion: Prelude. Guardians is also pretty fun even in its current state, so consider giving that some love too.

We’ll be doing Early Access coverage of Guardians of Orion over on our Youtube channel, so be sure to keep an eye out for that. However, while we wait for more content to arrive for Guardians, Orion: Prelude will satisfy the dinosaur fighting urges you never knew you had.

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