We have seen a good few Pokémon clones over the years, but very few have been quite as, ermm, out there as Palworld, the creature-collecting RPG... with guns. Well, it has launched into Early Access on Steam today.
Originally revealed at Indie Live Expo 2021, Palworld has everything you would expect from a Pokémon knock-off: catching, battling, suspiciously similar character models, sweatshops. You know, all the standard traits.
The hook here is that some of the
Pokémon Pals have guns. And so do you. We'd be lying if we said that it didn't look kind of awesome. We'd also be lying if we said that there was any chance TPC and Nintendo would let something like this anywhere near the Switch.
This isn't to say that it's all Pokémon inspired. A quick glance at the new trailer (at the bottom of this article) gives off more than enough The Legend of Zelda, Monster Hunter and Fortnite vibes too. Oh, the originality!
If, as you watch the trailer, you are struck by just how similar the models look to real Pokémon, worry not, you are not alone. Palworld comes from publisher and developer Pocketpair â the team that launched the definitely-not-Breath-of-the-Wild-inspired title Craftopia back in 2020. From legally distinct 'Bokoblins' to the 'it doesn't even look like Hyrule... that much' landscape, Craftopia had it all, and it looks like Palworld does too.
Fortunately, the dev has been very clear in spelling out that this game is not a scam but something more genuine. It shouldn't be what we look for in a game, but given some of the 'quality' that we see on the eShop, we suppose that it's becoming a necessary thing to clarify.
As the age-old saying goes: if it ain't broke, add a Totoro with a gun.