The Isle Overview

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Your Guide To What The Isle Is All About

This game answers the question of what the life of a dinosaur was like. The Isle is a dinosaur simulator where the goal is to recreate the life of a dinosaur as closely as possible. This means you’ll need to find food, water, and defend yourself from other dinosaurs. You can choose the life of an herbivore or a carnivore in The Isle, with several options for each. This is a multiplayer game. There are no AI controlled dinosaurs in this game. Every dinosaur you see is another player. This means that anything can happen when you encounter another dinosaur. Currently the retail price is $19.99, and you can only download The Isle on Steam.

Choosing Servers and Species

When you log into the game, you will be prompted to choose a server. This game is similar to ARK: Survival Evolved in that every server offers a different experience. There are completely different maps available to server hosts, so the terrain itself can change your experience as well. Find the server with the best balance of low latency, and lots of people. Even if you plan on being a lone wolf, I strongly recommend you find a server with lots of people. The maps are large, and the game gets old pretty quick just staring at trees and bushes. Having more dinosaurs on a server gives you a higher chance of finding other dinosaurs to interact with. Interacting with other dinosaurs offers the best play experience in The Isle.

Once you’re in the game, you’ll have to choose which dinosaur you’ll want to play. As herbivores, you won’t be defenseless. If you are a beginner and want to play an herbivore, I recommend the Stegosaurus or Triceratops. Stegosaurus has its tail, Triceratops has its horns, and so on.  The Dryosaurus has no attacks, but it has INCREDIBLE speed as a defense. Similarly carnivores have varied attacking methods as well. If you are a beginner and want to play a carnivore, I recommend the Austroraptor. The Austroraptor can leap onto other dinosaurs and slash them with its claws, causing them to bleed out over time, then run away at amazing speed to wait for its meal to die. As you can see, there are several playstyles to choose from, so find a dinosaur that fits you best. Keep in mind that you cannot change your dinosaur until you die, or change servers.

What You Do In The Isle

This is a survival game. From the moment you log in, you are pushed to find food and water. For herbivores, you will have to scout out the right plant to eat. You don’t eat just any vegetation. There is a specific plant you have to find and eat. Carnivores, on the other hand, just need meat. That can come from herbivores, or even other carnivores. Both of these can generally be found around water sources, or watering holes as I like to call them. At the watering holes you will find lots of other dinosaurs, both herbivore and carnivore. In The Isle, you will fight to survive on an island filled with dinosaurs. Oftentimes herbivores can flock together for mutual protection. Similarly carnivores can work together to hunt their prey. These watering holes are not easy to find. There are no maps for you to follow. If you’re a new player, don’t panic. Occasionally it took 10 to 15 minutes before I stumbled across one, but I never starved to death before I found food and water.

Hidden Dangers of Exploration

While you look for the watering holes, be mindful of the terrain. You can break your leg if you try to cross uneven terrain. Breaking your leg causes you to limp, and slows you down substantially. A rule of thumb is half the distance from your foot to your hip. If the drop is bigger than that, you risk breaking your leg. Some dinosaurs can heal very quickly, in a matter of minutes (Austroraptor, Dryosaurus). Most dinosaurs however take 15 minutes of resting to heal, or 30 minutes if you continue to push onward. To heal, you must be over 80% on your food and water meters. Breaking your leg is a miserable experience in this game. It is the one thing I wish I could change about this game. I like the idea of broken legs, but the time penalty is just too harsh.

Interacting With Other Dinosaurs

Playing this game is like watching a dinosaur documentary. The dinosaur models look amazing, and the movements look very authentic. Additionally you have multiple different roars for each dinosaur. You’ll have to learn which ones are calls for help, which ones are warnings, and so on. The best aspect of this game is watching dinosaurs interact. It’s just like watching an animal documentary from today. The chat is limited to members of your own species, so there isn’t any of that annoying trash talk between combatants.

Fight or Flight

Coming across other dinosaurs can be very dangerous, even if they’re herbivores. I have been attacked by fellow herbivores, even members of my own species. You are never safe on The Isle. You’ll have to decide whether you will stand and fight, or try to flee. This is where making friends can come in handy. There is safety in numbers, but that doesn’t always prevent a fight. Fighting with other dinosaurs is a very serious decision for both carnivores and herbivores. If you become too wounded, you will need to rest to heal up. This will leave you particularly vulnerable in that you will be slower, and starting from a resting position. Wounded dinosaurs are like neon signs offering free food for carnivores. Remember, the game is about surviving. Smart carnivore players will go after the easier meal limping along, instead of the riskier one with horns, teeth, or spikes.

Future of The Isle

The Isle is currently in Early Access. Early Access means there are are lot of changes to be made before the game actually launches. The price could go up, there could be bugs from time to time, or any number of things could happen. Currently the two big planned changes are human factions and mods. The Isle plans add three human factions at launch. Rangers, Mercenaries, and Poachers. Each will compete with each other, as well as against the dinosaurs. This four faction PvP sounds very appealing to me. The Isle also plans to support mods at launch. Mods change or ‘modify’ the core game. There could be a mod that makes all dinosaurs yellow, or a mod that lets all dinosaurs fly. Mod types are only limited by their creators.

Getting The Most Out Of The Isle

You will need a little patience to play the Isle. Getting used to the mechanics can take some time. Having a bit of wanderlust is also helpful. There are multiple watering holes on each map, so just because you find water doesn’t mean the search is over. I really encourage you to find other dinosaurs in game. Even if it’s just to sit back and watch. Playing The Isle is like watching that famous scene from Jurassic Park where Dr. Grant sees all the dinosaurs for the first time. Except you get to relive it over and over. “Welcome, to The Isle!”