Following a handful of open beta weekends, the Darwin Project is due to be released on Steam this week. It’s a unique spin on the Battle Royale genre with smaller matches and TV show feel to it. Oh, and did we mention the Show Director that can massively help (or hinder) players. Either way, it sounds like the perfect game for livestreamers, and even offers a way for stream viewers to directly influence the game.

Intrigued? You should be! Here’s everything there is to know about Darwin Project right now, including release date, platforms and what makes the game so special.

When will Darwin Project be released?

Following a handful of alpha and beta test weekends on Steam in early 2018, Scavenger Studios launched Darwin Project on Xbox Game Preview and Steam as part of the client’s Early Access Program back on 9 March 2018. Simply head to the Darwin Project Steam page or Xbox Game Preview to grab a copy.

The good news is that despite initially being a paid game, the developers have since announced that the game is now free to download and play. While it may initially look like an odd decision, there's logic behind it. 

Lately, members of our community have reported longer queue times and difficulty finding matches in lesser populated servers. To bring in new players and maintain a level of activity that ensures players are able to get the most out of Darwin Project, we’ve decided to make it more accessible by removing the price tag." Simon Darveau, Creative Director at Scavengers Studio explained. 

While the game is now available, the developers are going to carry on working on the game for quite some time, adding new features and getting feedback from the gaming community to make it as good as it can be before it leaves Steam Early Access and officially goes on sale.

We’ll be sure to update this section when the game leaves early access and becomes officially available, though we wouldn’t imagine that happening before 2019.

Why not check out our selection of the best Early Access games to tide you over in the meantime?

What platforms is Darwin Project available on?

As mentioned above, the game is being released via Steam’s Early Access Program and Microsoft’s Xbox Game Preview and thus, is exclusive to PC and Xbox One for now. Sorry PS4 gamers!

We hope that demand for the game is high enough from PS4 players to make the developers consider developing a port for Sony’s console.

What can I expect from Darwin Project gameplay?

So, what is it about the Darwin Project that makes it different to a growing list of Battle Royale-style games popping up at the moment? Unlike others that try to cram as many people as possible into a map, Darwin Project allows a maximum of 10 ‘participants’ per game and employs refreshing mechanics that create a game that’s as fun to watch as it is to play.

The matches have a chilly backdrop; set in the moments before an impending Ice Age in the Northern Canadian Rockies, the environment is covered in snow and, of course, absolutely freezing. This is something you need to keep an eye on; as well as battling other combatants, you have to keep an eye on your stats.

It’s kind of like a survival game in that fashion; you can set up campfires to warm up, but these require materials. Oh, and once you get the fire going, everyone else on the map will be able to see your location. You can scavenge and craft traps to use, and you can upgrade your character as the match progresses.

That’s not the real highlight of the Darwin Project, though. In addition to the 10 players on the battlefield, each game will have a Show Director. This could soon be one of the most popular games on Twitch and Mixer, as the Show Director has the power to directly influence the match for the better or worse.

With an arsenal of tools at his/her command, the Director can unleash a flurry of attacks including nukes, zone closures, storms and, rather interestingly, can speak directly to the combatants to give them tips (or to trash talk them!). As it states on the game’s Steam page, this could be “the start of your career as a charming but deadly game show host”.

It doesn’t stop there, either. The game also offers Live Spectator Interactions for those livestreaming on Twitch or Mixer. It offers viewers the chance to directly influence the outcome of a match; they can vote on who they think well win, as well as help the Director choose how to help or hinder combatants. It’s a level of streamer-viewer interaction that we haven’t really seen before, and it’s intriguing.

Darwin Project System Requirements

Minimum

OS: Windows 7 and later
Processor: Dual Core 2.4GHz+
Memory: 4GB RAM
Graphics: GTX 750 or GTX 660
DirectX: Version 10
Storage: 6GB

Recommended

OS: Windows 7 and later
Processor: Quad Core 2.4GHz+
Memory: 8GB RAM
Graphics: GTX 970 or GTX 1060
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 6GB