Well folks! This is it! After spending most of this decade in development, and most of that in the weird purgatory once inhabited by other impossible games like The Last Guardian, Cube World done went and got a dang release date: Monday, Sept. 30, 2019. The announcement comes at the tail end of a lengthy new gameplay trailer, embedded below.
Elsewhere in the trailer, you’ll see adorable little cube munchkins traverse a sprawling procedural world, visit various biomes and climates, ride camels, and make pets out of bugs and bunnies, though you should be warned that both meet an untimely end as the trailer progresses. We also get a brief look at inventory management, vehicles, the fast travel and map systems, combat both PvE and PvP, and final confirmation that yes, you can pet the dog. There’s even a cameo by everyone’s favorite log, Log.
As reported earlier this week, owners of the original 2013 alpha version can access a closed beta for the final build starting this Monday, Sept. 23. You may have to do some password reset gymnastics in order to access your (assuredly long-dormant) Picroma account, but once you’re in there you’ll be presented with a Steam key that entitles you to both the closed beta and the full game upon release.
I purchased the Cube World alpha back in 2013, so you can bet your sweet bippy that I’ll be knee deep in that beta once it goes live. I’m sure the tint on my glasses is a bit rosy at this point, but I remember Cube World as a charming little hack-and-slash action/RPG that showed an enormous amount of potential. It was sparse and clearly needed a lot more game to fill in its already enormous world, but all indications pointed to that being a foregone conclusion.
Now, six years later, part of me is worried about how much filling in actually took place during the interim. Part of me is worried that Cube World won’t feel that much different from how it did back then — a colorful world big on potential, but short on content. Part of me is worried that me and the old runnin’ crew will still be responsible for coming up with most of the fun we have in Cube World.
I’m hesitant to believe that a game that went missing for so long, that has so languished in obscurity, could suddenly resurface and fulfill its original promise. Besides, video games have changed a lot since 2013 — is that promise still something that’s even worth keeping in 2019? Cube World is from an entire console generation ago, it predates games like Starbound and No Man’s Sky and heck, even The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, all which fundamentally changed our expectations for what an open world game can deliver.
These aren’t apple-to-apple comparisons of course, and it’s unfair to say that the husband and wife team at Picroma should or could deliver something on par with the scale and excellence of Breath of the Wild. What I’m getting at is that back in 2013, Cube World felt like the next big adventure we were all waiting to go on, but we as an industry have been on some real humdinger adventures since then. Here’s hoping that Cube World is more than I remember it being, even if only a little.