A big part of the survival game, is map knowledge, and it’s awesome. There are so many layers to the survival game, and you keep getting better at it due to a combination of understanding exactly how much threat something is, and knowing your way around. The exploration that you need to do, in order to up your chances of surviving longer, is just balanced so well. You can set out on a nice sunny calm day, with the intent to explore, and have it pretty quickly devolve into “oh crap, I’m lost, and it’s getting windy and dark”.
This game effects me the same way Everquest used to, when it was really difficult. It’s one of the few games I’ve experienced something close to actual fear in, especially when I’ve had a character that has survived a long time, is well geared, and is pushing the limits of exploring or foraging.
All that being said, I’d pay 100$ for a copy of the game as it was in early access, before the first UI change, to me, the game was perfect at that point. I dislike a lot of the systems they’ve put in place since then.