This question to start this thread came about from:
And led to us deciding a thread dedicated in general to Survival games or those that lean in that direction might be a better place for notifications of releases, musings on early access, release reviews and links to more information. And on to the discussion …
Well, if you are asking the two of us, we are both going to tell you Ark, but that is better with friends than single player. it is fun single player… but its better with friends.
Here are some others:
Astroneer: Cute, and simpler than most. very chill
The Long Dark: Don’t worry about the story, its trash. Survival is where it is at, and I have probably 500 hours in this game just doing survival mode. It’s a slow burn, but so good.
Terraria and/or Starbound: If you like 2D, these games both have a metric ton of content and are challenging while still scratching that creative itch.
Planet Crafter: In this game you are dropped with nothing but your escape pod on a barren lifeless planet. Your mission is to make it not barren! Terraform your chunck of space into a vibrant rich garden of Eden.
My outlier: Space Engineers: This one has some jank, but they have added so much to this game over the years! It is definitely worth the $20.00
I would normally counter with Empyrion for survival in space but I haven’t fired either game up in years so… but in several tries of Space Engineers I never got farther than the tutorial, and put 70 hours into an early-ish build of Empyrion.
Great question! Survival titles are near and dear to my heart, and I’m honestly not sure why. I’m not a prepper or anything like that, I just kind of fell into the want for titles like that after things like the fallout series and too many books that were along those lines.
The problem though is that it’s really hard to find a good mix of survival, building, fighting, exploration and fun wound into games like that. I’m going to kind of skip around your single player part of the question because most if not all of these can be played single player. For some, the addition of multiplayer is a side-item, while for others it really adds to the gameplay and scare or wow factor depending on the title. I’m old and mostly play solo but it’s those multiplayer titles that truly do give me great fun and some social time that draws me back to them. If you need someone to game with, ask us!
You already mentioned some good ones so I’ll agree here with @Fozzle , besides Ark, which we’re both kind of addicted to, he had some great recommendations. But it’s worth mentioning the rebirth (remastered?) Ark: Survival Ascended in addition to the following.:
Astroneer is a gem in disguise. It’s easy on actual survival, all you need to worry about is air. But it’s FANTASTIC on the drive and need to build, advance, explore, and take the game to another level. And each time you do so it really opens up to even more you need to do. Don’t ignore it based on the look of it. I will say this, however. The control scheme, especially swiveling the camera, took some getting used to. Once you pass that, and once you get a little courage to run off the end of the air lines you hook up, you find quite a bit there.
Grounded is also an AMAZING game and @Don_Quixote mentioning it is on point. It’s a game that gives a simple premise but keeps giving back by pushing you to the next area, the next weapon, the next armor set, the next boss, the next outpost build, etc. It’s great solo but it is even better if you pick even one person to play it with. There is nothing quite like the horror of two grown adults screaming like little kids running away from a spider, or falling into a hole or any number of things. Don’t skip this title.
The Long Dark was already mentioned but Fozzle summed it up. Skip the story. Just play survival mode. It’s hard to get good at but that’s part of the game of it. Even when you fail you have this story for yourself of, “well I made it to that cabin but then the wolves came for me,” and it just feels … like a realistic survival game?
The Forest and Sons of The Forest are both great survival games but yes, can be scary. @jpinard I believe is a big fan but I know there are others here too. Remember you can get past the scary part a bit as you learn the mechanics and timeline of how that happens.
Breathedge is a space take on the Subnautica premise of lack of air being your guiding survival premise. It’s a tad more puzzle like in that there is a preferred path to get through things, but it provides a bit of the same feeling of exploring, figuring out what happened and getting things to help you get further and further through the game.
If you don’t mind old school, like multiplayer, and want to get pwned a bit, Rust is still being played and probably will be for quite some time. DayZ and S.C.U.M. are better versions of the same theme.
Conan Exiles is kind of dated but provided both a single and multiplayer fix for a bit of survival, crafting and exploration. I couldn’t stick with it due to addiction to ARK, but there was quite a bit there to enjoy.
If I can add a few that aren’t quite ready yet?
Subnautica 3 was both announced and early access also announced for 2024. Trust me, we’ll all be there when it lands.
Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl will be epic but tends to get outside the bounds of a true survival game with building, etc.
Pacific Drive gives a creepy but very cool looking take on survival and I’m hoping it ends up being a great title.
Sunkenland is one of those indie looking titles that I find pretty enjoyable even in early access. I hope it fleshes out to a great title. Of the early titles, this one is fast developing and though not complete, VERY playable.
Enshrouded looks to be a fantastic looking survival game with a great sounding story, building, exploration, and gameplay in a very good looking graphical presentation. Almost like Valheim on steroids. Then again I haven’t played it yet, time will tell.
A quick mention: Survival: Fountain of Youth should be complete probably within 3 months as a guess. There’s a LOT of game hours there already so I can still understand if you want to wait but keep your eye on the announcements for it. They have yet to miss a target deadline for their area releases, I see no reason why they would get delayed on their 1-year early access commitment, which will end Mid-April of 2024, so basically the end of Q1.
Yeah, I was thinking this needed to at least be moved to the open world, etc, etc thread, if not getting a dedicated (general) thread. Leave this one for FS (which I’m certainly interested in once it’s further along, and runs better on the StD)
The reason I didn’t mention Conan was Gingerturtle kicked off this tangent, and he said he’d already played it. I actually just reinstalled it on my XSX, and the graphical and gameplay updates are really nice. The Journey progression system is well-done now, and keeps you moving toward goals. The breadth of server options are great for fine tuning the experience you want- combat difficulty, xp gain, resource gathering speed, etc. It’s really great.
It’s still early access but seems to get update love about every week or two so it’s changing quite fast. I’m already in too many discords but was thinking about joining theirs if they have one so I could monitor what they have for a dev timeline.
Being early, I didn’t like some of the combining in crafting initially but a lot has changed even since I last played. The title also lends itself to something akin to a tribe versus tribe multiplayer, ala the actual Waterworld.
Thanks everybody, that’s a great overview in here! A dedicated thread would be nice and helpful indeed.
So I started Raft today and… I am bad at it. There’s no progress, I am completely bound by the need of constant eating and drinking. I have no clue how to escape that vicious circle of basic survival. So much for a cozy game :)
Early game can be challenging. You can always drop the difficulty down a bit. I usually start on Normal or Easy, then shift to Peaceful when I grow tired of the food/water grind and the shark starts getting on my nerves. :)