The survival game genre is nothing new. For those unfamiliar with the genre, survival games are those in which the players, for whatever reason, find themselves stranded in a hostile environment, often alone, with next-to-nothing in their possession. Sometimes players begin the game all but naked. Survival is do or die.
In the latest influx of survival games, many of them sci-fi themed, players are often trapped on inhospitable planets. The air is not always breathe-able and the unbearably hot days or frozen nights could mean a quick death without protection or shelter.
Unlike the zombies we have seen in pretty much every horror film of the last decade, or the images of dinosaurs we all saw through school, sci-fi allows developers to use their creative juices and design alien creatures, the likes of which have never been seen before. This brings a ‘uniqueness’ to the Survival game genre. And while the basis of the gameplay is still similar, these sci-fi survival games allow players to discover (and get eaten by) something new.
ROKH is an upcoming multiplayer survival game that takes place entirely on the surface of Mars. Rough terrain and a hostile environment are a couple of the game’s numerous threats. Build, craft and learn to survive. ROHK is a futuristic, persistent survival experience that allows players to express their creativity and interact with and against others. The developers plan to make the game mod-friendly and players will be able to run their own servers and set their own rules. The developers at Darewise Entertainment are currently seeking crowd-funding to finish ROKH.
A lone scientist has crash landed on a beautiful planet. With only a spacesuit for protection, the scientist quickly discovers that there is a lot on this planet than unique plants and wildlife; the elements are harsh and unforgiving. Players of Planet Nomads will need to salvage what they can from the wreckage of the spacecraft and build shelter and learn how to survive. This sandbox survival game relies heavily on salvaging, crafting and building. The environment is also procedurally generated and fully destructible. If the player successfully builds a new spacecraft, a whole new universe opens up to explore. The game is being developed by Craneball Studios and is expected to release on Steam Early Access in Q1 of 2017. You can pre-order the game on the Official Website.
The Solus Project
The Solus Project is the successor to The Ball, a survival game released in October, 2010, both developed by Teotl Studios. The Solus Project is a single-player, first-person sandbox that strongly encourages exploring. While players may never leave the strange alien planet on which they live, they will find huge tombs and cave systems underground holding over 200 secrets for the player to discover. While all the games in this list have a day/night cycle, The Solus Project boasts a dynamic weather system that calculates temperature, humidity and wind. Players will have to survive earthquakes, tornadoes, meteors (it is space, after all), lightning and anything else the planet decides to throw at them. Previous players of The Ball will find many similarities. To the rest of you – good luck. The Solus Project is currently available on Steam Early Access.
No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky is a survival adventure for the avid explorer. To “boldly go,” each player will spawn on a random planet in a random galaxy. Each planet has its own procedurally generated environment. Using a variety of tools, players will be able to gather resources and create and build technology to use themselves or trade to aliens for supplies or a new ship. The ship, the suit and weapons all have their own inventory, allowing them to be altered as needed for survival. Discover new creatures that no one has yet discovered, name them, or kill them! The universe is infinite and while the game is multiplayer, it is not an MMO; the odds of running into another player are exceptionally low. The game is being developed by Hello Games and will have both single and multiplayer modes. No Man’s Sky can be pre-purchased, but release has been delayed, possibly until August 2016.
For players who prefer a voxel based game (think Minecraft), then Empyrion may be more your style. Rather than creating a shelter or buying a ship from an alien trader, players will build their own unique mothership that can house all their belonging and carry smaller ships for short distance space travel. Everything in this game is built with blocks, including space and planetary stations. The shape and design of your ship will determine its maneuverability and how it fairs in combat as the game features a robust physics engine. The game is built on the Unity 3D engine and was developed by Eleon Game Studios. It’s currently available on Steam.
Fragmented is a single/multiplayer survival game developed by Above and Beyond Technology, the creators of The Repopulation. The game will feel very familiar to players of ARK: Survival Evolved, with the largest difference being the games fauna. The earth-like environment includes desert, snow, forest biomes and multiple lakes. the map is surround on its outskirts by ocean. Crafting is similar to that of many current land-based survival games. Many of the resources can be gathered with or without tools. The game is available to play on Steam Early Access and players can play offline, on the official servers or rent a host server and set their own rules.
In Hellion, designed by Zero Gravity Games, you are part of the first interstellar colonization project in the 23rd century. A distant planet, light years away, has been discovered by unmanned probes. A ship is built and almost a million colonists are put aboard and placed into a deep cryo-sleep and sent on the long journey to Hellion. Suddenly, players find themselves awakened after a nearly a century of sleep, on this hostile planet, with a ship that can no longer sustain life. You will have to scavenge, steal and fight to survive. Find a spaceship and use it to locate precious resources. Hellion is still under development, for look out for more news on the game coming later this year.