Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya'll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn't as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.
I'm not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller -- and oft times privately managed -- scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we're going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here's a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.
If you are the sort that has ever looked at online game design and thought to yourself, "I could do so much better," then it's time to put your boasts to the test by checking out MyWorld. This software allows players to whip up their own action-RPG levels and then connect them with others to make a near-infinite sprawling patchwork quilt of worlds.
"At the heart of MyWorld is the ability to link worlds together, construct multiple level games and adventure through them with friends," a press statement said. "Via portals, game makers and game players can cross over into worlds created by other users and play the action RPG they've made to be discovered. Any game level can be linked to any other level and can be easily chained together to create a unique experience."
The software is currently 25% off at Steam. Get your first look at MyWorld after the break!
Even hulking, skilled, or savvy beast hunters have a weak spot, and that weak spot is the inner need to preen and show off for the rest of the crowd. To show that they are the special peacocks with the brightest and shiniest of tail feathers. To fly into the imaginations of... OK, this metaphor got away from me.
Anyway, this is just to say that the fantasy co-op game Dauntless will feature a robust cosmetic system complete with transmog options: "Slayers with an eye for fashionable accessories will also discover rare cosmetic equipment. While these items don’t have the combat prowess of behemoth-forged armour, they do make a great impression."
Customization in Dauntless doesn't just end at armor, however. Players will also have the opportunity to select different kinds of banners and flares to make their mark on the world as they journey through it. Some of these will be available through in-game activities, with others sold through the cash shop.
Have you ever heard of this game Roblox? If not, you probably will be in the future, because this title has come out of nowhere to grab an enormously large audience with its LEGO-meets-Minecraft setup. According to the site, "Every day, virtual explorers come to Roblox to create adventures, play games, role play, and learn with their friends in a family-friendly, immersive, 3-D environment."
Formed back in 2005 and growing significantly over the past few years, Roblox now boasts over 48 million monthly users across all of its platforms (the game can be accessed on PC, mobile, VR, and console), with most of its demographics being made up of children ages six to 16. The game has seen activity peak at one million concurrent players and has paid out $9.2 million to community creators.
The wait for Stardew Valley's promised multiplayer mode has been longer than most initially expected, but the good news is that it's actually coming -- and soon. PC is slated to get it first, but the surprise revealed today is which of the console editions will be next in line. Oddly enough, that honor will go to the the brand-new Nintendo Switch.
This past weekend at PAX South, the co-op RPG Dauntless made its public debut, offering attendees a chance to try out a demo of the monster-slaying title. As you may recall from December's reveal of the game, Dauntless is a free-to-play multiplayer game being developed by former Blizzard and BioWare employees.
PC Gamer caught some time with the demo and reported that it seemed (initially) impressive: "I was initially skeptical of its free-to-play model, but developer Phoenix Labs assured me it wants to stay far away from paying for power -- focusing more on the standard cosmetics and boosts we see in other free-to-play games -- and after playing it, I really liked the idea of being able to drop in to hunt giant monsters with friends without them having to make a purchase to do so."
You can check out that site's hands-on video below.
Remember playing Werewolf or Mafia with your friends at parties, trying to deduce the killer while avoiding being killed yourself? The makers of Throne of Lies certainly hope so, because they're literally banking on a demand for an online version to be made.
Throne of Lies is a multiplayer game of "lies and deceit" set in a medieval castle where a small group of players (between seven and 15) are assigned factions and have to make decisions every round to ensure their safety and ultimately reveal the traitor. The team has a lot of features planned for the game, including matchmaking, deathnotes, 30 classes, and public executions. Even if you are killed in a match, there are still several things for you to do, including hoping for a revival, talking to other corpses, and playing a special minigame.
Throne of Lies is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 to finish the project. A playable alpha could be coming as soon as Q1 2017. You can watch the trailer and Kickstarter pitch after the jump!
Stop us if you've heard this game concept before: You wake up on an island and have to survive the elements, your own hunger, the wildlife, and hostile forces. New Dawn is hoping that its approach of pitting you as a South American native against pirates in the 19th century is enough to separate it from the rest of the survival sandbox pack. Also, there are tigers. Just roll with it.
New Dawn has finally arrived on Kickstarter, with the team looking to raise $74,304 to finish the title. If all goes well, New Dawn is expected to be released in November.
The team gave some backstory as to why it chose this setting: "The native’s culture has been a source of inspiration for us. Tales of tribes that fight for their land inspired us to tell about their adventurous lifestyle. We have read up a ton about Indian natives and pirates. We became strongly mesmerized by their adventures, so we couldn’t wait longer and started to merge these two amazing worlds in our video game idea."
Are you eagerly anticipating the day that Dragon Quest X graces the shores of North America? Well, too bad; that's not the announcement we've got for you today. But you can at least slightly assuage your need for multiplayer Dragon Quest gameplay with the upcoming Dragon Quest Heroes II, launching for the PlayStation 4 on April 25th, 2017. It's not quite the same thing, but you can form a party with other players online and take on enormous monsters, so it's at least in the same food group.
The game is billed as an action RPG with plenty of familiar faces for fans of previous Dragon Quest installments, although the headlining characters are a pair of cousins that get stuck in the middle of the first war to visit the world in a thousand year. You'll have to work overtime to restore peace to the land, and that means precision application of violence. Check out screenshots and the opening announcement trailer just below.
Chucklefish Games announced today that adorable farm sim Stardew Valley is destined for console, and soon: It launches on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 next week with preorders already up, coming full circle back to its Harvest Moon roots.
Why cover this here? Earlier this year, Stardew creator Eric Barone revealed he was working on a co-op multiplayer mode for the game, originally planned for the 1.1 patch. That patch landed in October, bringing with it new farm maps, new spouses, new buildings, and new crops, as well as brewing... but no multiplayer.
"Multiplayer is still under development," Barone posted just five weeks back. "I know it’s taking a while, but it should be worth the wait."
In the meantime, there's a mod for that -- literally. Modders have crafted a plugin called Makeshift Multiplayer as a "temporary solution" until the functionality is baked into the main game. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go download all the Stardew Valley mods.
If you played Transistor or Bastion, there's probably no universe in which you will not also be buying and playing Pyre. Supergiant Games kind of has a reputation now of making achingly beautiful games that you just want to play forever, the sort of game that would be well served with a multiplayer mode of some kind. So, hey, guess what Pyre is going to feature?
If you guessed "the voice talent of Logan Cunningham," well, you're probably still right, but we're talking about the multiplayer mode that just got shown off at the PlayStation Experience conference this past weekend.
At this point, it's not certain if the game will feature online multiplayer, but that's definitely something the team wants to implement; it's just that the team also feels that bad online multiplayer is worse than no online multiplayer. Obviously, we're hoping that there's an online mode. And we're also hoping that one day we can hire Logan Cunningham to just follow us around and narrate everything we do. That's not about the game, that's just a beautiful dream.
At the 2016 Game Awards last night, gamers laid eyes on Dauntless, a new online multiplayer (but not massively so, alas) RPG from indie studio Phoenix Labs, which is touting its devs' BioWare, Riot, and Blizzard pedigrees.
"Dauntless is an online co-op action RPG set in a savage science-fantasy world where up to 4 players (Slayers in the Dauntless universe) work together to hunt down ferocious beasts called Behemoths. Slayers will explore an ever-changing, uncharted frontier, brimming with verdant flora and unique wildlife to find and destroy Behemoths. Each Behemoth has its own unique abilities and rewards, making each fight engaging and full of unique challenges."
The game will be free-to-play and is expected to launch -- it's not clear what type of launch, and launch doesn't mean what it used to -- for PC next year. You can sign up for beta on the official site, then check out the video below.
Sniffing out promising upcoming MMOs is getting more difficult now that developers and studios are avoiding that label like the plague. Instead, we're looking for terms like "seamless multiplayer" and "shared open world" as indicators for the types of games that we enjoy.
One of these possible MMOs-in-disguise is Cyberpunk 2077, a sci-fi RPG that's being developed by Witcher creator CD Projekt Red. The game has been in development at least since 2012 and is supposed to create a world that's far larger than the already expansive Witcher 3. What's of interest to us, specifically, are recent grant applications of the title that speak of "seamless multiplayer."
According to descriptions of this feature, Cyberpunk 2077 will have "a complex technology for making unique multiplayer gameplay mechanics, including the ability to search for opponents, manage game session, replicate objects, and support different game modes along with a unique set of dedicated tools."
It should be noted that CD Projekt Red has been very quiet on this title since 2013, making no updates to its development blog or Twitter account. Still, if you're curious what Cyberpunk 2077 looks like, hit the jump for a couple of videos showing off the concept.