10 Survival Games Upcoming in 2014
Venturing out from your makeshift shelter to scavenge for weapons and supplies, you’ll need to use speed, cunning and the verticality of an abandoned city or forest to survive the zombie or dinosaur horde.
Some of these games have already been release in alpha testing – of course, with a lot of bugs ready to be discovered by the testers.
1. DEATH ROAD TO CANADA
Explore the city, gather supplies, then take the permadeath road trip of your life.
Succinctly described by Rocketcat as the “randomised permadeath roadtrip this top-down action splatterfest combines roguelike dialogue choices with fast, horde-based combat.”
These are the shambling class of zombies – not those annoying, fast-moving infected folks – so the game can throw walls of shuffling undead at joj to tactically hack away at before you get cornered.
Once you’re done looting the randomly-generated cities for supplies, you’ll have to contend with the personality conflicts of your 5-strong survivor team and find ways to stop them from clawing into each other with all the ferocity of the zombies you’re fighting against. But, hey, at least Canada has healthcare.
2. DEAD STATE
No Zombies Allowed.
With Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines writer Brian Mitsoda on board, we’re keeping a very close eye on this one to catch it as soon as it twitches. It’s a turn-based roleplaying game that focuses on defending a single shelter, rather than undertaking an epic quest to defeat a zombie king, or whatever (zombies have a monarchy, right?).
The twist here is that survival requires players to forge alliances in a group of people that will dynamically fracture based on needs and personalities.
Screw the zombie monarchy; the humans are the real tyrants.
Don’t mention DayZ.
Here we go again! Nether is a first-person modern survival game that seems borne of the surge in DayZ’s popularity. Anyone remember another game that followed a similar rise to infamy? Yes? Good.
Is Nether going to be as blatantly a scam? We certainly hope not, because it’s already looking pretty damn functional.
What does it have over DayZ?
Global objectives that encourage players across the entire server to team up in an attempt to accomplish them, rather than shoot each other on sight. It’s the one thing that DayZ never managed to get right, though its standalone alpha is taking more micro steps toward addressing it rather than Nether’s macro approach.
Which will work? Nobody knows!
4. THE LONG DARK
The world’s first survival sadness simulator.
The Long Dark will feature some new things like tracking your individual calories and modelling your hunger needs from that.
And the sandbox environment will be modelled after the Canadian northern wilds – a picturesque yet hostile world we simply haven’t seen realised in gaming before. It’ll be nice and quiet, because this is a post-disaster world in which all technology has suddenly stopped working.
So how do you go back to basics and learn to subsist in the wilderness whilst retaining your humanity?
5. NO RETURN
Big Buck Hunter gets hardcore.
The premise behind No Return because is the American survivalist’s worst (best?) nightmare. Fleeing a corrupt government, the player’s plane crash lands into forest and towns abandoned due to an economic collapse.
Their purpose: hunt as many deer as possible, whilst avoiding succumbing to the forces of nature.
6. THE FOREST
Crash plane. Pick flowers. Flee from native albinos.
Did you watch The Descent? GOOD. Because we didn’t. It was far too scary.
But we did hear about the weird, Gollum-esque sub-humans that emerge from the darkness of the cave – and it looks like The Forest is going to be throwing a few of them at you itself.
In a manner similar to Miasmata, players will explore an island in first-person, foraging for ingredients and fashioning tools as the day/night cycle ticks over and plants naturally grow and die. Eventually you’ll stumble upon an actual family of these pasty, blind horrors – probably while exploring the extensive subterranean cavern network – and need to fight back.
7. THE STOMPING LAND
Take DayZ and swap the zombies with Dinosaurs, and you have the premise behind The Stomping Land. Players need to hunt roaming herds of prehistoric herbivores – and run from the carnivores – all while protecting their quarry from tribes of other players.
Because, in the before time, the real threat is still people. And velociraptors.
8. LACUNA PASSAGE
Mass Effect’s Mako is back.
There’s something about System Shock 2 that seems to have defined the notion of deep space survival.
Lacuna Passage seeks to take only the most peripheral elements of Irrational’s best work -the audio diaries, the environmental storytelling – and craft a survival experience that does its best to convey how hostile environments on another planet can be.
You’ll need to worry about suit oxygen, along with vital statistics such as calories, dehydration and ever sodium content. These are measured by the suit’s urinalysis system, which means, yes, you are constantly peeing in your suit.
Mars is simply that scary.
A little PC gaming history to start with, then. Survarium is from a bunch ukrainians called Vostok Games, formed by ex-STALKER developer GSC Game World after development of STALKER 2 imploded in some kinc of gravitational anomaly. The resulting artifact: a new survival shooter called Survarium.
Try not to think of it as STALKER by another name, however. The apocalypse here has been caused by an environmental cataclysm, rather than a nuclear one. And while desired the atmosphere is eerily similar, the gameplay is markedly different.
Vostok is looking to incorporate artifacts and exploration, but the current alpha offers more of a round-based, team deathmatch experience in a post-apocalyptic setting. But really, without all of the other stuff, there’s not much actual survival gameplay to speak of. Seeing as it’s free-to-play, we’ll just wait-and-see.
10. NUCLEAR UNION
The Men of War show its apocalyptic inevitability.
What if the Cuban Missile Crisis went horribly wrong? Lots of people would get nuked, as in the setup for this party-based, post-apocalyptic RPG, Nuclear Union.
Fifty years later and the Soviet Union still hasn’t fully recovered: though the Russkies came out of the exchange far better than the US, thanks to the fact that they made it into their fallout shelters in time, they still have a lot of work to do to rebuild society from their fictional capital city which is totally not Moscow.
Like STALKER, the landscape has become littered with hostile anomalies. Navigating or overcoming these forms the basis of some environmental puzzling, while further radiation damage has spawned mutated creatures to battle in realtime-with-pause combat.
To suit the scary monsters, gameplay will take players both above and below ground – so there’s a little bit of Metro 2033 to this one.