Over the past few years, we’ve seen a massive surge of survival games, such as Ark: Survival Evolved and Conan Exiles. The one thing all these games have in common is that surviving is one of the main aspects of the game.
Of course, you would expect a survival game to be about surviving, but do we want to worry about eating and drinking every couple of minutes to make sure we don’t fade away? Enshrouded takes this tried and tested genre and simplifies it, offering a much more appealing premise.
Instead of offering sustenance and keeping you alive, food and drink in Enshrouded give you perks, such as extra stamina or healing over time, much like food in Zelda games.
While Enshrouded does make things a little easier by removing the need for food and drink to survive, the main premise of the game is the fog, which engulfs much of the map.
Inside the fog are all manners of creatures that won’t show you mercy. Stray too far from the path and before long you will find yourself fighting for your life.
If that wasn’t hard enough, the game also limits you to five minutes in the fog before you die, so players really need to think about an exit strategy when it comes to exploring.
Enshrouded is a rare survival game in the fact that you actually feel rewarded for exploring, beyond the standard leave your base for resources, there are tons of points of interest to explore, as well as NPCs that can be rescued and even taken back to your base, turning your home into a thriving community.
NPCs are required to progress further into the game, as each of them offers a unique benefit, such as the blacksmith, who will expand your crafting recipes and unlock new armor and weapons to help increase your chance of surviving while out exploring.
Another interesting feature in Enshrouded is the connection between your settlement and the NPCs, for example, buildings such as the kiln or forge can increase how much the Blacksmith is able to craft. Making you NPCs more comfortable by providing them with shelter and warmth can also increase the amount of recipes they offer you.
On paper Enshrouded looks no different than any other survival game, but in reality there’s much more to Enshrouded than meets the eye. Combat feels fluid and satisfying, yet challenging enough to keep me interested, and exploring the map is difficult, to start with at least, and quickly become one of my favorite things to do in the game.
Base building is one of my favorite things in any survival game, I don’t just like to build a single building, I aim to build a settlement, which thanks to the NPC system, actually feels alive in Enshrouded.
With the game’s terraforming system, you can literally build wherever you want, unlike games like Ark: Survival Evolved where I have to either rely on building mods or search for hours for a good base location, in Enshrouded I can simply carve out a piece of land wherever I want.
In fact, thanks to terraforming, you could even build underground if you wanted to, or on top of a mountain by simply flattening out the top, the possibilities are endless.
Enshrouded has quickly become one of the most wishlisted games during the Steam Next Fest and for good reason. Even if you’re not a massive survival game fan, Enshrouded is likely to change your stance. It’s incredibly fun, looks great, and offers plenty of exploration across its vast landscape.