The survival game genre has become oversaturated in recent years but it isn’t really surprising that so many developers have tried to capitalise on the genre.
From the godfathers like Minecraft and Day Z to heavyweights like Ark and surprises like Conan Exiles and No Man’s Sky, the genre is constantly evolving. But what makes it so popular among players?
Survival games are all about exploration. Players need to scout for resources across the map, such as constant food and water supply to succeed in the game. In some games, rare blueprints are only found by exploring the map and braving all of its dangers.
Players love a world they can get lost in. After all, that is what gaming is all about and the survival genre generally knows how to use this.
And, what happens when those resources are found? Well, players need to set up shop and who doesn’t like to build things in games?
Creating a ‘home’ is what draws me to these games more than anything. I like looking at a pretty planet in No Man’s Sky and thinking, “I’m going to build a cabin here” and then doing just that. The grind is real as players have to build their empire brick-by-brick but it is worth it.
In other games, players feel like guests in the world. Following a narrative and tagging along for the ride. In survival games, players are part of the eco-system.
For example, currently in Conan Exiles, my clan has to hunt in the grasslands in order to get thick hide to make heavy armour for ourselves. We are relying on the land and that makes us feel like we are a part of this world and are actually living in it rather than just visiting it.
The survival genre requires a lot of effort to get the most fun out of it but there is a lot to be had in these games. Have you played any survival games? If so, which are your favourite?