Over the years I’ve sunk thousands of hours into various survival games. Everything from playing single-player, co-op, and PVP. From DayZ to Minecraft. From successful ones like Valheim to ones that died out quickly like Hellion. Whether it’s near future, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, or fantasy settings I’ve always enjoyed delving into new worlds trying to thrive in the harsh environments. Enshrouded is next in a long line of survival games looking to succeed. With its more forgiving nature, it immediately feels more accessible than many others in the genre. Additionally, it also seems like it’s a lot more viable to play solo over some other, more difficult survival games.
Give me adventure
However, if there’s one thing, I want to see in survival games and adventure games it’s the sense of discovery. Thankfully, Enshrouded has this in droves. The feeling of not knowing what is coming up, what awaits you around the next corner is what makes survival games feel interesting to me. Whether that be through meeting random players, or stumbling across secret areas. That sensation of uncovering something others may not have, or having an interaction that is unique is what draws me into games like this.
Exploring areas in Enshrouded feels pretty rewarding. You find notes scattered around places and if you read them, they will often provide a clue for some hidden treasure or area. Additionally, as you naturally explore you will find ruins, abandoned villages each with something for you to find. Admittedly the loot isn’t always the most interesting. That being said, finding a treasure chest hidden behind a wall, buried in the mud, or stuffed in the rafters of a roof is always a satisfying feeling.
Furthermore, there are quests that you can follow that will unlock items or lead you to new NPC’s that you can set up in your base opening up new crafting routes. The first 15-ish hours or so of Enshrouded have been a blast.
Build to your hearts content
Another area of Enshrouded that is important is the base building. With a voxel system, you have insane amounts of flexibility for building. Almost everything in the world can be dismantled or modified in some way. You can dig deep into the dirt and stone to create cave bases. You can construct monuments that’ll tower over the lands. Or you can build a cosy cottage with toasty fireplaces and fully furnished rooms. The possibilities are almost endless here. Additionally, you’re not just restricted to wood or stone buildings, you can combine different materials to make variations of stone structures. There are fired brick, fancy stone, mycelium overgrown, copper block, desert city walls, and a hell of a lot more. The sheer amount of styles here is fantastic and will let those creative types really flex their skills.
That being said, if running wild with creativity isn’t your thing. It’s easy to knock together a simple 2×2 base that prioritises function. Gathering basic materials to build your first place is quick and easy. The base-building is intuitive whilst offering the flexibility to get into the nitty-gritty. You can select from various preset elements like 4-metre or 3-metre walls, floors, ceilings etc… Additionally, you can go small as 1-metre sections allowing you to add or remove small blocks from your buildings.
The only issue I’ve found with base-building so far is that where you aim and where the pieces get built is a little fiddly. New parts don’t always snap to the right areas. In some cases, when I’m placing horizontal beams and want to attach the next one to the end of the previous one. It doesn’t match up very well or half of the beam will ‘sink’ into the one already placed. It’s just a little annoying, but nothing major.
A forgiving survival
There is no doubt that Enshrouded is way more forgiving than most survival games. In dangerous areas, there are beacons that you can activate to respawn. Meaning you likely won’t have to travel miles to get back to your body. When you die you only lose things in your backpack and not on your hot bar. Seeing as you can have up to 16 items on your hot bar, that’s pretty damn good. There are multiple fast travel points you can unlock across the map that are at a high vantage point meaning you can travel to them then jump off and glide away with ease to get around quicker. You can also fast travel to your base locations of which you can have multiple – unlocking more as you level things up.
It’s clear that developers Keen Games wanted players to have more of an adventure rather than hardcore survival. Personally, I’m loving it. It makes it so much more enjoyable to play solo. But more importantly, it gives you that opportunity to dip in and out without having to commit hours and hours to big play sessions. The fact I can log on for 30 minutes and complete some quests and quickly teleport back to base is amazing.
I do think having the option to tweak the settings for servers would be great. Hopefully, that will be something we see further down the line. Having the option to change how teleporting works. Limit the amount of fast travel and other things like that would allow people to tailor their experience more.
I love it
To put it simply, I love Enshrouded and I constantly can’t wait to play more of it. The world looks great, it’s full of fun stuff to uncover. The base building is excellent and lets you go mad if you want to. I see a lot of people comparing it to the new Zelda games – which I can see. That being said, it also reminds me of Fable. The style of the game – the armours, the characters, the buildings, all give me Fable vibes and I love it.
Typically, I’ve played survival games as part of a group. Usually, that’s because it’s easier as well as being fun in groups. Enshrouded, however, feels more like it’s played better solo. The fact that progress is server-wide, is a bit of an issue and can mess things up if you’re playing with others. However, the developers have already said it’s on their radar, which should mean something is done about it.
Ok, back to mining! I need to make a new house.