The whole premise of survival games is unappealing to me, never answering a question I feel is important when everything’s swamped with radiation or zombies or radioactive zombies: why survive? So as a distant observer of the genre, I tend to compare and break games down cynically. Most of Stranded Deep looks familiar – scavenging, crafting, building, exploring, hunting, and all that – but I do like how it’s using its setting of Pacific islands and atolls. Come watch a new trailer to coo and aah at diving, salvaging wrecks, and avoiding sharks.
Stranded Deep’s ocean is more than scenery, being a vital but dangerous way to sustain yourself. You’ll need to fish and hunt whatnot in the ocean, as well as stripping useful stuff out wrecks, but can’t get too greedy. Developers Beam Team Games say they model things like populations and breeding (well, in exaggerated ways), so you could wipe out a species locally or leave an reef barren.
They say sharks aren’t silly monsters attacking everything on sight too, which I find exciting. Worrying about blood in the water is a good concern. Their site is covered in articles explaining bits of the game in more detail.
Anywhere, here, look at this fine trailer:
Stranded Deep will launch into (of course) early access in January. Survival games going early access always seems weird to me, as they’re driven more by systems than content. Having systems missing or wonky leaves a survival game deeply incomplete in ways that, say, a platformer short on levels isn’t. The hypothetical platformer will get bigger over development, but the hypothetical survival game will change massively, and won’t reveal its true nature until the end. But, as I say, I don’t play survival games. Partially because most of them are still in early access.