Reviews

The Survivalists – The Escapists Survival Edition

The Survivalists is The Escapists’ universe transformed into a survival sandbox. Developed by Team17, it’s currently available on Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

The Visuals Are The Highlight Of This Game

Visually, The Survivalists is brilliant. Right from the off, I found the game aesthetically pleasing. It’s 2D art-style may be identical to that of The Escapists, but it’s a fantastic exploration into how the style can be applied to other settings. There’s a simple soundtrack to accompany the game, that frankly isn’t fantastic. However, it juxtaposes the relaxing tones you’d expect with survival exploration with bursts of up-beat combat music. It does get a little annoying sometimes, but you can live with it.

The Gameplay Is Fun, But Lack Of Progressions Make It Get Stale Quickly

Sadly, the actual gameplay of The Survivalists leaves a lot to be desired. It’s a blast, at first, don’t get me wrong. Like any survival game, the opening sequences are an exciting exploration into the mechanics of the worlds. However, it lacks the depth to continue this enjoyment for any sustained period of time. You can befriend monkeys, dictating actions to them, which is great. However, it feels like there’s a lack of progression. The Survivalists lacks a skill system and an armour system, leaving all the sense of achievement down to the various upgrades for your weapons and tools.

To put it plainly, The Survivalists is a little simple. It doesn’t really take advantage of the possible complexity the genre offers. You can travel between islands, each scattered with various enemies and hostile animals, but the repetitive nature of the game persists. The inclusion of dungeons is a bonus, though.

It has a four-player multiplayer mode, but only the host can destroy crafted items. They can also limit the others in a number of ways, even going as far as to stop them opening chests.

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The Game Doesn’t Stray Too Far From Its Base Mechanics, And That’s Not A Bad Thing

The only progression The Survivalists offers, really, is in efficiency. It has crafting and resource gathering, but that’s it. The game does little to stray away from these core mechanics. You can find caged monkeys throughout the world and befriend them, once you’ve freed them. They then become servants, of sorts, that can be taught to perform various in-game tasks. Annoyingly, they can only do one thing and they can’t combine tasks. For example, you can have a monkey cutting trees… But you’d need another monkey to take the dropped resource to a chest. The game’s combat is also fairly buggy. It’s safe to say it needs improvement.

Would I Recommend The Survivalists?

It’s hard to answer the above question. In its’ current state, I wouldn’t. The premise of The Survivalists is promising, but it simply lacks depth. Unless it’s on sale, The Survivalists will set you back a little over £20. It’s a nice game to kill time, perfect for the casual gamer, but isn’t quite worth the price tag.

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