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Survival Sh..murvival? These Steam Survival Games Need More to be Worth Your Buck

Survival should be a challenge -- like surviving against the elements or a powerful foe, not from boredom or hackers. Let's talk about that.

If you've paid any attention to Steam in the last few years you'll have noticed a trend in games that have some degree of a survival aspect to them. And, for the most part, there are a number of great games that do this genre justice. Games like The Long Dark, 7 Days to Die, State of Decay, and Dead by Daylight are just a few examples of good games with solid and varied survival mechanics. 

This article isn't about the games that get it right however, it's about the ones that could use a bit more work and some TLC from the devs. Whether it's faulty mechanics, poor security and anti-cheat measures, or the game was simply put onto the market far too early, here are few survival games on Steam that need a bit more work to be worth your money. 

 

Fragmented

Fragmented is billed as an open world, multiplayer survival game that takes place on a hostile alien planet. You start the game out next to a drop pod and have to scavenge, hunt, craft, and survive the hostile fauna in what looks like an unforgiving experience.

The first issue I have with Fragmented is the long time that it takes to actually load the game. The first time I tried to load the game to play, it hung for over 3 minutes before it crashed to desktop. After another attempt, I was able to play but there isn't really any direction for the player on how to do basic tasks.

After wandering around learning from trial and error, I gathered enough resources to build a simple shack to stay in -- and that was about it. I rarely saw any creatures like the ones pictured on their Steam page. There were just a few critters that looked like baby dinosaurs, which I was able to easily dispatch with a crude stone ax.

After an hour it felt like there was really no reason to keep playing. I tried out the online multiplayer, but the map felt super crowded and I basically would get killed each time I spawned -- likely by the guys running the server.

 

Reign of Kings

Reign of Kings is one of those games that I actually really enjoyed when I first started playing. The basis of this open-world, medieval survival game is to hunt, gather, and craft to survive against the other players and beasts of the land. It also gives you the option of becoming the King by taking the ancient throne.

Why would you want to be the King? Because you can put a tax on the realm and you get a cut of the resources that any of the other players on the server harvest.

Now, if you know someone with a private server, or you're willing to pay for one yourself, then this isn't that bad of a game. I personally played on a private server with a group of people who played with a heavy emphasis on role-playing and rules for PvP. Before I got on this server, however, I played on a number of public servers and they all had the same issue -- hackers ruining the game for people. 

You'd be minding your own business in your base only to suddenly be dead, cut to pieces by a hacker that clipped through your walls. Then they'd destroy your protective seal and ransack your base. Sadly, the game is still plagued with this issue -- which is a shame, because it had so much promise. 

Kingdoms

Kingdoms, while not labeled as a survival game, has all the trappings of one. Presented as a procedural medieval RPG, Kingdoms boasts of the game's smart A.I. system and the ability to be anything you want to be in the game -- from a lowly farmer to the mayor of a town, and much more. 

What we have instead is basically a proof of concept and little else. The combat mechanics are very poorly designed and clunky, and the "smart A.I." is only such if the A.I. was programmed to idle about while being mauled to death by wolves and bears. 

In its current state, you'll spend your time trying not to starve to death and coping with a very small inventory. The game is incredibly buggy and has mixed reviews on its Steam page. It has a lot of promise if the devs are able to deliver on all the content they've mentioned in the "About This Game" section.

As of right now, however, it's not really worth picking up unless you're fine with buying a game and not touching it for a year in hopes that it gets updates between now and then.

I know there are dozens of other games that could join this list, but these are my current offenders. Share with me in the comments below games you think should also be on this list -- and be on the lookout for my article on survival games that get it right.

Published Oct. 30th 2016

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