Pandemic Express Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Pandemic Express RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Pandemic Express: Currently (Train)Wrecking Through Early Access https://www.gameskinny.com/p5lr2/pandemic-express-currently-trainwrecking-through-early-access https://www.gameskinny.com/p5lr2/pandemic-express-currently-trainwrecking-through-early-access Thu, 02 May 2019 14:41:01 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Let's get something out of the way first: Pandemic Express has absolutely nothing to do with the hyper-popular Pandemic series of games.

If this game caught your eye because you hoped it'd be a spinoff of the series, created with the same love and care that went into, say, Pandemic: Legacy, you will be sorely, completely disappointed.

Instead, Pandemic Express is a game that seems to have been made in 2016. You remember that, right? Back when the success of games like DayZ and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds meant that any developer could release an unfinished game into Steam Early Access, charge $15 for it, and never complete it? 

Yeah. That's what we're talking about here. 

Gameplay

To be fair to tinyBuild Games, the gameplay loop in Pandemic Express isn't a bad one, at least in theory. Every game session begins with 30 players, of which one is a zombie. The goal is for human players to make it to a train and ride it to the end of the game's map (there's only one available as of now).

On the other hand, the zombie has to kill and infect other players to add them to a growing swarm; the goal from this perspective is to infect everyone. While it might seem "innovative" at first, you'll realize after a few matches that the general gameplay loop isn't much different from playing a payload map in Team Fortress 2 or Overwatch.

Again, this isn't necessarily a bad thing! Not all new games need to innovate in crazy ways to be successful or fun. In fact, structuring a game around a tried and true concept like a payload run while adding new twists to the formula could (and should!) result in an engaging experience.

It's really too bad there's none of that to be found here.

Aiming guns or performing melee attacks is largely a chore because the game doesn't give you a crosshair (or if it does, it's too small to see and there's no option to make it larger). In addition, tinyBuild's servers don't seem equipped to handle the load of 30 people in a game at once, causing crippling amounts of lag even on a super-high-speed wired connection.

As a zombie, the lag issue is even more pronounced because the melee attack  the one players use to infect humans  has a not-insignificant-amount of startup frames. This necessitates players predict where their target is going and be a half-second ahead at close range, which is pretty challenging to do when you're lagging.

That said, it is kind of fun to use your zombie launch ability to hurl teammates across the map, especially given the insane knockback that guns have in this game. The little bit of fun I had during my time with Pandemic Express was in pinballing around the train as a zombie, getting knocked around by teammates and opponents' guns, and trying to pick folks off.

Oh, and you also get an ultimate ability based on how many times you respawn; you can pick from either exploding when you die, knocking folks off the train as you do, or becoming an invisible zombie, picking folks off from the shadows. Because of all this, I generally had a lot more fun as a zombie than I did as a human (but that's not saying much).

Bugging Out

All of these issues are damning, for sure. And if that were all that was wrong with the game, I'd still feel confident telling you to stay away. Unfortunately, there's more to say, largely because the game is still full of bugs.

In my time as a human player, I ran into a persistent bug where I was not able to pick up guns unless another player had dropped them or been killed. The game also crashed multiple times on my computer (once forcing a hard reset of my entire rig).

The game also hasn't been optimized graphically, causing choppiness and framerate dips on my computer. This is surprising because the graphics aren't particularly intensive even on high settings. I was worried that this was a problem with my rig at first before I confirmed that I could run Overwatch butter-smooth on high settings. There's something else going on here.

That's not even mentioning the insanely long startup, load, and matchmaking times. While these aren't bugs, they're annoyances that, when paired with all the other issues, leads to a game that succeeds in frustrating you before you've even started playing.

Now, as the game will no doubt repeat to you endlessly, Pandemic Express is still in its alpha stages. But if that's true, then tinyBuild is going to have a lot of work to do to squash these bugs during Early Access. The FAQ for Pandemic Express says that tinyBuild doesn't expect the full game to be out before the end of 2019, and given what's here so far, it seems like that's a bit optimistic.

So here's the big issue with looking at a game before it fully launches on Steam: Most, if-not-all, of the problems I have with this game could be ironed out if the devs really bust ass during the Early Access period to polish what is here. You could be reading this in July of 2020 and laughing at this idiot reviewer who completely wrote the next Fortnite off.

That's a real possibility! And despite the blow to my pride, I hope that it happens.

That said, it seems unlikely, since the developers don't seem to know what this game actually is. The one map featured in the game seems large-ish at first, but that's only because 90% of the actual gameplay takes place along the tracks of the train, rendering the vast majority of the map unusable since it's not along the path of the train.

If you watch the trailer for the game, it becomes clear that the devs think that Pandemic Express is some sort of hide-and-seek meets FPS hybrid, and that's just not true. This doesn't bode well for the future of the game. If the developers don't understand the way folks play the game and the most optimal ways to play, what hope is there for them to pivot the game's focus in a way that is actually engaging?

Because as it stands now, the best way to play the game, whether you're a human or a zombie, is to rush the train and just mash the attack button, whether you're trying to bite folks or trying to shoot zombies. It's not engaging, and it's not fun.

Again, I hope that the folks at tinyBuild can pivot and turn this game into something special, but at this point, I'm not holding my breath.

UPDATE: Day One Patch

Between the time of this review and the game's fully-fledged Early Access release, a patch was released that purported to squash a few bugs and really enhance the general experience of playing the game. In my time with the patched version of the game, that's only partly true.

The game's UI got a much-needed overhaul. Traversing the menus is less tedious, and it's clear that the devs plan to update the game later with more game modes, which is a great sign. In addition, I didn't run into any major bugs, though I did fall victim to a few smaller ones, including some widespread despawning of ammo from my personal inventory, and despawning of drops on the map.

Gameplay is also a lot smoother, with a lot less lag; the servers must have gotten an update along with the visual optimization. The big problem, however, is that the core gameplay still needs to be fixed. You still just have to run towards the train and mash the attack button. At a current price point of $10, rising to $15 when the game launches, the game is still very, very hard to recommend for anybody.

[Note: A copy of Pandemic Express was provided by tinyBuild Games for the purpose of this Early Access preview.]

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11 Most Anticipated Survival Games of 2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/vt0iy/11-most-anticipated-survival-games-of-2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/vt0iy/11-most-anticipated-survival-games-of-2019 Fri, 23 Nov 2018 11:06:12 -0500 Sergey_3847

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WiLD

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  • Developer: Wild Sheep Studio
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  • Platforms: PS4/PS5
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  • Release date: 2019/2020
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WiLD has been in development since 2014, and there are rumors that it will appear as a PS5 exclusive at the launch of the new Sony console. For now, it is unknown when exactly Sony will release their new toy.

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WiLD is probably one of the most ambitious survival games ever. The game will have an endless procedurally-generated open world, where players will take on a role of a pre-historic human, who tries to survive with the help of small and big wild animals, which can be controlled using special shamanic abilities.

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This sounds really cool, but it would be great if there was any indication of the release date. For now, you can join the development team at the official game's website.

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---

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Let us know about your personal most anticipated survival game in the comments section below, and be sure to check other most anticipated games lists here at GameSkinny:

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Generation Zero

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  • Developer: Avalanche Studios
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  • Platforms: PC
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  • Release date: TBA 2019
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Killing robots is really fun in Generation Zero -- an action-packed cooperative shooter for four players. The game starts with players arriving at a Swedish tourist attraction in the late 1980s, where there is no one left alive.

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Mysterious machines emerge from nowhere and start attacking every living being, including you and your friends. The game offers an unusual approach to story-telling and survival, where players will have to figure everything out on their own.

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The most interesting aspect of the game is that enemy machines retain all the damage dealt to them by the players. This creates an illusion of realism like no other game on the market right now.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/074b5ddff7b8a5477560106b01f6e16d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/074b5ddff7b8a5477560106b01f6e16d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12470","description":"

Pandemic Express

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  • Developer: TallBoys
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  • Platforms: PC
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  • Release date: TBA 2019
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Here is an interesting take on a zombie survival cooperative shooter. Pandemic Express focuses mainly on trains as your means to escape from those pesky zombies.

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The gameplay footage looks fun, and shows bits of what players can expect from this quirky shooter. The gameplan involves players to catch the train that will help them leave the zombie-infested location.

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But there is one problem, apparently there are more zombies on the train that will keep attacking you. So by the look of it, surviving will be really hard in Pandemic Express.

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If you like what you've seen and read, then sign-up here for the upcoming alpha test.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/120ae0ba4151d22a188336261a125243.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/120ae0ba4151d22a188336261a125243.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12474","description":"

Vigor

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  • Developer: Bohemia Interactive
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  • Platforms: Xbox One
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  • Release date: TBA 2019
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The creator of DayZ makes a comeback in the form of Vigor, an upcoming shoot'n'loot survival game that takes place in the post-apocalyptic Norway. The gameplay is designed for 8-16 players that will have to fight against each other for precious resources in order to build a shelter for themselves.

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Vigor will be a free-to-play game, which should attract not only fans of DayZ, but also the rest of the survival community. Too bad the game is exclusive to the Xbox One console, but since it is based on Unreal Engine it should appear at least on PC as well.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1307691b74b0888170c3722f6714c1b6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1307691b74b0888170c3722f6714c1b6.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12473","description":"

Days Gone

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  • Developer: SIE Bend Studio
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  • Platforms: PS4
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  • Release date: April 26, 2019
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Days Gone takes place a couple of years after the global pandemic that  destroyed half of the Earth's population. As a result a major part of the population turned into Freakers, which aren't exactly zombies. According to the game's lore, zombies are dead, while Freakers are still alive.

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Also, zombies are always evil, while some Freakers can be peaceful and even retain the ability to think logically. The main protagonist of the game is Deacon St. John, a former criminal and a mercenary.

The game takes place in an open world of the Pacific Northwest, which will include both abandoned territories infested by Freakers and cities with human survivors. Players will have access to various traps, tools, weapons, as well as vehicles.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2d03839d928ed52ad88526e2979b2b27.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2d03839d928ed52ad88526e2979b2b27.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12472","description":"

Left Alive

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  • Developer: Square Enix
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  • Platforms: PC, PS4
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  • Release date: March 5, 2019
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If you've played the Mission Front series of games, then you will have an idea of what to expect from Left Alive, an upcoming survival simulator from Square Enix. The events of Left Alive will take place between Front Mission 5 and Front Mission Evolved.

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There are three main characters in the game who act independently of each other. During the game players will be able to switch between them. The world of Left Alive consists of separate levels, where players will have the chance to control battle mechs from the Front Mission universe -- Wanzers.

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One of the most interesting features of the game is the possibility to craft your own unique weapons, which should definitely be a lot of fun.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7e560429c3ec4d11ceaf5597bae1de06.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7e560429c3ec4d11ceaf5597bae1de06.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12471","description":"

Remnant: From the Ashes

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  • Developer: Gunfire Games
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  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
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  • Release date: TBA 2019
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Remnant is a brand new survival shooter that comes from the offices of the Gunfire Games, the developer of Darksiders III. This means that the game will definitely be of high quality and the description sounds really intriguing.

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In Remnant the players will fight interdimensional monsters that spawn in a variety of dynamically-generated realms. Each of these worlds will have unique means of survival and monsters that will range from normal sized creatures to some as big as the buildings. These aliens will be so hard to beat that players will have to cooperate in order to survive.

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The first revealed trailer looks really promising, so let's keep our fingers crossed for potentially one of the best survival games of  2019.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a89099cd16cd6400d8302ccd0f76dee8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a89099cd16cd6400d8302ccd0f76dee8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12469","description":"

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

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  • Developer: Panache Digital Games
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  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
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  • Release date: TBA 2019
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Ancestors is all about human evolution and the early stages of human history. The story begins in Africa 10 million years ago. Initially, the developer planned to break the game into several short episodes each devoted to different time periods. However, later the decision was made to make all time periods accessible to players from the very beginning.

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This is the first game of Panache Digital studio, but at the helm of it stands Patrice Désilets, the creative director behind many Assassin's Creed games. This means that we can at least expect gorgeous landscapes and fun gameplay.

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Unfortunately, there isn't much info on the game yet, but the first playable server should be open to public some time next year.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/9d01aeb4e61b4b1f119415e5ecc3be90.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/9d01aeb4e61b4b1f119415e5ecc3be90.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12464","description":"

Deadside

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  • Developer: Bad Pixel
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  • Platforms: PC
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  • Release date: TBA 2019
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Here is a realistic survival shooter for those who are tired of killing zombies in their games. Instead of zombies players will hunt animals and focus on survival on the map as large as 225 square kilometers.

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The developer promises highly realistic combat and physics of all weapons. For example, bullets will lose speed and change trajectory when penetrating various obstacles. This will make combat especially difficult, which will require players to pay attention to every single detail.

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Players will be able to meet NPCs and trade goods with them. There will also be a possibility of killing strangers and looting.

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Deadside is expected to enter Early Access at Steam some time in 2019.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1b8ec1241bea8fa417b625544329e714.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1b8ec1241bea8fa417b625544329e714.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12463","description":"

Dead Matter

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  • Developer: Quantum Integrity Software Inc.
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  • Platforms: PC
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  • Release date: Q1 2019
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Dead Matter is one of the most anticipated survival games in the works that can be supported by the community through an IndieGoGo campaign. The developer decided to make the game as realistic as possible and that is why you will not see any perks or skill tree system in the game.

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The open world will be really huge and cover the territory of 400 square kilometers. The map will be populated by zombies, and one server will be able to handle between 60 to 80 players at once.

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Players will be able to unite into different factions with quite intriguing names, such as First Responders, Cannibals, Soldiers, Neighborhood Watch and others. So this really looks like it's going to be a big game as soon as it releases.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e566cd01a972f7631ce39e54c8c1fe15.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e566cd01a972f7631ce39e54c8c1fe15.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12461","description":"

World War Z

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  • Developer: Saber Interactive
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  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
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  • Release date: TBA 2019
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Surviving alone can be hard, especially in a zombie-infested world of World War Z. That is why the game's developer offers a survival game for four players and not just one.

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It is worth noting that World War Z is based on the well-known book, which got that movie with Brad Pitt from 2013. The action unfolds in the same way as it happened in the movie, where characters had to deal with entire swarms of zombies.

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The main story campaign of the game focuses on unique survival missions in selected cities, such as New York, Moscow and Jerusalem. The players will be given a chance to use traps, ambushes and environment in general to stay alive using various types of weapons.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-324a2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-324a2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"190946","description":"

Survival games have become a staple of the industry, which is why we see survival games of all sorts to satisfy the great demand. However, making a truly exciting survival game is as hard as it can be.

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In the last few years we've seen huge backlashes from the gaming community towards many survival titles that simply couldn't deliver on the promises (e.g. No Man's Sky at launch). But this only means that gamers are really passionate about games they want to play, and that is why we've chosen a number of new and upcoming survival titles that should bring a smile to your face in 2019.

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This short list includes games from such acclaimed developers like Sony,  Square Enix and Bohemia Interactive, as well as, ambitious newcomers that will surprise many people with their unusual and innovative gameplay mechanics.

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tinyBuild Reveals 5 New Games at PAX West, Extra Info on Upcoming Titles https://www.gameskinny.com/ew0vk/tinybuild-reveals-5-new-games-at-pax-west-extra-info-on-upcoming-titles https://www.gameskinny.com/ew0vk/tinybuild-reveals-5-new-games-at-pax-west-extra-info-on-upcoming-titles Fri, 31 Aug 2018 11:25:58 -0400 Bryant Pereira

The publishers of Hello Neighbor and SpeedrunnerstinyBuild, revealed a slew of announcements at this year's PAX West, including some new game reveals and additional news on some of their previously announced upcoming titles like Rapture Rejects and Secret Neighbor.

Before getting into the juicy details of these new games, there are some important updates to some titles that may be on your radar. 

The official Cyanide & Happiness game Rapture Rejects is officially available for pre-order, which gets you exclusive access to the private Alpha. The Alpha will be playable on weekends from Friday 12 p.m. to Monday at 10 a.m. PST. Putting a spin on the Battle Royal genre, Rapture Rejects is a top-down isometric shooter where the last man standing wins.

Party Hard 2, the sequel to the stealth strategy game about ruining parties, is hitting digital-shelves this Halloween. You can check out the new trailer here with its stellar soundtrack and deadly party poopers galore.

Joining the Halloween festivities is the Secret Neighbor open alpha. Part of the Hello Neighbor universe, Secret Neighbor is a multiplayer social horror game in the same vein as Friday the 13th. Set between the first and second act of Hello Neighbor, a group of kids tries sneaking into the neighbor's basement to find their friend except one of the kids is actually the neighbor in disguise. You can sign up for the alpha here.

Speaking of alpha builds, you can now sign up to test Pathologic 2 after the PAX West conference. A sequel to the 2005 psychological horror adventure game, Pathologic 2 opens up the setting to an open world town consumed by a deadly plague. The eerie teaser trailer shows a collapsing society who have lost all sense of hope. The narrative-driven survival thriller has players making difficult choices with no positive outcome in sight while deciding whether to win the affection of locals or lose their trust. You can sign up for the alpha on the Pathologic website now.

The first playable game out of the new releases will be HellpointDeveloped by Cradle Games, the Dark Souls-style sci-fi action RPG game is set in the aftermath of a massive quantic cataclysm. Fighting demons and space monsters along the way, you can play this game split-screen or online with your friends. The game is set to release in 2019 on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, and you can download a free demo on Steam now. Check out the announcement trailer while you're here.

Next up is a prequel and a new addition to the Hello Neighbor universe  Hello Neighbor: Hide & SeekComing this December, Hide & Seek tells the story of the creepy neighbors family before the events of the first game. You'll meet his wife and kids, and experience first hand what caused his life to fall into shambles. You can download the free alpha of the game now for PC.

Donning seven unique characters, a unique pixel-art style, and a compelling story, UnDungeon is a roguelike RPG game that has already raised €95,000 on Kickstarter since it debuted. Partnering with tinyBuild, developers Laughing Machines are set to release a demo to Kickstarter backers later this year. The game combines permadeath, loot-based RPG mechanics, and oozes of style and flair

The eccentric and odd minds behind Punch Club and Graveyard Keeper have created a new and anachronistic game called Swag and SorceryDescribed as a streamlined RPG where you can build your own village, the biggest appeal is creating and customize characters and sending them out to find new swag. Swag and Sorcery is set to release sometime in 2019 for PC.

Last but not least on the list is a quirky, stylish first-person zombie shooter Pandemic Express. The trailer shows players escaping hordes of zombies while traveling on a train, in the same spirit as The Final Station. Pandemic Express spawns players at a train station, where one person gets infected and turns into a zombie. Players must escape to the train to avoid getting infected or become infected themselves and swap sides. Backed up by some sweet 80's synthwave, the announcement trailer gives a solid idea of the parkour and action you can expect.

PAX West is still beginning and there's bound to be plenty of more announcements to come, so for the latest keep it at GameSkinny.

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