Survived By Preview: To My Kin I Leave Dungeons
Greg Johnson / Sep 13th, 2017 No Comments
Survived By was a surprise announcement at PAX West 2017. The rogue-like, bullet hell game from developer Human Head Studios shares some archetypal elements with pixel RPGs of yesteryear, but it adds its own unique flavor with permadeath, co-op support for up to 100 players on each server and procedurally generated dungeons.
I got a chance to play the alpha build of Survived By at the show, and its distinct features and fast pace stood out to me.
Death is the Beginning
Survived By’s premise is standard video game fare. Players work through dungeons to rid the land of evil. However, the way the character selection process works and procedurally generated dungeons add new layers to the game.
Players start out by creating a character and choosing one of several typical video game classes. But every time your character dies in the game, he is gone forever. You are asked to create a new character and allowed to choose new traits.
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Each class has different fighting methods. Some, like Infiltrator (an assassin-like class) are more strategic while others, such as the Geomancer, serve as a caster meant to keep their distance and bombard the enemy with spells. As a Sentinel (a paladin-like class), I might get perks like more health for my next of kin.
Combat functions similar to classic dungeon crawlers. You get a bird’s eye view of the level as enemies enter the screen from all directions. Survived By has a focus on bullet hell scenarios, with enemies coming fast and in large numbers.
This is where permadeath becomes a gameplay mechanic. Once you die — and you will die — you can come back as a new character with traits built to withstand your current situation. Since you are never locked into a particular class, you can freely adjust each new character to try to best the challenges you currently face.
The alpha build I played felt a bit unbalanced. Some rooms were easy to clear out while others felt too difficult, but that is something that will likely sort itself out closer to launch.
100 Come In, 100 Come Out
Massive boss fights and raids are the biggest attraction of Survived By. The game pulls elements from a lot of different genres, but at its heart, it is an MMO. That means you’ll be able to encounter up to 99 other players on your server. To beat some of the game’s more difficult dungeons and bosses, you will need to find some friends to help you.
But will players want to take on these challenges over and over again?
Developers realized that raids can become boring when they are repetitive. That is why the procedurally generated levels are also a major aspect of gameplay. Players will never be able to take the same route or have the same experience with each playthrough. You won’t be able to memorize where enemies pop out or learn patterns.
This ability to have different experiences with an online community is what makes Survived By stand out.
Survived By is expected to release in 2018 for PC.
tags: Human Head Studios , PAX , PAX West 2017 , preview , Survived By , Survived By Preview