The hardcore mode in Fallout New Vegas feels even more revolutionary in hindsight. Before Don’t Starve, Rust, or Valheim, Obsidian’s superlative RPG combined your typical running and gunning with the constant, melodramatic pressures of sheer survival. Catch a bullet out in the Mojave, and it was a long limp back to The Strip to get yourself patched up – especially with Cazadors flying around. Sons of the Forest takes it all to the next level, a truly detailed and oftentimes gruesome survival game where you face a constant battle against the wilderness. Harnessing the spirit of Fallout, the mechanics of Sons of the Forest, and some visual style borrowed from BioShock, a new survival shooter, with online co-op, is available to try out right now.
This is Serum, from developer Game Island. A co-op survival game that blends exploration, puzzles, and first-person combat, you find yourself lost in a bizarre, mutated, post-apocalyptic forest with a timer strapped to your arm. As you might have guessed, the goal is to find, collect, and brew various forms of the eponymous serum, which will keep you alive for longer and also provide a variety of status effects. Imagine ADAM and the Plasmids from BioShock, but glowing neon green and a lot more volatile.
You can build traps and shelters, and manufacture your own weapons – clubs, spears, and bows and arrows are the mainstays but, like Sons of the Forest, you can eventually get a little more creative. Hunt for food. Keep beasts at bay. Try to stay dosed with serum so your timer doesn’t run out. Available to play solo or via four-person co-op, Serum is a survival game with a stark visual style and lots of promise. And if you want to try it, it’s available to play right this second thanks to a new Steam Next Fest demo, which you can download here.