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Highly anticipated Steam survival game to launch sooner than expected

Hotly anticipated open-world survival crafting game Soulmask moves its launch closer after a hugely successful Steam Next Fest showing.

Highly anticipated Steam survival game Soulmask moves its launch closer - A woman wearing gold, blue, and green outfit and helmet in the style of ancient Mayan people.

Competing with titans such as Rust, Sons of the Forest, and Ark Survival Ascended is no easy feat. But ambitious newcomer Soulmask doesn’t seem to mind: it wants to be the biggest and best survival game on Steam, and it’s now arriving even sooner than previously planned. Following a very successful Steam Next Fest showing, the spectacular sandbox RPG inspired by the ancient Mayan era was previously set to arrive in mid June, but publisher Qooland Games reveals that it’ll now be here in just a few days.

Where Soulmask looks to differ from its peers isn’t just in its sheer scope – a vast 64 square kilometer map (by comparison, Ark clocks in at around 48) also plays host to seven sprawling biomes at launch. Qooland Games estimates that the most eager players could easily rack up play times reaching as high as 500 hours or more.

There are eight weapon classes and 75 battle skills to master, five mounts to discover, six dangerous bosses to beat, 300 different construction components to build the perfect home, and almost 400 ancient relics to find – this is an absolutely colossal open-world survival game.

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There’s more than simple scale at play here, however; Qooland Games is making a lot of effort to strip back the busywork associated with the genre and add more interesting mechanics in its place, as business manager Elson Soh told us during our Soulmask interview at GDC. You can recruit a town filled with NPCs, each bringing their own unique skill sets to the fold, and arrange workflows, production lines, and maintenance routines to have them sort out all the boring stuff while you focus on doing the things you enjoy most.

Where that all comes together is with the mask system. These ten powerful artifacts bestow incredible powers when worn – from the ability to disappear in the shadows to the gift of immortality itself. Not only can you slip them on yourself, but you can also take control of any of the other characters in the game and enhance their talents with your masks to make even greater use of their abilities.

Previously set to launch on Tuesday June 18, Soulmask is now set to arrive on Friday May 31. “We’re over the moon to share the news,” director of publishing Matthew Jiao says. “We’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm for Soulmask from our community, and this decision is fueled by our excitement to continue developing Soulmask alongside our community in Early Access. We can’t wait to embark on this adventure with our community.”

Soulmask - A towering stone structure looms over a small village.

Soulmask will launch on Friday May 31 via Steam Early Access. If you like what you hear, and you’re eager to find out more, simply head over to the game’s Steam store page to add it to your wishlist, and you’ll be sent a notification when it arrives.

Alternatively, browse the best open-world games on PC for plenty more vast, memorable locales to explore, or have a look through the best co-op games if you and your friends are looking for something new to play together.

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