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Enshrouded Is A New Upcoming Survival RPG That Takes Inspiration From Valheim And Zelda

Joseph Bradford Updated: Posted:
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The makers of Portal Knights are back with their latest project, a survival RPG named Enshrouded. A co-op survival action RPG that supports up to 16 players on a server, the developers at Keen Games liken the design of Enshrouded to a blend of Valheim meets The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Players will take the form of a Flameborn, which Keen describes as the “last hope of an ancient civilization.” From there you’ll hunt creatures, get materials, and build up a kingdom - you know, typically survival game fare. The world of Enshrouded is described as a “vast open world,” for players to explore either with friends or in a solo server.

The world itself has an intriguing premise as well. While definitely inspired by typical fantasy fare, the world of Enshrouded is, well, shrouded in a dense deadly fog where only islands of land sticking up above safely. During a press briefing last week, Creative Director Antony Christoulakis, described the deadly fog as a sea hiding old and lost kingdoms and more for players to brave and explore.

Enshrouded is set in a decaying world of magic and beauty ruined by that force of nature unleashed from the depths of the earth. It has drowned the world in a layer of deadly fog and only islands of land stick out of the vast sea of clouds.”

It’s a world backstory that feels like an immediate hook for me if I’m honest. I want to learn more about those lost and ancient kingdoms and peoples stuck under the deadly haze that separates those two worlds. The world of Embervale is full of deadly, mutated creatures to overcome, all thanks to the Shroud, that blight that has affected the land so thoroughly.

Like survival games that have come before Enshrouded, much of the gameplay loop revolves around building a character and, well, surviving the wilderness. Thankfully, for those who may not like the more hardcore survival MMOs out there like Conan Exiles or Ark: Survival Evolved, Enshrouded takes its cues more from survival-lite games, notable Valheim

You aren’t going to die if your character doesn’t eat all the time, and thirst won’t force you to your knees in Enshrouded. However, those activities can better prepare you for a battle, especially if you decide to go below the fog to explore the old, tarnished world. 

Players can shape how they play based on a skill system that unlocks new abilities throughout, allowing you to really customize your Flameborn how you’d like. Instead of a class system upfront, this open-ended skill system allows for greater openness and, in theory, could lead to some interesting character builds that feel unique compared to others.

Combat is standard third-person action RPG fare, with the trailer showing characters firing arrows, slinging spells, dodging enemies, and more. As with all survival crafting games, you’ll be creating your gear from the materials you find throughout the world, improving them as you progress with better materials over time.

Additionally, players will build up their own base, though when Enshrouded hits Early Access there won’t be much to defend it from. At the outset there aren’t any existential threats like an invasion from below the Shroud, or even from other players, instead with Christoulakis stating that they won’t want to hinder “player creativity.”

“We think about these things and have plans for stuff, but that’s more for the future. If we want to implement that, we need to be careful not to make this hindering the player’s creativity as want really want to offer coll ways to build in the game and be expressive about it. And if then enemies come in and destroy it every day, it might be frustrating.”

Unlike other survival games where the world might be fully procedurally generated, Enshrouded is a crafted world. There are some procedural tools used to make it easier for a smaller team to build, but the design of the world is meant to provide meaningful discoveries which isn’t always easier when using procedural tools.

While no release window was given beyond 2023, Enshrouded is set to enter Steam Early Access sometime this year. It’s an interesting premise and one that I’m excited to see more of, especially as the team ramps up heading into its launch. It’ll be a buy-to-play title as well, and during Early Access there won’t be anything additional players will need to fork over hard-earned money for. However, the team does mention that there will be DLC down the road that they will charge for in addition to free updates to the experience.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore