What is Survarium?
Ukrainian game industry veterans formed Vostok Games in March 2012. Their first project is a free to play first person shooter called Survarium. The game currently offers a variety of game modes. Some will be familiar to FPS fans and some are rather unique. The post apocalyptic environment provides players with unique challenges in addition to just facing other players. You can choose to gather artifacts from strange and deadly anomalies increasing your players abilities in game. There is a player leveling system similar to other shooters that will unlock new gear, items, and weapons. In addition to it’s current game modes there is supposed to be a “freeplay” (PvE & PvP) coming in the very near future.
I started playing Survarium several years ago when it first was released and have continued to monitor it’s evolution. Like other early access games it has gone through many changes and growing pains. However, at it’s core I find it to be a unique and promising alternative in the first person genre. To survive and do well in Survarium you have to be cunning and out think your opponents. I think this fits well with the apocalyptic setting where anything goes in your quest to survive. Like others I look forward to the Freeplay mode when it get’s added.
Update 0.40- Weapons Attachments & User Interface
The latest update 0.40 brought a major overhaul to the in game user interface and weapons attachments. From silencers, stock grips, and scopes certain weapons can be modified based on your preferences. The attachments can be obtained from obtaining a certain number of kills or purchased by the player using real money (in game shop). Visually the attachments look fantastic as does Survarium as a whole.
Based on my initial observations the purchase prices and kill ratio needed does seem reasonable when compared to other free to play models (i.e. Heroes & Generals). Did I notice a major disadvantage on the battlefield as a result of the new attachments? Well I think it’s too early to tell at this point as many factors play into weapons/character balancing in this game. Survarium continues to strive for that “sweet spot” and I am confident weapons/characters adjustments will continue to occur in future updates.
The user interface (UI) has had a major overhaul as well. It didn’t take me too long to adjust to the new layout and it seems to function as intended. The colors appear to have a more washed out look and the setting has changed as well. I do miss the old room with the military radio and fire and find the warehouse setting to be a bit generic.
Future of Survarium
Survarium has struggled with the community with some of the changes that have been made and the still missing freeplay game mode. As some of the developers were part of the Stalker game series I think many were hoping for a similar experience. However, I do think Survarium offers a very unique and challenging FPS experience. You will face many players with better gear and weapons than you. To defeat them you will have to be more cunning and resourceful but it can be done. It is this approach that I think captures the post apocalyptic setting they are trying to achieve. Where regular people facing greater odds are forced to to use alternative methods to survive. Survarium gives you those tools in the way of Artifacts, claymores, bear traps, squad option, and more to defeat your enemy. What do I think is coming next?
With the recent changes in 0.40 I think Survarium is beginning it’s transformation to the new game mode “freeplay.” I believe the UI had to be changed to accommodate the new game mode prior to them moving forward. I also think the weapons attachments play a part as well. Roaming the wasteland in freeplay mode I can see loot being found that includes weapons attachments.
Part of the challenge may be how to implement this mode within the free to play model while still ensuring some form of income for Vostok Games. I have no doubts we will hear something soon as they did indicate information on the freeplay mode would be coming after the 0.40 update. With the demand being so high in the community for this game mode to not implement it would surely be to the detriment of this game’s success.
Survarium has great potential and is at a pivotal point in it’s development, however I do think 2016 is a critical year for it’s success. With other post apocalyptic shooters on the horizon the pressure is even greater.