PAX West 2017: Survived By Hands On – When One Against The World Isn’t Enough

Survived By Hands On Preview

Announced just days before PAX West 2017, Survived By is Digital Extremes and Human Head Studios’ latest title. For those unfamiliar with the Digital Extremes, they are the brains behind Warframe as well as the recently rebranded The Amazing Eternals. Survived By is best described as a retro-inspired, bullet-hell styled MMO, where permadeath exists as well as taking on instanced dungeons with 100 other players. The story of Survived By is that the World Tree has been corrupted, and this corruption has been creeping toward the remaining towns and villages.

Survived By features six playable classes at the moment, with plans to have additional classes and sub-classes. In my demo of the game, I chose the Harbinger due to having the secondary ability to automatically target nearby enemies. As I faced the dungeon by myself rather than cooperatively, I opted to spec my character to improve chances of critical hits, improve critical damage, and add life steal upon damaging enemies. In addition to the perks I selected, players will be able to tailor their characters to their play style. When a player character dies in battle, they remain dead, though they are “survived by” their descendant, who carry along familial traits.

I came into my demo with Survived By with moderate expectations, given the game had just been announced, and left absolutely enamored. It was easily the game that stood out the most to me because of the fun I had with it as well the difference between what I expected and what I experienced. As a player that is relatively unfamiliar with bullet hell games, Survived By was pleasantly easy to pick up and play, and I felt that the more difficult parts of the demo were very fun as well. Although I had beaten the demo without much issue, the harder parts of the demo were indicative of much harder difficulty further into the game, so hardcore bullet hell players likely need not worry about difficulty. With 100 players in the same instanced dungeon, I would imagine that going completely solo would be an impressive feat.

Survived By

Though a bit simplistic, the game’s graphics make sense given the environment in which it operates. Specifically, having 100 players taking on a dungeon in a bullet hell setting is sure to culminate in a massive cluster… Therefore, I believe that the graphics are simplistic enough for most players of all computer specs to handle while simultaneously remaining charming and most importantly, easy to distinguish between projectiles.

Crafting is also an element in the title, though I was unable to experience it myself. Players can craft powerful weapons in order to aid them in their journey. Lastly, the microtransaction model was brought up, and I was informed that they aimed to have a model that was fair, ensuring that all items can be earned for free. Though the game impressed me a lot, micro transactions are always contentious and I am looking forward to learning more about it.

Overall, Survived By was easily the title that impressed me most over PAX West 2017. With fun, easy to pick up gameplay, an efficient and effective aesthetic, and interesting classes, Survived By is on the right track as they enter their Closed Alpha session soon. Click here to head to their official website to sign up for the Closed Alpha. I will definitely be giving the Closed Alpha much of my attention, and I cannot wait to see where this game goes.