The next big survival game may well be the procgen fantasy MMO Lost Isle, and looking at this thing just makes me want to plunder a lot of fortresses. I mean, of course you can build your own too, but something about this is just screaming "lots of lovely loot to steal", and I'm not going to argue with my inner monologue.
The secret sauce here is Lost Isle being both PvE and PvP and set in a world that's different every time. The generated landscapes come crammed with lost secrets, looming monuments, and plenty of treasure-stuffed caves. The environment is warped by the dark magic at the heart of the game's mysteries, which also powers an array of weird and wonderful creatures out to keep you away from the loot... well, really they don't care much about that, and just want to kill you.
In terms of the permanence, think of something like Rust. You can play Lost Isle as a scavenging loner, or even as a band of desperados, but in the long term most players will want to build their own settlement. These not only provide protection but can be made into their own deathtraps for any would-be thieves, with an incredibly granular building system that takes things like structural integrity into account.
Over time you'll master more skills, learn to craft everything from chow to godly weaponry to base defenses, and soon enough learn magic. The Lost Isle is filled with alchemists, witches, wizards, and all manner of other magical beings: some of which aren't friendly, but some of whom will teach you the mystical tools you'll need to stave off your own mortality.
Magic is great and all but, if you just like stabbing things with something pointy, Lost Isle's got you covered with its in-depth stamina-based combat. The game's weapon types are unique and have their own fighting styles, atop a system of dodges and parries that let skilled players cut through the hordes like butter. You'll need some skills too, with developer Freedom Games promising epic boss fights that will challenge even the best-prepared: with rewards to match.
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Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."