My favorite survival game of 2023 just cooked up a new way to destroy me: with an army of killer robots

Alien robots
(Image credit: Frontier Foundry)

This year colony survival sim Stranded: Alien Dawn left early access, but that doesn't mean it's done. Not content to wipe out your colony of hard-working survivors with giant alien bugs, debilitating injuries and illnesses, and deadly weather events, developer Haemimont Games is throwing something new at you next month: killer robots.

In Stranded: Alien Dawn's first DLC arriving on November 7, called Robots and Guardians, your colony will have to contend with an invasion of mechanical monstrosities like killer robots, flying combat drones, and walking turrets. On the plus side, once you've taken down a few of these menacing robots, you'll be able to use the spare parts to construct some 'bots of your own.

Why are these swarms of deadly robots attacking your base in the first place? Well, it's just another good deed that mustn't go unpunished. Your colonists have rescued the galaxy's first sentient android, Hope, from the hands of her ruthless (but apparently very clever) manufacturers. Your small group of survivors now have to defend your planetary base from the mega-corporation who built her and now wants her (and your colonists) dead.

It's not just about protecting Hope from the bad guys, either. It's about giving her the time to grow into a real (though synthetic) person. "In the beginning of the Guardians scenario, Hope will be a blank slate," say the devs. "She will share some basic skills with her human companions, but with limited proficiency."

That will change as Hope, like your colonists, progresses through the scenario. "As she accumulates experience and engages with the other characters, she'll progressively unlock new skills and acquire new traits. New traits include things like increased experience, faster movement speed, or increased manipulation efficiency, to name a few. She can even participate in combat if you decide to open up that particular skill."

(Image credit: Frontier Foundry)

Hope will even have a happiness meter affected by boredom, recreation, and even favorite foods (technically, fuel types) and activities. Meanwhile, the non-sentient robots you build can be used for a variety of purposes, like gathering resources, cooking, and even to fight against the metal army swarming your base.

It sounds and looks like a fun new way to experience the already challenging survival sim. The Guardians and Robots DLC for Stranded: Alien Dawn will release on November 7 for $13/£10, alongside a free patch that will add "new furniture, new weapons, and an automated process for collecting and transporting resources." 

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.