Paradox reveals new 'deep sea' survival colony builder coming in January

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Paradox Interactive has unveiled a new addition to its 'Surviving' series of bad-situation management sims, and this one is a little more sinister than its predecessors. Surviving the Abyss (opens in new tab) puts players in charge of a research lab at the bottom of the sea, where they'll have to build and maintain facilities while managing the needs of its inhabitants.

That sounds innocuous enough, right? But if there's one thing that games like BioShock, Soma, and Stirring Abyss have taught us, it's that nothing good ever happens on the ocean floor, and that's definitely the case here too. Surviving the Abyss is set in 1976, at the height of the Cold War, and the purpose of the research base, you see, is to "perfect and weaponize human cloning." And that's not the worst thing going on: "The darkness hides unexpected horrors," and you're going to have to deal with that too.

The Steam page for Surviving the Abyss really makes the dichotomy clear:

  • "Improve life and progress in your facility by researching advanced technologies"—That sounds good!
  • "Keep your population sane, obedient and alive as you expand your base and discover the secrets of cloning and genetic research"—That sounds, well, less good.

Surviving Mars (opens in new tab), a Martian colony sim released in 2018, was developed by Haemimont Games (although it's now in the hands of Abstraction Games, while Haemimont is off to other things), while the 2019 post-apocalyptic city-builder Surviving the Aftermath (opens in new tab) came from Iceflake Studios. This new addition to the series is being made by yet another developer, Rocket Flair Studios. Rocket Flair is also working on an ancient Egyptian city-builder called Dynasty of the Sands (opens in new tab), but announced in September that it "had to take a short pause (opens in new tab) due to other commitments," which it would say more about later in the year. The studio didn't specify that Surviving the Abyss is the other commitment in question, but I think it's a pretty good bet. The game will be published under Paradox's new Arc label.

Surviving the Abyss is available for wishlisting on Steam now, and is slated to launch into early access on January 17, 2023.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.