The base-building system in this fantasy co-op survival RPG looks pretty incredible

Base in fantasy world
(Image credit: Keen Games)

If you'd asked me last week if I wanted to live in a house built on a boulder sculpted to look like a giant's skull I'd have said "No, not really," and then spent several hours wondering what was wrong with you. Why would you ask me that? That's a deeply weird way to start a conversation.

But after seeing the voxel-based building tools in Enshrouded, the upcoming co-op survival RPG developer Keen Games describes as Valheim meets Zelda, I have to admit… yes, I kind of do want to live in a house built on a boulder sculpted to look like a giant's skull. And I apologize for criticizing your question so harshly. That wasn't cool of me.

In Enshrouded, which will enter early access on Steam later this year, you explore a dangerous realm where a deadly fog has crept in to cover almost everything, mutating creatures caught within it and giving rise to hideous monsters. The only safe zones are on the mountaintops that rise above the fog, and that's where you'll build your home base, a place to relax when you're not out battling the evil beings hiding in the shroud.

I'm definitely down with killing monsters, exploring the world, and using grappling hooks and wingsuits to get around. But the base-building system has me the most interested. Building can be done in complete freeform, letting you shape and mold every last inch of your base, or you can use pre-made templates to build floors, walls, and other structures. The voxel system lets you smoosh walls, pillars, and floors together and it all winds up looking nice and seamless, and once you've built something you can alter it just about any way you want. 

That's where the system looks really flexible, and we can see windows being added to walls by simply subtracting small blocks from the surface. What's especially nice is that it looks like the building tools can tell whether you're making something like an arrow slit, or a window, or a doorway, by the way it quickly styles the opening you've just made. Windows look like windows, doorways look like doorways. It's impressive and gives me hope that my base might wind up looking nice even though I'm not much of a builder. Check out Enshrouded's building and terraforming gameplay video below to see what I'm talking about:

It's not just buildings that are made of voxels, it's everything. Want to create a tunnel through a mountainside? Grab a pickaxe and start swinging it. Want to add a basement under your castle? Carve out all that rock and dirt and start building walls, then decorate it how you like. Already I'm itching to make myself a cool castle with a dungeon beneath it, and the game isn't even out yet.

(Image credit: Keen Games)

Your base isn't just for you and your friends but also NPCs. While you're out adventuring you'll come across characters like hunters, blacksmiths, and alchemists. Once you've rescued them from the shroud you can build them rooms in your base, place items like workbenches for them, and summon them with a magic staff. They'll then live there with you, help you with crafting, and give you quests to complete.

It's all looking pretty darn good to me. If you loved building a cozy base in Valheim or Minecraft, Enshrouded is one to definitely keep an eye on. There's no specific release date yet, but here's the official site to learn more

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

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.