Imagine: you’re alone in an inhospitable place. You need to manage your hunger, thirst, and shelter while simultaneously defending yourself from the aggressive inhabitants of the unfamiliar surroundings you find yourself in. For most, this is a nightmare, but for fans of the open-world survival genre, this is where they thrive. Games that use this formula, such as Green Hell and The Forest, are some of the most intense experiences you can have in a video game. And, despite their level of difficulty, are some of the most popular games available.
If the following games are anything to go by, the open-world survival genre will continue to dominate well into the future. Get your survival and crafting on with these Top 6 Upcoming Open-World Survival/Crafting Games for 2023.
In the not-too-distant future, most of humanity is devastated by the impact of a giant meteorite on the Earth’s surface. As if the widespread destruction caused by that impact wasn’t enough, the meteorite also brought with it a parasitic infection that continued to wipe out whoever found themselves infected by it.
As one of the only survivors who haven’t been infected yet, you will explore, survive, and craft your way to safety. This is The Parasites, a The Forest-inspired survival game that has a demo you can download from Steam.
Headlight Studio’s Rooted is a Kickstarter project that is as ambitious as any AAA survival game. In it, players will explore a large, open area in the year 2100. It has been decades since bacteria-based warfare has turned the surface of the planet into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and you are part of a small group of survivors.
In either single or multiplayer, you’ll establish settlements, explore the ruins of a fallen civilization, and craft critical items and weapons needed to stay safe in this dying world. Keep an eye out for this Unreal Engine 5-powered survival game.
Erisen Island was once an idyllic, peaceful place. But, following the outcome of a secret experiment called Project Pendulum, the inhabitants of the island have… changed. Now, the island is completely blocked off and locked down, and ominous green lights emit from the island at night.
As Detective Howard Chapman, you will sneak onto the island to try to find out what really happened there. But once you arrive, you will encounter horrors like you never could have imagined. You can try Outbreak Island by downloading Outbreak Island: Pendulum on Steam.
The previous games on this list have been pretty much set in reality. If you’re looking for something a little more fantastic and imaginative, then maybe Inflexion Games’ Nightingale will suit your needs. Become a Realmwalker and travel between incredible procedurally generated Gaslamp Fantasy worlds, crafting and surviving alone or with a group of friends.
Arm yourself to fight against the Fae creations called the Bound, monsters, and even other human players. There is no end to the things you can discover in Nightingale, so look forward to its release sometime in 2023.
Find a way to survive the great outdoors as a humanoid bug warrior in Merge Games’ SMALLAND. Fans of Grounded will feel right at home, with the perspective of a tiny creature that views our regular world as a massive, wondrous thing. The lore of SMALLAND and the story behind the humanoid protagonist will be slowly revealed to you as you complete quests, but you’ll have to deal with changing weather, food scarcity, and predators like owls in the meantime.
SMALLAND is slated to launch into Steam Early Access fairly soon, so it shouldn’t be too long before you can live out more of your Honey I Shrunk the Kids fantasies.
Denis Villeneuve’s Dune film from 2021 successfully captured the essence of the original tome while injecting it with plenty of action. Fans of the film have only had one modern Dune game to accompany it, and it is a 4X, turn-based strategy game.
For fans looking for something a little more action-oriented, you can begin looking forward to Dune: Awakening. Just announced at Gamescom with an impressive pre-rendered trailer, Dune: Awakening is a survival/crafting MMO set on the arid desert planet Arrakis.
Explore the planet with thousands of other players while contending with the many natural hazards of the planet, including the iconic sand worms. Channel your inner Timothee Chalamet and become a hero of Arrakis when Dune: Awakening is released.
Mike has been playing video games since he was able to hold a controller, having been fascinated by Sonic 2 on his mom’s Sega Genesis. That fascination and passion for the art form has grown exponentially nearly 30 years later, and he doesn’t see that fading away anytime soon.