Survival games often throw players into intense, hostile, open-world environments where they must find ways to meet their needs and look for a way out — if there are any left. The last decade brought us some excellent survival games such as The Forest and Subnautica, and 2021 looks ready to launch us into another decade of similar gems. Here are the biggest upcoming new survival games of 2021 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, and Switch.
Bear in mind, though, that we are only highlighting new survival games, so we aren’t selecting games that are already out in Early Access. But here’s a quickfire round of those games we hope to see hit 1.0 sometime over the course of 2021:
SCUM is overdue a full release following a 2018 launch, Raft has been out as sea for just as long, Subnautica: Below Zero will hope to surface sometime over the next year, 7 Days To Die has had seven years for development at this point, and Project Zomboid has been in development for slightly longer. To put how long those two games have been in early access for into perspective, they’re both older or as old as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Yikes.
New Survival Games 2021 Release Dates
Survival: Lost Way
PC, PS4, Xbox On
The Eternal Cylinder
PC, PS4, Xbox One
PC, PS4, Xbox One
AWAY: The Survival Series
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S
Tribes of Midgard
PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One
Sons of the Forest
PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Occupy Mars: The Game
PC, PS4, Switch
State of Decay 3
PC, Xbox Series X | S
The Biggest New Survival Games of 2021
Survival: Lost Way | TBC 2021
Developer: SimplePlan Games Publisher: SimplePlan Games Platform: PC
Twenty years after the outbreak of a pandemic, there are almost no people left on Earth. In the post-apocalyptic world of Survival: Lost Way, you must find ways to fend for yourself — build a house, gather food, find resources — while also staying safe from dangerous animals and enemies.
The trailer gives a glimpse of other human beings, but only to have the main character attack them. Perhaps you are the only one left uninfected? The game will be available in Early Access in January 2021.
Lost Way looks like it’s pretty low budget and rough, but maybe give it a chance.
Icarus | TBC 2021
Developer: RocketWerkz Publisher: RocketWerkz Platform: PC
If instead of being a lone wolf, you are looking for some multiplayer co-operative action, then Icarus is the right game for you. Developed by the creators of DayZ, this game flies you far away from Earth — quite like the Greek character of the title — to distant alien planets.
These planets are rich with resources for you to exploit, but they also have harsh environments and dangerous wildlife. Keep up your oxygen supply, collect meta-resources to build shelters, and craft advanced technology to take on more ambitious projects.
Icarus has everything it takes to potentially be a sleeper hit for 2021, so don’t sleep on it. Though you might be right to be skeptical with how long DayZ kicked around for…
Odludzie | TBC 2021
Developer: VeCube Studio Publisher: VeCube Studio Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Unlike the supernatural worlds of most survival games, Odludzie (“Backwoods”) features a realistic setting in which you are thrown into the middle of Bieszczady Mountains after your plane crashes. You must build primitive tools, construct shelters, and eat berries, as you try to get back to civilization.
Created by the debuting Polish VeCube Studio, this first-person survival game uses Unreal Engine 4 to produce stunning visuals and forces you to fight your way through the wilderness of Podkarpacie.
There’s zero gimmicks with this game, which means no zombie or anything like that. If you liked The Long Dark but grew sick of the snow, this might be one to look out for.
Undying | TBC 2021
Developer: Vanimals Publisher: Skystone Games Inc., Vanimals Platform: PC
Undying has got to be one of the most unique survival games of all time. You are no longer just running away from infected zombies, but you are also slowly becoming one.
After being infected by a zombie bite, Anling must help her son, Cody, by teaching him valuable lessons on how to survive in this post-apocalyptic world by finding shelter, cooking food, and fighting zombies. Cody learns from the actions of his mother, who only has limited time before the transformation becomes complete.
For those who fell in love with Telltale’s The Walking Dead, Undying is coming for your feelings sometime in 2021.
The Eternal Cylinder | TBC 2021
Developer: ACE Team Publisher: Good Shepherd Entertainment Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
“Somewhere out amongst the stars” on a strange alien planet, a humongous rolling structure called the Eternal Cylinder crushes everything that comes in its path. On this planet, you take control of little creatures called Trebhums, and you can group them together as you explore this surreal environment.
Trebhums will learn, mutate, and evolve as you progress, unlocking abilities such as flying and swimming amongst others. The game has story-driven exploration and features 4 unique biodomes for players to discover.
If you ever played Spore and thought, man, this just isn’t weird enough for me, The Eternal Cylinder is likely to go down as one of 2021’s wackiest games.
Scavengers | TBC 2021
Publisher: Midwinter Entertainment Developers: Midwinter Entertainment, Improbable Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Scavengers is a strategic survival battleground that mixes sandbox-style PVE and class-based PvP that’s debuting sometime over the course of 2021.
An asteroid shatters the moon, freezes the Earth, and brings a virus that creates havoc on the planet. Humans now live on the off-planet Sanctuary and are looking for a cure for the virus. Mother, the Sanctuary’s AI protector, “watches over” those who remain, and they must do as she tells them: return to the wasteland, face blistering ice storms, fight with and against each other.
Post-apocalyptic worlds may seem scary, but our world is no less dangerous for the creatures in the wild: “every living being is locked in a deadly competition” as the trailer says. In AWAY, you dive deep into the world of animals and take control of a sugar glider.
As this little creature, you must explore the world, defend yourself from predators, make use of opportunities (such as riding on bigger creatures’ backs as the trailer shows), and doing whatever it takes to survive.
Away looks like one of the ambitious games we’ve seen from a small studio in some time, and will probably be especially interesting to you if you dabble in psychedelic drugs.
The Riftbreaker | TBC 2021
Developer: EXOR Studios Publisher: EXOR Studios, Surefire Games Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S
The Riftbreaker is a base-building survival game from EXOR Studios. On an alien planet called Galatea 37, you play as Ashley S. Nowak, the riftbreaker—an elite commando inside a powerful mecha suit that is capable of dimensional rift travel.
Your task is to colonize this planet by building up a base that can allow travel back to Earth. You must extract resources, research new inventions, and combat extraterrestrial creatures as you defend your base and try to survive.
The game’s developers don’t exactly have the best track record in terms of previous games, so here’s hoping The Riftbreaker is the one that gets it right.
Tribes of Midgard | TBC 2021
Developers: Norsfell, Norsfell Games Inc. Publishers: Gearbox Publishing, Norsfell Games Inc. Platforms: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One
In Tribes of Midgard, you play as a Viking who must defend their village against enemy forces during Ragnarok, the end of the world. Your village houses the Seed of Yggdrasil, which is necessary for your survival and also the key to everlasting life.
You must construct ramps for expansion, set up defences, and craft potions to survive in the land of Midgard. Go solo or form a tribe with up to 10 people, as you try to defend your village against the creatures from hell, and, later, giants.
We love the art style that we’ve seen from Midgard and it’s always nice to play something a little different, so count us in for this one.
Sons of the Forest | TBC 2021
Developers: Endnight Games Publishers: Endnight Games Platforms: PC
After the massive success of The Forest, Endnight Games has returned with a promising sequel in Sons of the Forest. A brief gameplay trailer was released in December last year, and fans are guessing that the protagonist is Timmy, the son of Eric, who was the protagonist in the original game.
Like last time, a plane crash lands our character in the middle of a forest that is inhabited by woodland creatures and a tribe of cannibalistic mutants. But these mutants are conscious, often observing us or trying to communicate.
Sons of the Forest will hopefully continue the survival excellence sometime in 2021, and we cannot wait for more updates from the developers. If you’ve been on this website before, you know that we kinda have a bit of a kink for The Forest.
While most survival games have humans facing the harshness of nature, Endling tells the other side of the story: humans have destroyed the environment and made the existence of every creature miserable.
You play as the last mother fox, who must keep her cubs safe and try to find a place where they can live without human interference. A dev commentary video has exhibited Endling’s beautiful visuals and also gave a glimpse into the emotional storyline of the game.
After their appearance in Ghost of Tsushima, can we all agree that foxes are seriously underrated animals and should be in all games going forward? Yes? Good.
Occupy Mars: The Game | TBA
Developer: Pyramid Games Publishers: Pyramid Games, PlayWay Platform: PC
Occupy Mars is a sandbox game about Mars colonization. You must explore the planet, conduct mining operations, grow crops, expand your base, and everything else that is necessary to survive on Mars.
The cinematic trailer features the protagonist with a robot dog-assistant and ends with them looking at a descending spacecraft, perhaps hinting at companions. The game’s release date has not yet been announced but it will first launch as part of Steam Early Access.
Occupy Mars has been in development for years and years at this point, so here’s hoping 2021 is the year we can finally grow potatoes out of our own poop. That’s how it works, right?
Trash Sailors | TBA
Developer: fluckyMachine Publisher: TinyBuild Games Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch
Trash Sailors is a sailing simulator that allows co-up up to 4 players. But while most simulators aim for realism, this game features hand-drawn graphics and a world full of trash: flooded by “trash tsunami”, where you fight for the “last piece of trash”, and “trash your friendship”.
The gameplay shows how players must keep their ships in order, fight adversaries flying on air balloons, fish out floating resources, all while surviving the tides of dangerous seas. Hopefully this one is anything but trash.
State of Decay 3 | TBA
Developer: Undead Labs Publisher: Xbox Game Studios Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X | S
A mix of shooters, RPGs, and strategy games, State of Decay 3 does not have a gameplay trailer yet, but it was announced back in June 2020. It shows a female survivor on a snowy tundra as she looks through her scope, first at a wolf and then sees it being devoured by an infected deer.
There aren’t many details yet, not even a release date, but we can expect that the game, like its predecessors, will test players’ leadership skills as they manage diminishing resources, group trust, and attacking zombies (as well as other infected beings).
Going Medieval | TBA
Developers: Foxy Voxel, Gramophone Games Publishers: The Irregular Corporation, Gramophone Games Platforms: PC
Going Medieval is a colony building sim set during the Medieval age, in which a rampant plague has killed 95% of the population. In this “classless, borderless, and lawless post-calamity age”, you must defend your colony from the harshness of nature and the ravages of barbarians.
Players will get to expand their small huts into a sprawling settlement with multi-story forts and underground caverns. You must also satisfy the wants of your villagers, as their emotional states affect your settlement.
Inspired by RimWorld, Going Medieval may be just about the most ambitious game on this list, which means that it probably won’t launch in 2021. Well, back to Rimworld I go for now and–oh no there goes my adult life. Ah.
Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.
Gamezeen is a Zeen theme demo site. Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.