Ultimate Guide to Enshrouded – Gameplay, Features & Release Date

Survival games have experienced a major renaissance in recent years, but most still tend to embrace bleak, hardcore sensibilities. The upcoming ARPG Enshrouded aims to provide a more optimistic and welcoming spin on the genre – one where players are encouraged to explore, build, and create rather than just survive. Here’s everything you need to know before the game drops in Early Access.

What is Enshrouded?

An enshrouded screenshot of a scene in a video game.

Enshrouded is an early access co-op survival action RPG game where players must survive a corrupting fog and reclaim the lost beauty of their kingdom. It offers expansive gameplay features, such as base building, open-world exploration, crafting, and boss battles.

Like Valheim – which its been compared to – Enshrouded arms players with weapons and magic to defend themselves against dangerous foes, including mystical beasts and supernatural enemies.

Enshrouded comes from Keen Games, the studio behind family-friendly crafting adventure Portal Knights. Staying true to form, Enshrouded brings a brighter, more ‘cartoonish’ art style to the survival genre along with a focus on wonder and creativity. The developers aim to involve the community in the development process and plan to release regular updates based on player feedback.

The game takes place in a beautiful fantasy landscape called Embervale, which is full of rolling green hills, dense forests, craggy mountains, and glittering waterscapes. Reminiscent of iconic fantasy worlds like Legend of Zelda’s Hyrule or the Overworld in World of Warcraft, Enshrouded’s setting acts as a bright, welcoming canvas for players to imprint their creations on.

Enshrouded Story – Forge Your Own Path

In Enshrouded, players awaken as one of the Flameborn – brave warriors who return to a devastated world on the brink of collapse. Society has crumbled, dangerous beasts roam the wilds, and the remnants of civilization cluster in small settlements hoping to endure.

As a Flameborn hero armed with unique skills and weapons, you have the power to fight back the darkness plaguing the land. The world lies in ruins, but through exploration, combat, and rebuilding you can uncover its lost secrets and forge a new future.

Enshrouded Gameplay – Built on Action and Creation

A village in Enshrouded

Enshrouded gameplay revolves around third-person combat against beasts and enemies using swords, bows, magic, and more. As players journey out from safe havens into the monster-filled wilderness, they’ll need to gather supplies and materials to craft weapons, armor, and structures.

The world features rich fantasy biomes to explore, mythic beasts to take down in challenging boss battles, and sprawling dungeons filled with secrets. As players grow in power, they can construct their own bases, villages, and even kingdoms – recruiting friendly NPCs to inhabit them.

Enshrouded and Voxel-Based Building

One of the most exciting features in the Enshrouded gameplay is the intricate, customizable base building enabled by the game’s voxel system. Voxels are essentially 3D pixels, and every object, terrain feature, and structure in Enshrouded is crafted from these building blocks.

Keen Games spent five years working on their proprietary voxel engine specifically to realize their vision for Enshrouded. The advanced technology provides the foundation for a dynamic living world that can grow and evolve over time.

A bridge in Enshrouded

This voxel foundation means landscapes and buildings aren’t predefined assets. Rather, players can manipulate their surroundings on a granular level, placing individual bricks to erect elaborate castles piece by piece or sculpting rolling hills and valleys with precision.

While granting this level of control, Enshrouded’s voxel tools aim to keep construction intuitive. As demonstrated in the trailer below, laying down simple structures like walls, floors, and roofs leverages gridlocked blueprints for ease of use. More daring architects can skew, extend, or stack these templates for unique effects.

Whether following step-by-step guidance or freestyling, the editing process looks smooth and unrestrained. Players can pinch, pull, paint, or chip away at voxels to constantly refine their designs without technical limitations getting in the way of creativity.

Once the foundation is laid, builders can breathe life into their projects by furnishing every meticulously crafted nook and cranny. Use storage chests to manage gear, set crafting stations like enchanting tables or cooking pots, display trophy kills or art pieces, and even invite NPCs from various factions to inhabit your world.

Enshrouded hands over the tools not just to construct buildings, but construct bustling communities within them. The freedom its voxel system provides future builders almost looks endless.

Does Enshrouded Have Multiplayer Co-op?

While Enshrouded can be enjoyed solo, Keen Games recommends playing co-op with friends online.

Banding together – and the game will allow up to 16 players co-op – allows for daring quests and builds not possible alone. Groups can construct shared fortress cities and divide up responsibilities from crafters to explorers to monster slayers.

A Friendlier Take on Survival

The grappling hook in Enshrouded

Enshrouded’s bright, vibrant world and open-ended gameplay serve a specific purpose: to make survival games more welcoming to newcomers. In a genre known for complexity and difficulty, Keen Games wanted to lower the barrier for entry for players who may feel intimidated.

While no concrete DLC or expansion plans have been revealed yet, developers have suggested the team has plenty of ideas for how Enshrouded’s fantasy realms could be expanded post-launch to continually surprise veteran players.

Enshrouded Release Date and Platforms

PC gamers can dive into Enshrouded starting January 24, 2024 through Steam Early Access. Keen Games intends to leverage player feedback to refine and expand Enshrouded throughout 2024 before launching version 1.0.

While a specific timeline has not been confirmed, Keen Games also plans to eventually bring Enshrouded to Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5. Given the studio’s close ties with Nintendo as the publishers of Portal Knights, a future Switch port also seems likely.

Enshrouded brings a welcome dose of warmth and levity to the survival genre. With an emphasis on empowering player creativity through its vibrant fantasy world, Keen Games makes a compelling case that survival games can appeal to wider audiences. We can’t wait to claim our own corner of this picturesque fantasy landscape and make our mark, block by block. For more information, visit the Enshrouded website, X or YouTube.

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Harriet Gough
Over 20 years' experience as a writer and games journalist. Avid gamer and enjoy a wide range of game genres including MMOs, FPS and RTS. My favorite games include Warframe, Skyrim, Destiny 2, CoD and Age of Empires.

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