ID@Xbox Survival Sale TA Team Picks (September 3rd)

Tom West - September 4th 2021

The theme of the week is the ID@Xbox Survival Sale, so we put on our brave pants and stepped out into the big unknown in search of adventure. Well, not completely unknown because we've played these titles before, but you get the point. You might notice that we're missing Sean and Luke this week, but you will find, however, that the rest of us have pulled together and concocted a list that would challenge the likes of Lara Croft. Grab some rations, fashion a raft out of back hair and sea turtles, and let's find us some adventures to survive!

The game I’m most interested in from this sale is Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. Ancestors is an open-world survival game set in Neogene period Africa, around ten million years ago. You take control of a clan of apes and evolve them through the generations. Ancestors features a message from the developers telling you they won’t be helping much — and you start right at the beginning, learning the very basics as you go, such as what foods are poisonous, or how to shift a tool from one hand to the other. The game’s learning curve was initially thought to be too steep, but Panache Digital Games took all that feedback on board for the console release, which has added features such as tutorial pop-ups. It’s an interesting and highly ambitious premise for a game, and Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is one I’ve always had my eye on and wanted to try, but which I didn’t want to risk paying full price for — suffice to say that at 60% off (which also happens to be its lowest price ever) Ancestors seems like a pretty good deal.
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

Survive your evolution in Neogene Africa starting 10 million years ago. Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a third-person open world survival game where you Explore, Expand, and Evolve to advance your clan to the next generation in the exciting new adventure from the creator of Assassin’s Creed.

So, before I wholly reveal my true feelings about this game, I just want to say that Don’t Starve is actually good. It is currently priced at a paltry sum that is worth the investment if surviving, scavenging, and gothic aesthetics are your scene. I’ve also had a few friends who were obsessed with it, playing night after night and telling me that it gave them sticky thumbs and weird dreams. That was their scene, cool man. So, for that reason, I feel perfectly happy saying that while I respect this game, I never want to play Don’t Starve again. I kind of hated it and it was not my scene. That is also why you should check it out.

The premise is in the name, Don’t Starve. You get dropped into a colour pencil styled world with those hard gothic overtones, you fight creatures in a procedurally generated map, and you try and live while progressing through stages. You die, you start all over in a roguelike fashion. That rinse and repeat methodology of game design is supposed to give every death meaning, make every battle have the rush of climactic finitism. I have had that exciting pulse in other roguelikes, but not in Don’t Starve. I think this is because layered on top of the roguelike are survival mechanics that mean you are also trying to live through stomach pains and illness and cold and whatever else. Nah, bruh. I think this was a turn-off for me. It was one too many struggles in a game that makes me sad just by looking at its perfuse triangle characters and sad schoolboy drawings. I tried on my own, I tried in co-op, I tried on my PlayStation Vita. Don’t Stave was boring me to tears every time, making me want to play other games that did each gameplay mechanic justice, rather than what I perceived as a relentlessly irritating half-mashed version of two things. On top of this, if you fail my gaming sensibilities on my Vita — my beloved, beautiful Vita — there is no coming back. But, I think this hybridised style of game is, no doubt, someone’s scene, and that makes it worth picking up in the sale! So, please, let me know if this sales pick was your scene in the comments.

Don't Starve: Giant Edition

Don’t Starve: Giant Edition is an uncompromising wilderness survival game full of science and magic. You play as Wilson, an intrepid Gentleman Scientist who has been trapped by a demon and transported to a mysterious wilderness world. Wilson must learn to exploit his environment and its inhabitants if he ever hopes to escape and find his way back home.

This week’s pick is an odd one, mostly because Blair Witch falls short of being a horror title, but it does offer an interesting (enough) story and a few great atmospherically tense moments. It’s certainly not a title worth overlooking if you enjoy the darker side of games, and you get to mooch around a forest with your pet dog… so that’s a winner. The current sale is knocking 55% off the asking price and since Blair Witch recently left the Game Pass catalogue, now is the time to pick it up if it interests you even the slightest bit. The story revolves around a former police officer, Ellis, who’s searching for a missing child in the Black Hills Forest. As you explore the area with Bullet, your doggo, your sanity is put to the test as the Blair Witch plays her games with your mind. The exploration aspects of the game and its ability to ensure you get lost at certain points keeps the story’s pacing well balanced, and once this is mixed with your obviously close bond with Bullet you soon begin to foster an emotional connection to the story. The Blair Witch is a great purchase in the sale and I’d recommend giving it a go, although, only pick it up if you don’t mind multiple playthroughs because that’s the only way to truly finish this title!
Blair Witch

Inspired by the cinematic lore of Blair Witch, experience a new story-driven psychological horror game that studies your reactions to fear and stress.

Any of these titles coincide with your choices? Let us know down below!