Enshrouded was released at the end of January, taking survival and base-building enthusiasts by surprise. Many compare it to Valheim, but the feel of exploring the lands in this title is different. It features a robust building system that takes some time to get used to, intriguing combat mechanics, and a straightforward leveling-up system that defines its experience.
Points of interest and lore are scattered across the map and marked with a red aura. Here lies the difference from other titles in the genre; the subtle lore notes, though somewhat shallow, open doors to small side quests marked on the player’s map. There’s never a sense of not knowing the next step, as each new location unlocked may reveal more information. Of course, having a friend along enhances the experience, especially since battles can get quite challenging.
The skill tree, though not overly extensive, offers interesting paths to customize the character to one’s preferred playstyle. There are two ways to earn experience points:
- Map Exploration: Expect to encounter enemies while exploring, with a percentage of experience allocated upon defeating them based on their difficulty. For instance, mini-bosses respawn and yield more experience. It’s wise to mark such points on the map to revisit them periodically. Discovering new areas and mining ore also grants experience.
- Shroud Roots: Destroying these roots is a simpler way to gain experience, but they may be located in challenging areas guarded by multiple enemies. While these roots regenerate over time, previously allocated points won’t be reapplied, preventing repeated exploitation. Nevertheless, there are plenty scattered throughout the map, so scarcity isn’t an issue.
Players can reach a maximum level of 25. In addition to the 25 experience points, points obtained from destroying Shroud Roots, indicated by purple markers on the map, can be invested in the skill tree. Each skill requires a certain number of points, which are finite, so it’s important to have a methodical approach when allocating the points. The double-jump skill is highly recommended.
Players aren’t restricted to a single class throughout the game. Additionally, the term “class” is somewhat fluid in this title. Skills can be reset at a cost of Runes, which can be found in crates, dropped by enemies, or obtained by salvaging unwanted gear. However, there are three specific combat types: Archer, Mage, or Melee.
Exploring the world of Enshrouded can be challenging. Having gear that matches the enemy’s damage or applies effective attacks is crucial. Each “class” is associated with an NPC in the base who assists in this regard. However, better equipment than craftable gear can be found throughout the map. Weapons have levels, not tied to player level, merely indicating their power level. Additionally, weapons come in various rarities, correlating with the upgrade potential using the Runes previously mentioned.
The Flame Altar serves as the heart of the player’s base and becomes crucial for character progression. Advancing in its level unlocks new craftable gear and more space for base construction. It also serves as a fast travel point, which is useful for exploration, as multiple altars can be constructed.
Without revealing the story behind this shroud affecting the game’s area, the Shroud Area acts as a toxic zone for players, featuring specific resources and enemies. Upgrading the Flame Altar provides protection against the Shroud, extending the time before its poison affects the player, and thus facilitating exploration. However, areas with red Shroud indicate the need for further upgrades to the Flame Altar.
Construction & Base
The construction system features an engaging learning curve; though initially daunting, it becomes an intriguing process with practice. Thus far, there are no enemy waves aimed at destroying the player’s base, so there’s no urgent need for an elaborate defensive system. Instead, the base serves as a pivotal point for efficiently gathering resources.