Forever Skies is a first-person action survival game. Return to Earth destroyed by an ecological disaster, fly a high-tech airship, expand, rebuild and repair it. Scavenge resources to survive, face the dangers of the surface as you will hunt for viral pathogens to cure a mysterious illness.
Developer: Far From Home
Platforms: Steam, Plans for the latest consoles
Links: Website, Discord
Modes: Singleplayer, Co-op
Release Date: Early access for the first half of 2023, followed by full launch alongside the latest generation console launch.
Status: In development
● Return To Earth – Take on the role of a scientist returning to Earth devastated by a global ecological disaster. This event caused the surface of the planet to be covered in a colossal layer of toxic dust, forcing humanity to build massive towers to try to survive.
● Build & Control Your Advanced Airship – Build and customize a high-tech airship. It will be your home, workshop, laboratory. Extract and gather resources to improve it to make it fit your gaming tactics.
● Utilize Science To Survive – Analyze scanned items and reverse engineer lost technology. Research new ways of obtaining food, resources, new tools and more.
● Scavenge Ruined Skies – Explore and discover the remains of our civilization. Extract resources from the ruins that were built up high to escape the dust. Find out what happened and how we lost Earth.
● Descend Below The Dust – Discover a strange new world that changed with the absence of humanity. Hunt for viral pathogens, use them as weapons or better yourself with viral boosts.
● Fight for Your Life – Below the dust lies a totally new ecosystem so expect a fight against evolved and dangerous creatures.
Food and water management were the survival mechanics experienced firsthand in the demo. I didn't find them hard to balance, with copious amounts of water available to be snagged & purified. Food was primarily handled by "fishing" for moth-type critters from the exterior decking of your airship. We'll see how the fundamentals change throughout development.
The Far From Home team listed games that inspired them- Subnautica, Green Hell, Raft, The Long Dark, and Don't Starve. I didn't click with Subnautica, and flat-out didn't like both Raft and Don't Starve. However! I can acknowledge that they are all good games, AND I AM ALL OVER LOVE FOR GH AND TLD. I like the gameplay loop idea of dipping back and forth from your ship/base of operations- though it does feel a smidgen "seen it before" now that Icarus and their mission/landing style play-loop are on the scene.
On paper/by description, Forever Skies is more of a gritty survival/exploration version of No Man's Sky. Now that I've had my hands on the demo, I know how this all plays out in reality. As I mentioned to folks in the Hashtag Survival Discord, Forever Skies very much reminds me as if Raft, Subnautica, and No Man's Sky had a baby. A dollop of Retreat to Enen style futuristic crafting. If you've played Raft, FS has a very similar relaxed feel to it- puttering around on your SKYRAFT (fine, fine, your ship)- leaving it on cruise control as you putter around the exterior walkways, pulling up moths for dinner, pew pewing down some floating debris for materials, etc. I didn't see much 'survival' on paper beyond the easy maintenance of food & water gauges, but perhaps it's among the mechanics that will be deepened with development. The original 20-minute demo timer didn't allow for much exploration, and only specific buildings were really able to be explored & interacted with, so I can't give much lip service to that aspect either.
I'd like to see how they plan on factoring the future cooperative play aspect into the game. Adding more folks can easily trivialize content outside of scaled combat encounters. Especially in survival-esque games, where having more hands on deck can quickly push your progress past that "struggling to survive" curve and into "what is there to do." For example, if someone was fishing/water purifying the entire play session, I can see that becoming even more trivialized. Remains to be seen!
Looking forward to a shot at getting into the next demo and observing the game's further development!
- Co-op is planned for shortly after release into Steam Early Access.
- This Dev Steam Post remarked on development keeping an eye out for folks who wanted non violent/no combat survival, but this thread specifically on combat doesn’t expand on the point.
- “In Forever Skies falling ill and recovering is an integral part of the survival loop,” Blumenfeld says. “On one hand it is unavoidable, resulting with symptoms impacting breath rate, tolerance to foods or causing dehydration. But on the other hand, in some cases it is required to extract pathogens for developing, and later testing of vaccines. We wanted to show how interaction with microbes is an absolutely central part of the human body’s functioning, and how thin a line is between being healthy and sick. In Forever Skies games will have open doors to experimentation, and to deciding whether to use the modified viruses as weapons, or perhaps self-infect to boost life functions and the body’s performance.” ( Jan 2022, IGN )
- There are no plans to bring it to prior-gen consoles, not even via a port, and will instead focus on making a truly next-gen title. “The last two years of development solidified our standpoint that among consoles, next-gen is the only gen,” he continues. “We also believe that it’s high time for devs to commit [i]n the name of quality and progress.” (Jan of 2022- Speaking to IGN, Far From Home CEO Andrzej Blumenfeld)
- Back in 2020, developers' stance on combat was as follows; “..it wants to avoid a “guns solve all problems” mentality, especially because the protagonist is a scientist, not a soldier. Players will have a range of tools at their disposal to “resolve problems or confrontations along the way”. Players will need to think critically and use problem-solving to deal with issues as they arise. Far From Home makes it clear, strength and violence won’t get players far...”. ( July 2020, Powerup Gaming )
- Far From Home found inspiration from many games, including; Subnautica, Green Hell, Raft, The Long Dark and Don’t Starve. ( July 2020, Powerup Gaming )
- Like Green Hell, Far From Home credits Poland's booming game development scene as helping them meet their budget needs without compromising game quality or direction under a publisher. ( July 2020, Powerup Gaming )
- 3/9/23 Added Changelog
- 3/1/23- Updated Hashtag Review & Content tab