Enshrouded Early Access Review – A Beautiful, Challenging World

Looking at the sunset in Enshrouded
Image Credit: Keen Games GmbH.
Looking at the sunset in Enshrouded

Enshrouded is currently in Early Access. This is our scored review of the current playable game. If anything changes, we will update to reflect those changes. 

If you’re looking for your next challenge, Enshrouded eagerly awaits to engulf you in its fog. While this game is only in early access, it already has an immense amount of potential and has hours and hours of gameplay. Even now, at over thirty hours into the game, I’ve barely scratched the surface of what this game has to offer.

Exploration at Its Finest

Enshrouded boss fight
Image Credit: Keen Games GmbH.

The world is so vast, with various flora and fauna to collect along the way, each with a unique purpose. Enshrouded has so much to offer, even as you are on the clock, traversing through the Shroud and trying not to succumb to the fog. 

The beginning of the game can be tricky. However, playing it co-op significantly lessens the burden. That being said, playing it on your own is still plenty of fun. This game offers no hand-holding and throws you into the deep end. While you are given the basic tutorials to learn how to survive, it is up to you to do what you will with the environment you are plunged into.

And what an environment it is! The world feels endless, even in early access. There are so many nooks and crannies to be explored. The world is stunning, too! Whether playing on low or high graphics, the world is gorgeous in both. With the sunset and sunrise always worth watching in Enshrouded, there are some fantastic vantage points you can watch from. 

The Ancient Towers are phenomenal, with an actual show of architectural skill. Not only that, but the surrounding furnishings show off the glory of each building and add so much character to every room. Even if you’re exploring ruins, there is so much to discover and learn about while piecing together a huge story to go with it.

Crafting Galore

Enshrouded Ruins
Image Credit: Keen Games GmbH.

Enshrouded is the perfect marriage of Valheim-style exploration, Minecraft-level crafting, and Dark Souls-like combat. While that may sound like a lot, these features stand out the most to me and make the game worth playing. Even if you aren’t a fan of crafting, like me, it isn’t the be-all and end-all of the game.

If you like combat, there is plenty of it, including unique boss fights that will keep you on your toes. Whether you learn how to block and parry or you choose to dodge, combat has a multitude of ways to save you engaged. With multiple skill trees, you can decide whether to be an all-in tank or sit on the backlines and be a ranger. Be wary, though; you have to make your own arrows, and supplies can run thin!

This game has served as a great bonding tool for my friends and me, as well as being able to game with my partner, and both of us get to have different strengths in the game. While I’m good at combat, I leave him all of the building and housing.

Glide Into Danger

Resting at the bonfire in Enshrouded
Image Credit: Keen Games GmbH.

The more I play Enshrouded, the more unique tools I have uncovered that can help you traverse the game’s rocky landscapes. From using a pickaxe to carve out a staircase to help you climb cliffs to gliders so you can fly from the highest point in the building (Breath of the Wild style), how you traverse the world is entirely up to you.

More often than not, though, I found myself nose-diving into a deadly shroud or right off of a cliff because I ran out of stamina. Not only that, but I did find the controls of the Glider a little bit finicky, as they aren’t as precise as I’d wanted, and a slight tilt of the controls can cause a drastic nose dive straight into the ground.

The only thing I would like to see added to the game is the removal of motion blur. In terms of accessibility, I find this game to be quite accessible. Not only can you easily play it with a mouse and keyboard or controller, but there are multiple ways to disable the amount of motion in the game. For example, you can limit screen shake, reduce dynamic camera motion, and show icons for item rarity if you are colorblind. 

As someone who is disabled and gets motion sickness from head bob in games, I appreciate these features existing in the game. While they may seem small, they can be revolutionary for someone like me!

Overall, Enshrouded has treated me very well, even if it is incredibly punishing. While the game is kind enough to let you keep weaponry and food in your inventory upon death, it is not so kind to let you keep any materials you pick up along the way. 

This has led to a lot of funny frustration, including constantly having to fetch tombstones only to die in the exact same spot again. However, this doesn’t detract from my experience with Enshrouded in the slightest. This game has done nothing but impress me, and I can’t wait to sink more time into it and discover more of the vast world it has on offer. 

Looking at the sunset in Enshrouded
Enshrouded Early Access Review – A Beautiful, Challenging World
Enshrouded is a fantastic game with plenty to offer, no matter what your combat or crafting style is. If you're looking for a new co-op game, make it this one.
Expansive world
Plenty of replayability
Throws you into the deep end
Mainly aimed at co-op
No way to turn off the motion blur
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Written by Amy Eastland

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