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5 Best Survival Games on Xbox Game Pass (May 2024)

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Are you looking to knuckle in on all the best survival games on Xbox Game Pass this month? If so, then be sure to read on for a few quick recommendations. Here are, in our option, five of the best titles that currently make up the breadth of the library.

5. Lightyear Frontier

Lightyear Frontier Official Gameplay Reveal Trailer | gamescom 2022

Technically, Lightyear Frontier isn’t a traditional survival game, in the case that, there aren’t any human needs to address or tend to. With that said, the game does utilize a lot of the same building blocks as one, what with the bulk of the game being set around a desolate landscape that’s mostly starved of natural resources and sustainability. Plus, as there are multiple crafting options to work with, as well as tents to build, farms to fashion, and tainted lands to pulverize, it does gel surprisingly well with the original blueprint.

Lightyear Frontier invites you to explore a vast array of luscious biomes on a desolate planet that’s without any human presence. Armed with a mechanical loader and a book of designs, you must figure out how to wipe the slate clean and build from the foundations of a once-beaming world, whether it’s through the contraptions in your toolkit, or the natural fauna of the local habitat. When all’s said and done, there’s a great deal to crack on with, even though none of it is traditionally difficult.

4. Maneater

Maneater - Official Launch Trailer

Incorporating animals into a typical survival-centric recipe isn’t uncommon, that’s for sure. Having said that, we haven’t seen one that’s opted for a shark for its primary antagonist. And that’s basically what Maneater is: a survival game in which players must take control over a ravenous shark, and tweak its DNA strands in order to evolve it into something beastly—otherworldly, even. Think Plague Inc., but with fewer human diseases and bird flus, and you’ll have an idea of what it’s getting at.

Maneater blends good old-fashioned survival-based gameplay with a mixture of role-playing elements. As such, it tasks players with starting out with the basics—a shallow swamp, a few teeth, and a couple of fish—and working through the motions toward a greater purpose. It isn’t the fleshiest of survival games on the shoreline, but it is an entertaining one, nonetheless.

3. Dead Island 2

Dead Island 2 Official Gameplay Trailer

Dead Island 2 is clearly more of a first-person action-adventure game than it is a survival one, true. However, as it does include its admirable share of crafting recipes, foragable resources, and upgradable weapons and tools, it does make for a pretty convincing emulation of one. Again, it isn’t quite that, but it certainly comes close to being one of the best representations of a modern zombie-centric survival-horror — so we’ll give credit where it’s due.

Dead Island 2 transports you to the root of Hell-A—a tropical incarnation of the once-prominent city of LA. In a true zombie outbreak fashion, the world as we know it has plunged into a bottomless cycle of bloodshed and mindless cannibalism. As one of the last remaking survivors in the world, you must not only figure out how to survive the day-to-day, but also learn how to establish a foothold in the food chain as one of the bottom feeders. Easier said than done, mind you.

2. The Quarry

The Quarry | Official Announce Trailer | 2K

Supermassive Games’ The Quarry strikes hard and true with yet another installment in its choice-based survival-horror anthology. Similar to The Dark Pictures and Until Dawn, the game centers its world around a tribe of young adults—involuntary survivors who, in the wake of a deadly happening, must band together in order to survive an entire night of misfortunate and suffering. The goal of the game, again, like its predecessors, is to navigate the hours as they trickle through twilight, and make snap decisions to keep each character above water and out of harm’s way.

To put you in the picture, The Quarry follows several camp councilors in the aftermath of a near-perfect summer vacation in Hackett’s Quarry. In light of their recent adventures as campmates and advisors, they must tackle one final obstacle before heading home: the hunters, who’ve descended into the grounds to confront a viscous foe that’s marked the quarry as the staging grounds for their latest assault. The question you, the puppeteer of sorts, must answer is this: who will survive the night, and who will fall at the hand of fate?

1. We Happy Few

We Happy Few | Launch Trailer

We Happy Few is a weird one, we’ll say that much. It’s weird, mainly down to the fact that, while you do need to keep on top of certain needs, such as hunger and thirst, you also need to balance out another aspect—a drug, of all things. As it turns out, a synthetic substance known as Joy is what keeps the world of We Happy Few alive and kicking, and if you fail to take it, then you’ll ultimately wind up dipping your toes into another reality, one that paints the world in its “true” colors. Spoiler alert: the truth isn’t quite as happy as you’d expect from a drug-induced perspective. It’s a shame, then, that you need to kick it in order to make sense of the storyline.

We Happy Few boasts a selection of campaigns to work through, all of which come loaded with their own protagonists, antagonist, and maps to work with. There are plenty of quests, combat encounters, craftable materials, and of course, stealth segments. In short, it’s a survival game, clear as day — only with an aesthetic that’s slightly more twisted.

 

So, what’s your take? Will you be picking up any of the above five titles on Xbox Game Pass this month? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.

Jord is acting Team Leader at gaming.net. If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.