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Icarus is the latest survival game from Dean Hall, the creator of DayZ (an early milestone in the genre). His team at Rocketwerkz is building Icarus around a series of survival sessions. The idea is to re-create the feeling of playing through the first couple of hours in Minecraft or DayZ — but then stretch that out over dozens of hours. To capture that, Icarus has players going on survival runs on a hostile planet surface and then returning to an orbital space station between those missions.

Rocketwerkz debuted Icarus at The PC Gaming Show today, and Hall explained a number of details about how it all works. The designer compared the orbital station to the player’s apartment in GTA Online. It essentially acts as your hub, where you can prepare, invite in friends, and then activate quests. Once you’re ready, you will then go on a “drop” down to the surface in an attempt to collect resources.

And just because you play as a futuristic spacemen doesn’t mean you have an endless pool of laser guns at your disposal. You need to return to the planet to get the items you need to survive. But this also means you’ll need to build simple tools and weapons to get by. This leads to incredible visuals where you may shoot a bow and arrow while wearing full space gear.

Hall claims that the session-based structure puts more emphasis on medium-term planning. You may spend an entire drop trying to build a bridge so that you can explore further on future drops. This should also increase the time scale required to get into building massive and complex buildings and items.

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Finally, Icarus is free-to-play. Rocketwerkz wants as many people playing as possible. And you’ll get a chance to do that when it launches next year.

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