Tough Survival Sim Icarus Walks Back Permadeath With Mission Insurance

Dean Hall made a buzz when he announced that his studio RocketWerkz was working on a survival game called Icarus. Hall was known for creating DayZ, a multiplayer survival game that has a dedicated following, and his new creation drew an eager crowd hungry for more survival action. But fans got more than they bargained for as Icarus turned out to be a super tough offering.

Icarus has players either teamed up in co-op or going solo as an astronaut investigating a planet called Icarus – a world that was terraformed to make it more hospitable but where things have gone wrong – and attempting objectives in timed missions. A session-based survival game, Icarus demands focus and sharp skills as players scavenge resources, gathering supplies like food, water, and oxygen, and constructing shelters from the hostile environment. The survival sim prizes realism to an extent that if players don't make it back to their lander before the timer runs out, ready to be extracted, they lose their character, and skills progress made, for good.

However, RocketWerkz has announced via a Steam Community blog post that this permadeath will now be alleviated by so-called 'Insured Drops' which will mean that "any character left on surface after the time has expired will be saved and returned to the HAB". This update also sounds like it won't be the first to soften the game's unforgiving nature.

"We've been talking and working away behind the scenes on how we want to approach difficulty, particularly for new players, and you'll now see we have added 'Insurance' to a handful of early-game drops," the post reads.

Referring to the new Insured Drops feature, the post went on to say that "this adjustment is the first of many, giving us a chance for us to test out some theories and concepts we've been working on behind the scenes. Expect more significant changes on this front in future updates".

According to PC Gamer, who first spotted the community post, around 15 of the 60 or so missions available in Icarus will have the option to be insured. This means players may feel less pressure as if they don't get their character off the planet in time they now won't lose all their progress forever. Their character will be returned to the space station as if they didn't die on a hostile planet, lost to civilisation forever, which is pretty good insurance.

The new Insured Drops as well as an extra mission can be found in the latest update: Version, for which the full patch notes can be found here.

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