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Serum - What We Know So Far

Indie simulator "Serum" tasks players with surviving the perils of an unknown locale. Aided by a glowing green substance, the protagonist searches for answers while combating the harsh and unforgiving environment. Though their surroundings boast many dangers, the biggest threat comes from within: a fatal virus that only the healing serum can counteract. Each dose extends the main character's life by a couple of hours, leaving them scrambling to find their next supply before time runs out.

The quest for more serum requires resources and unfolds across various biomes, each with their own creatures and other hazards. Players have a range of weapons to choose from to take on these foes. To solve the mystery at the heart of the game, they must collect tools, craft and upgrade equipment using alien technology, solve puzzles, and construct safe houses – all while monitoring their health and stamina. Using the serum also seems to have side effects, such as mutations, that players must adapt to.

Fans of survival games like "Stalker" and "The Forest" may want to consider adding "Serum" to their wishlist. Take a look at what the developers have shared about the project so far.

What is the Serum release date?

According to a press release, "Serum" will launch in the final quarter of 2023. It will be the first major title for Polish studio Game Island, with German-Austrian company Toplitz Productions slated to serve as the publisher. The partners have only confirmed that "Serum" will come to PC via Steam; however, Game Island mentioned plans to develop titles for console, indicating that the survival simulator could receive ports at a later date.

Toplitz Productions has an established portfolio that mostly centers on the "Dynasty" and "Giant" franchises. The former includes "Medieval Dynasty" and "Farmer's Dynasty," while the latter features "Traffic Giant," "Industry Giant," and others. The bulk of its lineup falls under the strategy, simulator, or survival genres. CEO Matthias Wünsche shared hopes to attract new types of players through the release of "Serum." The company has not revealed the game's price point, but its other offerings range from $20-$40.

Is there a trailer for Serum?

Game Island shared the first "Serum" trailer in April 2021, setting up the premise of the game. The protagonist wakes up in a foreign location and discovers a strange implant in their left arm. The device includes a timer that indicates how many hours, minutes, and seconds they have until the virus in their blood kills them. Injecting the serum reverses the spread of the virus through their veins and adds more time to the countdown. The character completes several other activities to stay alive, like freeing their foot from a bear trap, cauterizing a wound, and scanning for more serum vials.

A short teaser trailer that focuses more on the environment and creatures of "Serum" followed in July 2022. A dead doctor lies on the floor of a blood-soaked room, an eerie green glow emanates from tree trunks, and a safe house beckons, light spilling from its boarded-up windows. In other scenes, bugs swarm over trash and human remains, a decomposed body rests next to some paper and a serum dose, and the protagonist fights off an aggressive creature with a makeshift spear.

What is the gameplay like in Serum?

Players use a variety of tools to keep the protagonist alive and uncover the true nature of the titular serum. The Serum Scanner reveals sources of serum in the surrounding environment, including harvestable plants and potential attackers infused with the substance. With the right components, players can create more doses at the Crafting Table in a safe house. The Serum Tube allows them to take these doses on the go without worrying about any ill-timed breakage.

While investigating and scavenging, players will encounter different types of mutated flora and fauna. Toxic Fume Toads, massive Bone Crusher hogs, and deadly Mist Wolves stand between the main character and precious resources. Use ranged or melee weapons to fend them off, or lure them in with traps. In addition to fighting wild animals, players need to gather plants like the Floral Fern that can be used to create serum through the crafting process.

The developers have scattered key information across the biomes of "Serum" to point players in the right direction. Many of these take the form of written accounts or environmental clues, offering useful (if disturbing) tidbits to increase survivability or illuminate the area's history.