Here's one that I failed to post a couple weeks ago, but I've been watching it closely. Citadel: Forged with Fire. It's a construction-survival sim, and I know, construction-survival sims are hot right now. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting half a dozen of 'em. Every single one of them can thank Minecraft for their existence today. But man, the gameplay loop of collect, craft, and construct is really good. A few of us on staff have been logging in to 7 Days to Die religiously to do just that: collect, craft, and construct.
Citadel looks a little more my speed. Like a freeform Skyrim, where I can dictate the make and model of my humble abode. The topography ranges from river valleys and rolling hills to fall-to-your-death cliffs leading up to spiky mountains. Of course, your first buildings are going to look like blocky, unimaginative Frank Lloyd Wright homes, but then you level up all the things (!) and you'll be hanging bright banners from your silver-embossed cathedrals and stone-cut medieval keeps.
The combat is head-pounding, too. One of the very first spells you cast is a fireball that straight up sounds like cannon fire blasting out of your wizard staff. The creatures are dangerous, too, and I'm not entirely sure if they scale in level. I mean, it's your fault if you plunk your log cabin down in the middle of a giant's or dragon's hunting grounds, I'm sorry. They will stroll right up to your home and start wrecking shop, too.
Citadel has a very magical premise. You're not chopping down trees and axe-picking rocks: you're siphoning those resources with your wand, sucking the stone and lumber out of the forests and outcroppings around you. It's not like there's anything preventing you from becoming a magically-steroided sword-swinging sorcerer in Citadel, but most folks you see running around in the low-level game will be rocking long gray robes and Gandalf hats. The actual "flying on broomsticks" thing made my eyes roll pretty hard when I first saw it, but the idea has grown on me, and at least puts a visually unique spin on Citadel's gameplay.
My experience in the genre extends only to Conan Exiles, 7 Days to Die, and No Man's Sky. Well, not to mention Minecraft, though I certainly did mention it earlier. Knowing that, something about Citadel stands out for me, and I'll continue eyeballing this one as it pings across my radar.
Citadel: Forged with Fire opened up in Steam Early Access on July 26. And this trailer says it's "Coming Soon" to PlayStation 4. ARK: Survival Evolved could certainly use some competition on there.