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There are a number of different changes being made to the core concept of Don't Starve: Shipwrecked. The developers, Capybara Games and Klei Entertainment, have implemented some serious challenges to the title that has fans completely re-learning how to play.
PC Gamer did a very thorough write-up on the Early Access version of Don't Starve: Shipwrecked, which is kind of a pseudo-sequel to Don't Starve and Don't Starve Together.
The write-up explains how the new content really forces players to take on a different approach to how they play. In the original release of Klei's Don't Starve, you could easily make a few crafting tools, build a small fort and find a decent source of food to hold out and prevent yourself from starving. Like many other emergent survival games, Don't Starve had a safety net once you reached a certain point in the discovery phase. It used to be like that with DayZ until they added in all those ways to get diseases and infections, which forced veterans to have to stay on the lookout for new supplies and a constant supply of clean water and fresh medicine.
With Don't Starve: Shipwrecked, it's no longer like the other survival games where you get the basic supplies and then find yourself invincible for a time, like in Subnautica or Rust. Some of the supplies needed to survive requires players to venture off whatever safe haven they've created for themselves on a small isle. This means building a raft to travel to different isles to find fresh supplies, and having to think ahead about the kind of equipment needed to fend off dangerous creatures and keep oneself safe while venturing the high seas.
And speaking of the high seas... there are water monsters in the game. In the PC Gamer preview, they only mention encountering one of the sea creatures and being able to get away without much trouble, but the screenshots for the newest iteration of Don't Starve seem to point to the game having far more dangers out at sea than just getting into some harmless wallop in the water.
They also discuss some of the new items, crafting material and biomes that the developers have added to the title. Very much like Starbound or Terraria, players will encounter deserts and tropical jungle areas. Part of the whole desert experience involves attempting to stay cool and avoiding dehydration. The whole shtick with the jungle centers on keeping oneself supplied with plenty of antidotes to avoid becoming poisoned. The article mentions that the only way to stop poison is to kill and gather materials from the poisonous creature that bit you. This has created a bit of a scuffle in the community when discussing this aspect of the game given that it's a roll of the dice to fight something that could infect you with a deadly poison, only so you can get a cure to prevent yourself from being poisoned.
Anyway, the game has been receiving a lot of generally positive reviews in its Early Access incarnation. The original releases of Don't Starve and Don't Starve Together have a very healthy modding community, so it will be interesting to see if Don't Starve: Shipwrecked will be able to capture the same audience when it finally releases. You can learn more about the game and its run in Early Access by visiting the Steam store page.