Astroneer, a game I’ve been looking forward to, just entered Early Access. Yeah, I know, EA is a dirty word, but I still wanted to put up a topic for it because it looks awesome: at the risk of beating a dead horse, Astroneer looks like it achieves a lot of the goals No Man’s Sky was aiming for. In case you aren’t familiar with Astroneer, it appears to be a game set in space where your goal (maybe just the first goal?) is to escape the planet on which you’re marooned. Oh and you get a big ol’ digger/builder tool which lets you deform the planet. So maybe that’s a bit of Minecraft thrown in?
Here it is on Steam:
A lot of streams have hit YouTube recently; I’ve tried to keep away from them to avoid any potential spoilers (tell the truth, I don’t know if there is any kind of plot or if it’s simply a survival game. But I do know that a lot of the fun of games like this is the type of serendipitous discovery you have, which I don’t want to spoil… too much).
I did watch a couple minutes of Scott Manley playing. Here’s his stream. He’s played a bit in an earlier session, so it shows come construction already there instead of him bootstrapping himself from the very start. I watched about 10 minutes and it looked awesome.
From what he was building, it looked like there was a decent number of building components, which I assume you assemble to make buildings. There’s also a research function, where he found unknown items while out exploring, and had to haul them back to the base and put them in the “research building” to discover their functions. Once he did that he could construct them.
The building reminded me of Subnautica, to be honest (actually, come to think of it, a lot of this game reminds me of Subnautica). Anyway, Scott Manley’s stream:
One cool feature is actual multiplayer - the launch videos on Steam show a multiple people coordinating on a base. And look - multiple people in a screen shot! What a crazy idea.
Here’s another shot. The green circle in the shot below is the footprint of the digging tool. From what I’ve seen, once you have the digging tool, you don’t need fuel to dig (it doesn’t appear you do - I could be wrong).
Another interesting feature shown in the above shot is how the base works - when you’re close to the base (like the guy just above the green circle), you get life support from the base - that’s the white line connecting the guy to the building. So you don’t need to worry about oxygen or whatever. But if you move too far away, the white line breaks and you’re running off life support. I did notice that the planet Scott Manley was on had areas in the world where there were blue “crystals” embedded in the ground/walls. When he dug those areas out the blue crystals were sucked into his character and replentished his oxygen tanks.
I really like the aesthetic of the game - the characters almost remind me of Playmobil toys, with their blobby, rounded shapes. But it works in the game - everything feels stylistically united. And though it might look like “Babby’s First Space Survival Game” it doesn’t seem to be that way from what I’ve seen of the game.
I love how the backpack shows up as an item on your back with 6 or 8 slots in it, and to put stuff in your backpack, you attach the item to one of the empty slots… and then it shows up on your character in-game. That’s way cool!
See the inventory slots below? And how the player is moving stuff onto the backpack. And you can see, without opening your inventory, how many free slots you have, and (sort of) what you’re carrying… what a great idea.
Anyway, so the game is out… EA out that is. Overall reviews appear positive, with most of the negatives being performance related. I have high hopes for this one.