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Grounded - Honey, Obsidian shrunk the kids!


Captain Kelsten
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This came out as an early access preview yesterday, the first game since Microsoft and Obsidian's partnership. 

 

It sees you playing as a young kid who has been shrunk and dropped in the back garden, tasking you with exploring to uncover the mystery of what happened. 

 

Whilst the game is presented with a Pixar-esque style it's actually quite dark: you can and will die. Might be of starvation, might be of thirst, might be because of a massive wolf spider mauled you. 

 

To help you, you have to craft weapons, tools, armour and shelter, find food and water to protect yourself from the various bugs and beasties lurking in the grass. 

 

 

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For those of you afraid of spiders, the game has an arachnophobia setting in the accessibility menu - the higher you tweak it, the less the spiders look like spiders, eventually ending up as just floating blobs. 

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It’s also by a core team of about twenty, all juggling multiple roles, rather than a team of thousands.

 

had a bit of a go last night - definitely survivally, with what seems to be a big tech tree and menus at the moment designed for function rather than out and out prettiness. Quick though - select recipe, and if you’ve got the stuff click and the new item has been built: no tedious drag and drop rubbish.

 

should probably try playing a bit more to do some construction and actually make progress on the story (which is only 20% complete in early access?) 

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I finished the story. Took all of twenty minutes because as you say, it isn't finished. I hope what was there wasn't 20% or we're in for a very, very short story. 

 

Was OK, overall. I managed to put up with the crafting, which as you say is very easy and pain-free. Exploring was fun, seeing things like baseballs and juice cartons all massive. The sense of scale is good, although a little wonky: you're a bit bigger than the children in Honey I shrunk the kids, who were small enough to ride an ant like an elephant, whereas in this ants are the size of large dogs, but other things then don't match that scale so everything is a little off. 

 

Spiders are wankers, though. 

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1 minute ago, Isaac said:

Survival games aren't really about story, are they?

 

Looking forward to getting on this later.

 

The game drops you in straight away with no explanation of how or why you've been shrunk, then asks you to go figure it out via a series of simple quests, so there is a story they want to tell. It's just not all implemented yet. 

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What's included so far is slick, easy to access and a lot of fun. But there isn't a lot of story yet, and not a lot of threat, that I have seen so far. Some of the AI is bugged too, especially the spiders:

 

Spoiler

 I happened across a fight between an orb weaver and an ant, which the ant lost. I stood at safe distance and arrowed the spider to death while it stood there over the ant's body, motionless. Once I'd killed it I walked over, it to the middle of a pack of ants and recovered the remains of both and my arrows.

 

The base building is as slick as I have ever played in a game of this type. You place blueprints and then can add the ingredients as you get them. If you have the ingredients in your inventory, you just need to hold a button looking at the object, to build it. You don't need to add all the ingredients at once.

 

Base spoiler:

Spoiler

I have survived one attack on my base, by a group of ants. Again, it seem slightly bugged as my base is built with a downstairs door and small hallway before stairs leading to a floating main area. Most of the ants just stood under the floating part, looking confused. Some did attack the door and corridor walls.

 

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I came across two wolf Spiders in a cave under a tree. They were facing away from me. As I got nearer, it got darker and darker so I lit my torch. They didn't react so I got closer. Nothing. They'd twitch occasionally (because spiders are streamers on the Web HAR HAR HAR), so I edged around in front of them. Nothing. Figuring they were bugged (HAR HAR HAR) so I turned to leave and then BAM! They pounced with a roar (scaring the bejesus out of my seven year old) and killed me in about three hits. My spear hardly tickled them. 

 

YOU DIED. Pete was mauled by a wolf spider. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, BeeJay said:

It looks beautiful for me, even on medium settings. I was getting strange stutters on high detail even though my PC should be fine at high. So it should run amazing on series x.

 

Runs well and looks great on One X, too. It's got a really nice chunky, cartoon tone to it. 

 

Was disappointed you couldn't create your own character - hopefully something they'll add for the proper release. 

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Just now, Boothjan said:

I thought the full game was released yesterday - I hadn't realised it was an early version of it.

 

Still - looking forward to giving it a go after I've finished work later, it looks like great fun.

 

Yeah they really didn't make that clear in the lead up. It was only once going into the shop to get the game and I read the small print that I saw it. 

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I think the missconception was in the naming that they use. Microsoft use 'game preview' instead of 'early access'. Either way, this is far more complete and functional than most early access launch games, but it is still massively lacking in content compared to where I expect that it will end up.

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Glad to see that it has done well, they deserve it. It is incredibly well made for an early access game. I've almost come to the end of my time with it. I get the feeling that I've seen around 90% of the currently available content and beaten 95&+ of the enemies so I'll probably leave it there for a couple of patches. I think they plan to do a content patch per month.

 

My progress spoilers:

 

Spoiler

I've defeated a number of wolf spiders now. I wouldn't say that they are now easy, but fairly ok to take out as long as they are alone. I've read that there is a broodmother up on the frisbee, which I haven't been to. I did spend some time looking for ant eggs but couldn't find them in any of the nests that I could find. One of the quests is 'kill 5 mosquitos' but I haven't seen them either. I have 2 pieces of bee armour but haven't seen any bees or honey (which I believe is in the game somewhere).

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
50 minutes ago, Wahwah* said:

Is there any indication of when this might end up getting an actual release? I really liked playing it when it came out but I want to wait until it's more complete because I liked it so much and would like to see it at it's best. 

 

It'll likely be the same model as sea of thieves, so constantly updated and content added but never a formal move out of 'preview' for a long time, if ever.

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47 minutes ago, BeeJay said:

 

It'll likely be the same model as sea of thieves, so constantly updated and content added but never a formal move out of 'preview' for a long time, if ever.

 

 

Maybe I should just play it. Astroneer (which I recommend) is one of the few games I've played in Preview, that I played post launch. I think that was over a year from being in Preview and then getting a change of status.  I wondered if it would be like that, rather than a full on GAAS model. 

 

Cheers! 

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8 hours ago, Wahwah* said:

 

 

Maybe I should just play it. Astroneer (which I recommend) is one of the few games I've played in Preview, that I played post launch. I think that was over a year from being in Preview and then getting a change of status.  I wondered if it would be like that, rather than a full on GAAS model. 

 

Cheers! 

Grounded is a very good game right now. My approach with this will be to go back to it every 2 or 3 updates and re-start, so that enough new content makes it feel like enough of a different game each time.

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