Genre: Survival, Open World
Developer: System Era Softworks
Publisher: System Era Softworks
Released Date: December 16, 2016
Edited by Eden
After two years spent in Early Access, space survival sandbox Astroneer has launched into 1.0. It’s a co-op focused experience (but you can play solo if you want to), with neat interplanetary travel across a handful of handcrafted (ie, not procedurally generated) planets. There’s crafting, resource management, base building, and most importantly – planet-forming, which actually looks pretty cool.
System Era Softworks’s survival sandbox stands out from its often-bloody peers by being non-violent, cooperative and scientifically minded. Players aren’t pioneers sent to tame foreign lands, but explorers, discovering new alien flora, fauna, and environments. The launch has been accompanied by the game’s biggest update yet, overhauling the entire seven-world solar system, adding a new tutorial and UI to help ease players into their spacesuits.
Astroneer begins with players landing their ship on a strange planet. When you emerge from your pod, you’ll find a small care package to get you started. After opening it, the next step is generally to use the deformation tool to gather a resource called Compound. Compound is used to craft Tethers, and Tethers can be used to connect players to their base’s oxygen supply. These form the lifeline that makes all other exploration and resource gathering possible. As your line of Tethers grows, your capabilities to go further and gather rarer resources, enabling more complex crafting options, eventually leading to the ability to leave a planet to explore one of the six others.
Astroneer is a very relaxing game but it is not without a grind for resources as finding them is totally random. It is also not uncommon to find yourself so close to crafting your next shuttle or rover, only to find yourself digging for resources to finish it off. One reason why this game shines as a co-op experience other than the social benefit of playing games with friends is splitting the grind between a few different people.
The graphics are stunning with very vibrant colors. The game manages to walk a fine line between being overbearing and chill, allowing players to spend most of their time on having fun and no time really on worrying about status bars and health bars. You do have to worry about oxygen though. The sound is really soothing and enjoyable although listening to the ground being removed can be kind of annoying.
- Single and multiplayer
- Beautiful but simple graphics
- Awesome emotes your space explorer can do
- No creatures or PvP
- Too much grinding to find resources
- Noises from removing the ground are irritating
TwiztedOutlaw gives Astroneer a Drastik Measure 8 out of 10 (80)
The game is regularly priced at $29.99 on Steam and sometimes goes on sale for as little as $23.99. I found that it is well worth the money if you like cooperative survival sandbox exploration games. I would love to see some alien creatures eventually make it onto the game so we had more than just environmental hazards to worry about. Thanks for taking the time to read this and see you on the next planet!