Let’s face it, Indie Games are pretty damn awesome. It’s true that the market has become saturated to such an extent that it has increased the difficulty level of many developers, especially the smaller ones, to show their games to the world. You just have to look at the Steam collection, even just the early access or Green Light games, to see the vast range and numbers you can get your hands on! Yet, with the ease of creation become that much more straight forward and the need for creating a game going from the dozens of people to (if you’re crazy/genius enough) going at it solo, more and more are heading from the PC to the consoles via easier porting.
Starbound has been released for a few years now, back in 2013 actually, so many may have already seen or played the game via the Steam collection already. However, this week at the EGX Rezzed event I spent a bit of my time in the relatively small XBOX room which had a few little gems hiding in there. One of those (for me at least) was Starbound.
You’ve fled your home, only to find yourself lost in space with a damaged ship. Your only option is to beam down to the planet below and gather the resources you need to repair your ship and set off to explore the vast, infinite universe…
In Starbound, you create your own story – there’s no wrong way to play! You may choose to save the universe from the forces that destroyed your home, uncovering greater galactic mysteries in the process, or you may wish to forego a heroic journey entirely in favor of colonizing uncharted planets.
Hyperlinks in the above description will show you that this is no small game! From choosing your characters race, creating your ship and discovering numerous planets the game is a true sandbox experience. If that’s not enough in terms of options to keep you busy then there’s the whole combat system which ranges from rocket launchers, magical staves, lasers and knightly swords with each class and weapon granting different abilities – get a taste of it all below.
So yes, it’s coming to Xbox later in the year but there is a little way to go. The port I played was mostly straight forward but you could tell it’s still being optimised for the controller. A cursor on screen is sort of needed when you go into inventories and menus – there’s A LOT to choose from – but the hotbar menu at the top of screen needs some tweaking and without having to bring the cursor up to select the items you want to use. But as I said, it’s an early port and I’m confident that, with the experience behind it, it will be a success when it does arrive – of which is planned later in the year. Oh, and it’s set to be multitplayer too!
The elements are there though; attention to detail is incredible, the vastness of the game seems a little daunting (in a good way), and customisation to play how you want means exactly that. Many of the indie games in the Xbox Marketplace have some of these qualities already but can be completed within a dozen or so hours. The potential for Starbound leaves much to the imagination and I’m sure this will mean replays of different classes or progressing your “main” character will lead to many, many hours venturing through the expansive space.