Grounded : First Impressions

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Grounded – the single/multiplayer survival game from Obsidian Games, came available on Xbox and PC on Tuesday, thanks to a pre-release of the game. We talked about this title last week, as it was presented as part of the Xbox Game Showcase 2020, and are getting a much more in-depth look at the game this week and give you Ground : First Impressions!

I downloaded the game Monday night for my Xbox and PC so that I could give it a try out today and be able to give you some first impressions of the title.

When I first saw Grounded, the first thought that comes to mind is Honey, I Shrunk the Kids – the approaching classic movie about a scientist who is attempting to invent a shrink-ray machine and, through a series of random, unfortunate events, the machine accidentally shrinks his and a friends children – meets your typical hunt/quest/craft survival game.

So here is my first impressions of Grounded!

First off, I am playing the title on Game Pass for PC (Beta). I downloaded it for both my Xbox and PC, as I mentioned before. However my PC is far superior to the technical specs on my Xbox One, so I took advantage of that. However, I did play with my Xbox controller, so it still had the feel of playing on the Xbox.

Grounded – Main Menu

On my first attempt to start a new game, Grounded totally crashed my computer. It wasn’t a good start. I went through the setup screens to start a new single player game and, when I hit the start button… All three of my monitors went black. Alas though, it was an aberration. I had no such problem again, and haven’t since starting up the game now about a half-dozen times.

In Grounded, the player picks from one of the four provided avatars, Max, Willow, Pete, or Hoops, as well as selecting a difficulty mode, and upon starting is dropped in a backyard jungle.

Grounded Character Selection

The tutorial process is built right into the beginning of the game, with the game prompting the user to learn immediately the controls to collect materials, run, crouch and jump. Also provided immediately is feedback and direction in the form of very basic quests.

In Grounded, as survival is the name of the game, the tutorial process also instructs the user on the basics of required survival skills such as searching for food and water and building basic tools (an axe and torch), weapons (initially, a spear), and shelter (a lean-to for the first night’s sleep.) the controls are quite simple to learn, and I found myself running around, collecting materials and easily figuring out the crafting system.

I also quickly learned that Pete, my character of choice, does not have a great deal of health, and death is quick to come. I started off with attacking some small bugs as part of one of the few missions in this pre-release video, wherein I had to figure out what was causing one of three lasers in an unknown piece of electronic equipment to malfunction. The cause – bugs chewing on a wire. The solution – kill the bugs.

These bugs were not so hard to deal with. When I got too big for my britches, and decided to attack some other bugs that were hanging around in the backyard (like an ant, that was, in reality, probably double my size), it ended quickly, with me respawning.

Having now lost all my gear (I had to go recover the backpack left in the last location of my corpse) I decided that, just maybe, I would leave the local wildlife alone. The only problem, is even when you leave the local insect population at peace, many members of this local insect population saw me as a tasty treat. Spiders, lady bugs, and ants regularly chased me around, and death found me at least a couple more times.

The pre-release game took me trough a handful of quests, which culminated in leading me to meet BURG.L (the Burger Lad Mark IV), situated underground laboratory of Dr. Tully. BURG.L is a robot that was created to make burgers. However, BURG.L has been repurposed to do science. The doctor has gone missing, and BURG.L conveys his concern over this. From here, some daily missions can be completed, and further exploration undertaken, along with the task of building a more permanent base of operations out in the wild of the the back yard.

I found my first hour of gameplay to be entertaining, with gameplay easy to pick up. The quests kept me engaged and kept the game moving along. I think that, in the longer run, there is a lot of potential to play through many interesting quests and storylines, and am hooked to want to meet the games other characters.

As with any survival game, the true test will come with several hours (or tens of hours) completed in the game, and whether the crafting and gathering for the purpose of survival become a grind, the way so many similar survival titles can. I enjoy a good survival game, but when that game becomes a war of attrition, where I spend more time just trying to find food and water to barely sustain myself day-to-day, and where it feels like there is never an end-game, that tends to be a turn-off for me.

I am looking forward to jumping into the full release version of Grounded soon. In the meantime, you can download buy it in its pre-release form and have access to the full version on day one. It is available for $29.99 from the Microsoft Store and in Steam Early Access. If you are a Game Pass subscriber, as this is an Xbox Game Studios production, it is included free with your membership, and is available for both Xbox and PC.

Keep connected to us here and comment below if you’ve gotten a chance to place Grounded!

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