Video preview Grounded: a miniature survival game
Grounded is the very first game presented from the Obsidian studio under the direction of Microsoft, after its acquisition in 2018. During the Steam summer festival, a playable demo allowed us to start in this survival type game which should make those who grew up in the 90s smile. Indeed, our young heroes do not exceed the size of an ant. The garden then becomes a forest, with its share of surprises, good or bad.
The choice of avatar, among the four proposed children, seems for the moment purely aesthetic. These characters do not benefit from particular skills or talents. Once selected, you land directly at the base of plants and other soda cans, in the simplest of devices.
The goal, you can imagine, is to survive in a fairly dense environment, often generous, but sometimes hostile. From what we have seen Grounded ticks all the boxes of the genre: exploration, resource harvesting, manufacturing and improvement of tools and equipment, rudimentary construction of a shelter, water and food management… Everything there is. It is even possible to play up to four players to help each other.
Visually, the cartoon style has its small effect. The colors are shimmering and the animations of the different elements and small inhabitants rather well done. Walking around the different environments is pleasant, which makes you want to explore the whole map. The latter is finally quite large, but quickly, we manage to identify which areas are to visit or avoid.
Some of the insects are not dangerous like ants for example. Unless you decide to attack them. There, they respond quickly and in groups. It is better to show white leg for a start of the game. Other animals are aggressive like the spider which has its own territory after the sun has set. Arachnophobes, you have been warned.
There is a lot of interaction with the environment. Almost everything can be used, picked up and sometimes killed, to be scanned and thus reveal DIY recipes and plans. Interaction is at the heart of this game. As the demo does not exceed 30 minutes, we remain hungry. Because everything we have seen takes up the basics of survival games, no more no less. So it’s hard to fully grasp the full potential of the game. But if there is no more originality than that on the gameplay side, we risk quickly getting bored. This is a demo time, but we were able to spot some display bugs. Nothing really embarrassing for the part in itself fortunately. But they do exist.
The game will arrive in the Xbox Game Pass on July 28, 2020 in Xbox Game Preview. In the meantime, the demo is available on Steam and on Xbox One thanks to the Xbox Insider Program. Each new game cannot exceed 30 minutes. Which is short for a first informed opinion. To be continued!