The survival genre is becoming a little more bloated every day, with more and more developers realizing just how much players love being forced to build and survive. The only good thing about this is that the genre is becoming more creative as more voices try to break in. Astroneer is different.[read more below]
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A Gentle Entry in the Survival Genre
The survival genre is becoming a little more bloated every day, with more and more developers realizing just how much players love being forced to build and survive. The only good thing about this is that the genre is becoming more creative as more voices try to break in. Astroneer is a different type of survival game, one based more on loops than stress, but whether that works for a given player is a tough question to answer.
Astroneer isn't a complex game in terms of its concept. You take on the role of the titular 'Astroneer,' an astronaut who explores alien planets. If you're looking for a goal, you're not going to find one here. You're playing in pure survival mode the whole time. You gather resources, build a home, and push out to explore only to find more biomes and more resources.
If any of that sounds familiar, it's because this game feels a lot like early Minecraft. Their entire idea of exploring and surviving just for their own sake isn't all that common in the genre anymore, so there's something pleasantly simple about Astroneer. There are moments when the game can feel a little too devoid of momentum for players who love a good story.
Astroneer has a very cartoon-like atmosphere, one that works exceptionally well with the game's overall feel. It's simple but pretty, which lulls you into a false sense of security when you're pushing things just a little too far. There are no stressful images here, just vast worlds ready to be explored by a bold player.
The audio's nice, by the way. It's not unique, but it is nice. It doesn't have the kind of memorable music that will stick in your head for years to come, but it does have a lovely little soundtrack that you won't want to turn off while you are playing.
Astroneer is, in a sense, all about learning how to push your boundaries. This is enforced authentically by the concept of oxygen tethers. While your character can survive on its own for a brief amount of time, accomplishing anything major will require you to be tethered to an oxygen source. As such, you're going to spend a lot of time constructing and planning out elaborate oxygen tubing networks.
Astroneer is at its best when it requires you to plan things out.
You're going to spend most of this game trying to do two things - building a nice base for yourself and figuring out how to get far away from that base. You'll continuously be in the same loop - expanding, finding something new to build, and then figuring out how to get the resources to grow again. It's a nice loop, but it can get tiring with no real goals in sight.
There's nothing particularly bad about Astroneer. It's a gentle game that's good for sitting back and relaxing, especially if you're getting tired of the somewhat violent turn that many survival games have taken in recent years. It's an ideal game for killing time, but be warned - this isn't a game for those who need a narrative push into exploration.
Astroneer is a space survival game with a big focus on base building.
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