In a 2023 in which the video game industry has been primed with delays, the only burning nail that the fan of Xbox seems to be able to grab on to boast of exclusives is Grounded. On the other hand, a capital adventure that, due to having burned the launch cartridge with its arrival in Early Access in 2020, runs the risk of being ignored.
The survival game obsidian inspired by Honey I shrunk the children deserves, without a doubt, much better. With a huge adventure full of secrets and details waiting to be discovered, grounded rests in my head in a place at the height of Subnautica, probably my favorite game of this formidable genre.
Grounded: a game that has grown by leaps and bounds
I hope you’ll forgive me if I repeat myself excessively in some section, but I didn’t want to reread what I wrote back in the day about grounded in the same way that it did not seem fair to me to resume the game that I started then.
What’s new in Obsidian has grown enough from its early stages to merit a whole new game, and that also meant doing a clean slate to get as close as possible to the experience that players in Xbox on PC and consoles will live from the next September 27th.
Faced with the fear of repetition and the “I have already experienced this”there’s a grounded with enough changes to make you want to start from scratch. Not only are there great evolutions between the laboratories already visited, the areas already known and the recipes already elaborated, it is that at the level of rhythm and history it also smells like a new game.
It’s amazing how many surprises are waiting to be discovered in this garden, and getting lost in it has been, against all odds, one of the most stimulating experiences I’ve had this year. What awesome surprise and I can’t wait to go back to it after finishing this text, so let’s get down to business.
What hides the miniature world of Grounded
grounded He invites us to become one of the four children who mysteriously wake up in a garden where the blades of grass are as big as trees and the dust mites as dangerous as treacherous rats. Our objective, as you may have already deduced, is to discover what is hidden behind this surreal situation and return to our normal height.
It is not that the garden is huge, of course, it is that we have become tiny, so to survive in a completely hostile environment in which even ladybugs can be lethal, we must make use of the exploration to recognize the terrain and its dangers, and our ingenuity when building tools that will range from a bed to rest on to a sword made from a tiger mosquito skewer capable of stealing life from your enemies.
With a combat deep enough to include dodges, charged attacks and even parry, going from bug food to the worst terror they can face is a handful of recipes and resource gathering away.
It can be rough at first even on its lowest difficulty – although there are creative options and plenty of settings you can tweak to personalize the experience – but the sense of power the game offers when you get to the higher level weapons and armor is sensational. .
Curiosity killed the red fire ant
Far from being a game too focused on fighting bugs, a large part of the culprit in your constant evolution lies in exploration. By finding new places, visiting the hidden bases that are marked on the map -it’s easy to follow the story if you don’t feel like getting lost or stuck- and harvesting new materials that you can investigate to discover recipes, the engine that moves the game almost always comes down to the curiosity.
What will be inside that anthill? What can I build with this stone that I just mined? How can I get to that point that seems unattainable? It is the first game in months that manages to dethrone Minecraft in my living room to the cry of “dad look at that”, “go up there and see what’s up”, “how did you get that”.
It’s not just a highly palatable setting for any kid these days, it’s also one of those games that constantly reward your insatiable curiosity with more and more surprises. The best of all is that, beyond the simply decorative, there is almost always something that will come in handy to continue growing within the game.
Whether it’s new materials, a new bug to fight and tear apart, entrance to a secret lab, or a tooth to boost your stats and abilities, grounded It is one of the games that most rewards exploration and the desire to go beyond the predetermined limits.
A game with few “buts”
With a considerably long story, a multitude of missions and secondary areas that the plot can only scratch, and the always juicy possibility of enjoying it in creative mode and with three other players, grounded is one of those titles where the worst is just a little speck fogging up the screen.
Put to stay with something in that sense I cling to how the walks through its immense garden can become a nuisance until you have enough materials to turn the situation around. There are no shortcuts or fast travel, so you have to make your own with ideas like grass roads that cross the stage high above or zip lines that take you from one end of the map to the other in a matter of seconds.
It’s time to work it out, but even after a tremendous beating building you won’t save yourself from some walk that you could have saved yourself by occupying one more slot in your inventory with the right tool or material. Nothing a save from before the start of your excursion can’t fix, of course, but it wouldn’t have hurt to have a mount or a fast travel able to ease walks.
The game tries to compensate with mutations that, in the form of achievements, appear among your character’s skills upon meeting certain requirements, but running faster and getting less tired is far from the ideal solution when you have to kick the century loaded with resources that you don’t want to leave behind.
Despite being far from being one of my favorites for my 2022 pool, it would be a shame if grounded ended up falling into oblivion for not being sufficiently relevant to the current situation of the video game at the end of the year. Hopefully Xbox Game Pass gives it that well-deserved boost that obsidian update after update has been earned.
If you are looking for a game in which exploration and discovery invite you to add hours without control in search of a new place to settle or a new bug to face, grounded it will give you a lot of joy. It’s the closest you’ll get to playing a Subnautica Honey I’ve shrunk the kids, and it’s no small thing.