Obsidian's backyard survival game Grounded is leaving early access this month, after over two years in Xbox Game Preview. Ahead of the title's 1.0 launch tomorrow, September 27, reviews of the final version have started to hit the web, and it's getting a very positive reception thus far!
Here's a look at some of the early reviews of Grounded 1.0:
PC Gamer (9/10)
The default settings are well-tuned, delivering a cavalcade of tense but surmountable adventures where death is a pest rather than the end. You can get your inventory back by finding your grave, though your gear will be slightly damaged. But Grounded is flexible enough to generate all sorts of survival experiences. If you'd rather build and explore without any risks, you can turn all the threats off, letting you bound around without being worried about starving or becoming spider food. Coupled with its myriad accessibility options, including an arachnophobia mode that turns spiders into amorphous blobs, this makes it a game with very few barriers and an abundance of tools.
Windows Central (9/10)
Whether you're a long-time fan of survival games or are intrigued by the rapidly expanding genre, Grounded is an excellent entry deserving of your time and attention. The 20-strong team at Obsidian Entertainment has crafted this title with care and passion. It shows as you explore the Backyard from an all-new perspective, one of an insignificant insect, lost betwixt blades of grass. The journey to go big and go home is fraught with danger and adventure, and I can't wait to start exploring again.
Although it doesn’t reinvent survival game mechanics, Grounded’s setting goes a long way towards making the familiar seem new. The world is great fun to explore. It’s easy to lose yourself for hours in the game’s satisfying loops and creative environments. The narrative does a good job of giving you direction but not a rigid path, so you’re always free to take your time and enjoy. Slightly tepid combat and a few minor technical issues aside, Grounded is one of the most engaging survival crafting games I’ve played in quite a while.
With its 1.0 release, Grounded has so much to discover, and enough of a hook to justify the dozens of hours you might invest. Whether you’re an exploration-minded player in search of landmarks and tucked-away treasures, or a castle-building fiend with a vision, you should ideally bring friends along for the ride. Still, playing alone, it was hard for me to walk away from Grounded, even in its slowest moments. I wasn’t satisfied with my end-of-game score, so I searched for secrets and kept going, boosting my grade in the process. Even now, there are still more bugs to catalog and, inevitably, squash. Nothing personal!
While Obsidian isn’t known for survival games, it ended up making a great one.
Grounded isn't the biggest game of its kind, and most of its moment-to-moment gameplay moments have been seen before in other games. Still, the fantastical setup makes for an immediately intriguing setup, and to further stylize it as a uniquely child-like adventure, polish it beyond most of its peers, and set it in a world full of familiar sights to see in startling new ways makes Grounded no small feat.
The most promising feature of Grounded is that there's always room to grow, then, but even if Obsidian decided to call it quits now, it could do so proud of what it has accomplished here. This small game with a big heart is ultimately a successful experiment, and while the tension between its two identities of role-playing and survival-crafting results in some noticeable tension points, the marriage between the two remains a happy union overall.
Wow! That's a pretty good reception so far then, with most outlets seeming happy with the state of the game at its 1.0 launch. The 2022 version currently sits at 80 for Xbox Series X on Metacritic, with more reviews expected to trickle in over the coming days.
Grounded 1.0 launches tomorrow, September 27th, and it'll be a part of Xbox Game Pass.
What do you reckon to this launch? Enough changes here to dive back in? Let us know!