If you are looking for a great free roam game that doesn't penalize you for not doing the story, Starbound is the game you are looking for. It is like Terraria in space that never ends. There is an infinite, or nearly infinite, universe in which to explore. In this review I will cover some of the basics, as well as a general summary of the game.
The vanilla, unmodded game has 2 different starting points after character creation. The player can choose to start by taking their character through the graduation ceremony, where the character gets their Matter Manipulator, the tool they will use to mine, create, destroy, and explore the universe. Upon graduating, the ceremony is interrupted as the world is attacked by an unknown monster. This is basically the tutorial that helps teach the player how to work the controls for the game. This part isn't necessary, but there are cosmetic bonuses for doing the tutorial, if the player knows where to look. If the player opts to skip the tutorial, they start at the next part.
Once the player escapes the planet, they start in a broken starship. Each of the seven races has a separate design for their ships. The Humans start in a ship that will eventually upgrade to look like a giant Starcraft Battlecruiser type ship. The Avians, bird people that have ancient Egyptian type decor, upgrade their ship to look like a giant pyramid. After rebooting the system on the ship, the player then beams down to the planet they are hovering above. They will then start their journey of exploring the infinite expanse of the universe.
Upon teleporting to the surface of the planet, the player will start harvesting materials, ores, and food that is necessary to survival. Each starting planet starts with some minor similarities. Upon fixing the ship the rest of the cosmos will be available for exploration, destruction, or creation.
The music is diverse. It also changes depending on the depth of the planet, as well as the type of planet the player is exploring.
The graphics are entertaining. In the age of 3 dimension gaming, Starbound is an intentional side scrolling 8-bit game. It is difficult to get everything to work perfectly at all times, but the imaging and graphics are aesthetically pleasing.
The replay value for this game is pretty high. After finishing base quests the first time on your platform it opens certain areas for that and each character after. Much of the game is a little repetitive, but for those that enjoy exploring and dungeon crawling, this game will hold a lot more replay value.
PROS / CONS
- Infinitely explorable universe
- Different unique races
- Huge variety of tools and weapons
- Scale-able weapons and armor
- Huge array of materials with which to create your own world
- Have to grind to get materials
- Joining another player loses current single player progress