One to watch: Astroneer

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Like so many kids in the 80s, just as the afterglow of the massive leaps of the space race had just about dimmed (much like my glow in the dark stick stars stuck on my bedroom ceiling) to nothing, I wished that one day I would be able to travel to space and visit all the amazing places that were talked about be astronomers. Alas, like many mid-30s adults now, the realisation that I’ll probably never leave this planet struck me like the pain of stepping on a rogue piece of LEGO nestled in the carpet. It’s a good thing that we have video games to give us the chance to fulfil our dreams of braving and exploring alien worlds! With a huge game like No Man’s Sky just around the corner, the boundaries of what can be achieved are further pushed away, but what if we wanted something a bit more humble? Something more ‘man versus nature’? This might just be the answer.

Seattle-based developers System Era’s recently announced game Astroneer lets you harness your inner space explorer by combining elements of environment building games like the ubiquitous Minecraft along with more science and engineering type of games like Kerbal Space Program and the completely hilarious Besiege. You’ll spend your time exploring hostile planetary landscapes, reshaping the land to suit your needs and building all the equipment and transport you’ll need to survive.

As an Astroneer, you must find a way to dig out a life on one of a multitude of harsh new worlds. Blast through the terrain to uncover precious artifacts and materials you can use to fuel your quest to become a wealthy baron in the stars. Along the way, discover oddities, raise questions, and uncover mysteries.

My take

The game engine looks pretty impressive, and the video strongly suggests there will be some adventuring to uncover mysteries along your journey. It’s got that striking pseudo-cel-shaded cartoon style to it that should allow for plenty of artistic license in the contraptions your build and the hazards you meet on the planet surface. Think Team Fortress 2 meets a Pixar movie and you’ll have a decent idea. It also looks like this will have an element of Journey’s anonymous multiplayer experience, where you’ll meet other players to either help each other, or just pass through, never knowing who they are. It would be really cool to have the option to remain completely anonymous or build up your base with a team of players that have joined together to even the odds.

Your take

How do you like the look of Astroneer? Let us know in the comments!

Visit the Astroneer website to find out more and stay up to date with the game!

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About Dan Morse

From the Atari 2600 right through to bleeding fast PCs, Dan's played on them all. One thing that's never changed is an unwavering passion for video games. Twitter: @happydan | Steam: happydan | GOG: happydan