GROUNDED - A Survival Battle Lurking in the Backyard

Edited by Editorial Team2021-12-13

Marvel fans,have you ever imagined that you can stretch your body at will, just like Ant-Man? When everything familiar around him becomes gigantic, this new experience is like a battle between David and Goliath. With it now being Day 11 of Golden Week, I believe that all players and their friends can't wait to explore the virtual world during the holiday. So today I will discuss a sandbox survival game that offers a sense claustrophobia and mystery while still feeling familiar.

When hearing the phrase sandbox survival game, I believe that many different scenarios have emerged in everyone's minds. The vast expanse of the Gobi Desert, the leafy jungle or even the deep blue sea. The high degree of freedom gives such games unlimited possibilities. Therefore, for a long time, sandbox games have been sought after and loved by a large number of players. And have you ever thought that these sandbox games can be not only a broad map, but also scenes that can be seen everywhere in our daily lives.This time however we will look at this familiar world of ours from another perspective.

In July 2020, the survival adventure game Grounded produced and released by Obsidian Entertainment officially landed on Steam. Unlike previous sandbox survival games, which often have a vast map spanning dozens of miles, in Grounded we are taking the role of a group of teenagers who have been shrunk to the size of insects and are forced to survive in a familiar yet deadly world, their garden Even insects which are usually harmless thanks to their size are now terrifying enemies thanks to the massive change in our height. Some are still friendly, others may be your enemy, or even the final boss. Dangers lurk around every blade of grass so players must always be prepared. Adventuring further however is the only way to get back to our regular size.

In order to survive in this environment where tiny insects can also pose a huge threat, you and your team of friends must work together to use any collected materials to make more equipment and buildings,finding new blueprints and even clues on how to get home in the ever-changing natural weather. We will explore this complex and rich game world along with it’s story missions.

Grounded really does have a unique feel when compared to other games of this genre. Another thing which makes Grounded stand out is how high quality the graphics and model details are. These details alone are comparable to many other AAA games. The game's combat system is also very well polished. In addition to common weapons such as daggers, hammers, knives, bows and arrows, we can also experience the fun of big swords and harpoons. The attribute bonuses between different weapons add an extra depth to the game. How to use them rationally and maximize each weapon’s effectiveness is the key to improving team cooperation and winning.

The story of the game is structured in a fabricated near-future world. We can choose one of up to four teenagers to be our avatar. However, apart from appearance, there is no difference in personal attributes among these teenagers. There is no difference in physical strength between men and women. Therefore, we don't need to spend too much effort to sculpt the characters at this stage.

The main story of the game is taking on the role of a teenager who found themselves being shrunk due to a mysterious light. When the mysterious light hits them, they find themselves in their home garden watching the small area turn into a huge jungle. The baseball that we would usually play with sits in front of us like a mountain. Drink cups leftover from a previous party now provide shelter from the elements. Pesky weeds now provide shade from the blazing sun.

The creatures that originally inhabited here have now become our biggest enemies on the expedition. They are often insects in the drain pipes or grass. The number of insects is so large that thinking about it will make your brain go numb, fortunately most of these insects stay in their natural habitats. For example, ants and ladybugs, if we do not provoke them, they will not actively attack us, but those animals with strong territorial awareness and aggressiveness, such as spiders and chilling tarantulas, they will watch and chase you if you get too close putting the team in a very dangerous situation.

But in essence, the game is still based on survival and adventure, so some basic elements are still worthy of our attention. For example, the statuses of the player character will be displayed via the UI, such as health, stamina, hunger and will remind us of the next objective as well as where to next and when we are spotted and stared at by aggressive creatures around us. The status bar in the lower left corner will immediately send out a reminder to help us escape.

In addition, because the background of the game is set in our daily life, for example, the ants and ladybugs in the garden, the leafy domestic plants, the magnified household garbage, and the weapons and facilities you build add a sense of familiarity so you have a good idea on how to create them. The little details added in the game such as the light and shadow effects really bring the game to life.

However, the unique setting of the game is already attractive enough in today's game market, as I mentioned above. When we imagine ourselves miniaturized to the size of an insect to re-experience the scenery of the home garden from this perspective in a cartoonish style is extremely pleasing to the eye.

If the unique background setting of the game lays the foundation for its excellent exploration, then the unique creativity injects the soul into the game. The biggest highlight of the game is that we will play a miniature survivor from a first-person perspective to explore unknown secrets and fight insect attacks in the once-familiar garden at home. The gameplay combines the elements of collection, construction, survival and first-person action adventure. At present, the game has 4 difficulty levels to choose from. At low difficulty, the game is more focused on the elements of collection and construction. In higher difficulties the aggressiveness of insects increases, the combat experience and intensity of the game also increase. Although the game is still under development, the core gameplay still feels fully fleshed out. Players need to collect a large amount of basic materials and then use a combination of multiple materials to make weapons, equipment and various types of buildings. Just like how the desert island survival works, creating a safe home in this huge garden is the primary goal and core of the game.

Although the game still has a lot of room for improvement, there is plenty to enjoy already, even if the core gameplay is similar to other sandbox survival games. Here we take a closer look:

1. We need to collect basic materials in the game, such as wood, stone and metal, to use as resource reserves, and allocate them reasonably to design and assemble the necessities of survival.

2. By combining these materials to produce corresponding weapons, armour, equipment and various types of buildings, creating a safe haven in the huge garden is the primary goal and core gameplay of the game.

As a game created by a small development team, in the two years of production, the team wanted to present a microscopic world for our enjoyment, and they did it. The game provides a unique survival adventure and the visual quality brings this miniature world to life.

As the game’s praise from both players and reviewers continue to increase, the development team has been maintaining regular content updates. Obsidian Entertainment is full of confidence in the future of "Grounded". I believe that as long as the development team steadily updates the in game content. The inclusion of multiplayer also allows you to experience this incredible world with your friends online. 



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