Obsidian is a really good game developer. The company produced one of the best modern Fallout games under immense pressure. Then they proved they could do it even better under their own steam . Now they seem intent on breathing some life into the survival genre with Grounded, their latest IP announced at XO19.
Grounded is a cross between “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” and Rust. It blends your standard survival mechanics with being so tiny that an ant is a giant monster for you to battle to the death. It’s basically the perfect game (hyperbole alert) and is probably going to make survival games great again.
Just looking at the trailer it’s easy to tell that Obsidian knew what they were doing. One of the first things to appear on screen is the phrase ‘From Obsidian Entertainment…A Survival Game.’ That’s about as direct as you can get with your marketing.
Clearly, Obsidian knows that this genre has been a little over-saturated. Minecraft sort of broke open a floodgate and sent a tidal wave of survival games crashing down on us . Since that time, one thing that survival games seem to have been missing is strong theming and personality.
While the trailer is really too short to get a sense of personality, the theming is certainly noticeable. One of the easiest ways to make an interesting theme is to set the game in the real world but from a dramatically different perspective. It’s been a while since we’ve got the chance to be a tiny-thing in a human-sized world, at least at a triple-A level of quality.
If there’s something that the Xbox platform needs, it’s more strong exclusives. Many gamers don’t really like the whole ‘exclusives’ thing, but it makes a lot of sense from a business perspective. Xbox needs something to enhance the already appealing Game Pass and bring in even more users.
While Game Pass has somewhat suffered from a small library, more and more games keep getting added to the list. First-party titles releasing on day one has been a big help to the service. Considering that Grounded is an Xbox Game Studios title, it will almost certainly hit Game Pass on release.
A really decent, co-op-focused survival game with a strong theme is sure to pull in plenty of players. Grounded is almost certain to be a big hit with many players. With a co-op title, having as many people as possible own the game on release is a surefire way to get people playing together. I for one cannot wait for release day.