The beta to Starbound is here, or Terraria...IN SPAAACE for those who have put in a hundred hours into Terraria i.e. me. It is certainly the spiritual successor to it, and you can buy it now via Steam Early Access. I pre-ordered it many months ago and got my key straightaway. I love Terraria and couldn't pass this up. It is not under the same development team however, it under the same artist, and it shows. Have to point out that is this in beta, it is unfinished, it is on Early Access, there are bugs, there are imperfections, etc.
You start the game choosing and customising your character, just like in Terraria, however you can be more than human this time, you can be an alien, or a beep-boop-beep robot. And you get your own space vessel as you can see in the screenshot provided. There is one problem though. You are out of fuel, and you need to beam down onto a planet and gather the necessary resources into refueling your ship and then go off and explore all the random (-ally procedured) planets within this random (-ally procedured) universe has to offer. When Terraria came out, it was accused of being a clone to one of the most successful indie titles of all time i.e. Minecraft. There are mining and crafting elements in Terraria, and Starbound, however they have more of an emphasis on Metroidvania-style gameplay, and are both 2D and pixel-arty. The amount of awesome loot I have found in Terraria, all the bosses and enemies I have slain with the might weapons I have found, and I also have a pink ice castle
. The exploration aspect is more apparent in Starbound, since you can explore a number of planets within the particular universe you start off with, I have played the beta for five hours, more or less, and I am nowhere near to getting off this rock I'm on yet. It's a very pretty rock though.
Unlike in Terraria, you actually get a tutorial in form of little fetch quests, very similar to what Minecraft did eventually during the many updates it had. And the crafting system and UI also are very Minecraft-esque. Not complaining though, as it makes me more familiar with the game mechanically. Not sure about the hunger system though, it pops up when you are feeling peckish, literally, whenever it feels like, luckily it's very easy to gather food to replenish that hunger, you just have to kill enemies with your bow, so you better be a good shot or it will get tedious. There's also a sanity meter, and it dips and dips the more time you spend time outside away from a light source, or a campfire in which it sends your sanity all the way back up. These become news to you after playing with certain items, because the game doesn't actually tell you about them, yet, and especially with regarding to healing yourself. It took me a while to figure that one out whenever I took constant damage from those enemies I fought. I found out I needed 'this' to craft 'that', and use 'that' to craft bandages, and they give you a small amount of health. Only took me four hours after many deaths to find that out.
I have died...a lot. It was annoying. There's not much of a death penalty though; you lose some 'pixels', which acts as your in-game currency and a crafting ingredient for many items, and you beam back onto your ship after some little ten-second death animation, which I haven't figured out how to skip yet. Once you know how to craft weapons and armour, combat then becomes easier as you would expect it to, and that's a good thing as the game felt very unforgiving to start off in. Like in Terraria, there is that 'grind', where you feel like you're spending over ten hours finding rare ores through mining, and you only find enough just make a copper armour set, which is better than nothing I guess, but in Starbound, finding certain ores has proven to be more difficult, for me anyway. Everyone's world is different to one another as it is all random, so some probably have it easy, but not by too much hopefully.
I am having fun, not on the same level of fun I have had with Terraria however, it is early days though, and beta is beta. That certainly is the case, because the game has crashed a few times, and some of the gameplay either doesn't work to its full extent, or not at all, however that can be fixed in the next update easily. And the developer says they will update it constantly, which is noble of them, and it is their job after-all. One thing I will highly praise during its current state now would be the wonderful the music it has. You can listen to their tunes for free on the Starbound website if you don't take my word for it. Do it. You know you want to. Or just give the beta a go, you can buy it on the Starbound website or on Steam Early Access. The game has multiplayer as well, so buy it and play with friends. Expect horrible latency issues, but have fun nonetheless. read