I wasn’t sure what to make of Void Bastards when it was first announced.
It had the look of Borderlands which drew me in, but then I saw a strategy-like map which pushed me away. I’m not generally a fan of strategy games, you see. After recently playing it at EGX Rezzed, however, I’m now eagerly awaiting its release.
My time with Void Bastards started where someone else had left off. Unsure what each button did, I muddled my way through some menus until I was on a ship with a gun in front of me. I was comfortable with that.
Void Bastards’ first-person gameplay actually feels a lot like Borderlands, but with you being confined to a small ship instead of roaming around an open wasteland. You move around, loot whatever you can, interact with and activate things you know little about, and shoot enemies in the face when you encounter them. As it was my first time playing Void Bastards, after jumping into a random point in the game, I quickly found myself overwhelmed. And as a result, I died.
It wasn’t game over though. Instead, I took control of another character, and like Rogue Legacy, each new character has their own, unique perks. My new character was more robust than my last one, packing more health, but they were unfortunately colourblind. While my previous (yet brief) adventure was full of colour, this character’s infliction meant everything would be in black and white from now one.
The menus were still in colour though, and before my next excursion I took some time to acquaint myself with them. Basically, I could move my ship around a map, and depending on where I went, various events could happen. Moving to one location might restore a chunk of my HP for example, while moving somewhere else might allow me to explore a derelict ship. And that’s where the real fun is: boarding ships, looting them, and then getting the hell out of there.
Only by boarding ships can you obtain the supplies necessary for prolonging your adventure into space, and also gather the resources to craft new equipment and upgrades. Your foraging is limited, however, by your supply of oxygen, so you can’t dilly dally. Also, you never know what foul creatures you might come across. I dealt with turrets, ghosts and imp-like creatures that swore at me a lot during my short time playing Void Bastards, giving me the impression that there are a wide range of enemy types. I also encountered what can only be described as a brute, and after unloading all my ammo into it only for it to still pursue me, I had to run away with my tail between my legs, hastily making my way back to my ship to escape with my life.
I probably played Void Bastards for less than 30 minutes, but I could have sat there all day to be honest. Its gameplay loop seems right up my street, and I love the humour that runs throughout it. While its announcement simply piqued my interest in the title, playing it has made it one of the games I’m really looking forward to this year. I really think this is one to watch.