During X019 in London, Obsidian Entertainment and Xbox Game Studios announced Grounded, their new survival game that shrinks you down to the size of an ant -- and has you fighting hordes of them too. (Even worse, expect battles with spiders.) It's currently scheduled for a spring 2020 launch.
Grounded will offer story missions, but players can also just go off the grid and explore the wide world -- otherwise known as a now oversized backyard. Without the security of human civilization, players now face an environment turned harsh, experiencing what insects normally have to deal with. But humans can rebuild a new form of their previous civilization by scavenging for resources and constructing stronghold bases. Surviving the backyard can be done solo or cooperatively with three other people.
"It's a perfect setting to flex our creative muscles," said Adam Brennecke, game director at Obsidian to Game Informer. "We want to create a versatile sandbox where players can create their own memorable experiences."
Survival will require players to do various things like construct armor out of acorn shells. The trailer shows hints of different appearances for armor and characters, suggesting more customization options. There are even hints indicating that armor can be assembled from harvested pieces of ants, or at least made to look more insect-like.
There have been no hints of a story explaining why you’ve been shrunk down to the size of insects. But Obsidian has created other character-driven, choice-based RPGs with story like Fallout: New Vegas, Pillars of Eternity, as well as their recently released and critically acclaimed The Outer Worlds. Given this is done by a smaller team (all of 13 people), and with a different focus, it seems unlikely to be nearly as heavy on story elements. In any case, Grounded feels like it drops players into a more intense version of Pixar's A Bug's Life.
Obsidian said in a Twitter post that Grounded will be their first game as an Xbox Game Studio. According to Xbox Wire, Obsidian's survival game will also be "the first Xbox Game Preview title available with Xbox Game Pass."
It will be available for digital release through multiple options: Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Game Preview, Microsoft Store and Steam. There has been no word on a physical release yet.
What do you think of Grounded? Have you played any Obsidian games before? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.