The world is a vast, beautiful, and dangerous place – especially when you have been shrunken to the size of an ant. Explore, build, and survive together in this cooperative survival-adventure. Can you thrive alongside the hordes of giant insects, fighting to survive the perils of the backyard? Join our community and help shape the future of Grounded in Xbox Game Preview.
Developer: Obsidian Publisher: Xbox Game Studios Platform: Xbox One/Microsoft Windows 10 Release Date: Out 28th July on Xbox Game Preview, free with Xbox Game Pass. Genre: First Person Survival Adventure Players: 1-4
In Grounded, players are shrunken to the size of an ant and tasked with surviving in the unique micro-world of a suburban backyard. Players must gather, craft and build bases with everyday objects found within the yard, searching for life-saving resources and living alongside giant, peaceful insects while fighting to survive massive hostile inhabitants.
Grounded provides a mix of environmental and narrative driven story telling. Set in a versatile, handcrafted sandbox structure it allows players to create their own experience from the ground up. Tasks that may seem approachable when human-sized become a challenge in this dangerous backyard landscape. This familiar yet fantastical world can be navigated solo or in four-person co-operative multiplayer, where players work together to complete missions or explore the intricately detailed world.
Obsidian is a studio best-known for deep, intriguing role-playing games like Fallout: New Vegas and, most recently, The Outer Worlds. But the studio’s next release moves in a completely different direction. At X019 in London, Obsidian revealed Grounded, a survival game set in a suburban backyard where a group of four friends has to fend for themselves after being shrunk down to the size of an ant. “It’s a little different than what you’re used to seeing from Obsidian,” says director Adam Brennecke.
Grounded, which is the first new property from Obsidian since the studio was acquired by Microsoft, is a four-player co-op experience that can be played in both first- and third-person. Like most survival games, you’ll build a base, craft gear, gather resources, and hunt and cook food. What Obsidian hopes will make the game stand out is the setting.
The game has a very Honey, I Shrunk the Kids vibe. The four main characters were all shrunken as part of an experiment and are now forced to survive the untamed wilds that are actually a standard American suburban backyard. Seen from this new perspective, things feel very different: bugs become giant monsters, while a simple baseball is a huge structure. A patch of grass is a forest to traverse, and weedkiller turns an area into a toxic zone.
According to Brennecke, part of the appeal of the setting for the studio was its accessibility. “It’s something that everyone is familiar with,” he explains. “Everyone has an expectation for what they’ll see in this world. It’s very approachable, even on a global scale. Everyone knows what insects do, how they behave; even the man-made objects you find in the yard are familiar. It’s a pretty cool environment as a game designer to come up with ideas. It’s a setting where everyone on the team, and even outside the team, can be a designer and contribute ideas.”
It’s also much more elaborate than it might seem. Despite being developed by a relatively small 12-person team, Grounded features what Brennecke describes as a robust and realistic ecosystem. “It’s a huge ecosystem where the insect life is being simulated outside of the view of the player,” he says. “We want to make insects to behave like we all expect insects to behave. So an ant colony will send out scout ants to search for food, and will battle the player over food. They communicate through a pheromone system with other any colonies. And there’s a day / night cycle where this ecosystem is constantly changing. Things come out at night like giant spiders and fireflies.”
Grounded will be available in spring 2020. It’s coming to Game Pass on both Xbox One and PC, and it will also be available through Steam early access.
The current target for Grounded’s full release is sometime in 2021.
“At the start of Early Access, the following features/content will be available in Grounded:
• Roughly 20% of the full storyline • 3 major biomes – the grasslands, the hedge, and the haze • Crafting • Base building • Single and online co-op play • First two tiers of weapons and armor • At least ten insects • Arachnophobia mode”
Our current plan for the full release is to have the following features:
• Complete storyline • Steam Achievements and Cards • More bugs! The insect kind. • More environments and biomes • More crafting recipes • Additional features and updated systems to improve the entire experience”
We’re excited to announce starting June 9 and extending through June 14, Grounded, Obsidian’s upcoming survival adventure game, will officially roll out their flight for global players! You will now have an opportunity to play an early demo of Grounded through the Xbox Insider Program or through Steam Game Festival. The demo gives players a look at one day in the life of Grounded’s single player campaign.