You’ve fled your home, only to find yourself lost in space with a damaged ship. Your only option is to beam down to the planet below and gather the resources you need to repair your ship and set off to explore the vast, infinite universe…
In Starbound, you create your own story - there’s no wrong way to play! You may choose to save the universe from the forces that destroyed your home, uncovering greater galactic mysteries in the process, or you may wish to forego a heroic journey entirely in favor of colonizing uncharted planets.
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Can't say much about the full release as I haven't touched it much, but this game holds a special place in my heart. It definitely felt like a beta when I played it but it had something I struggle to find in other games. A sense of home and comfort. Sitting around a campfire with friends playing ode to joy on 8-bit instruments we found on a vast ocean planet is something I won't soon forget.
Starbound is very frustrating to me because I used to love it in alpha, but the full release was very disappointing. The alpha had a lot of problems, but it was easy to brush off as "oh, they'll fix it before the full release!" Well, the full release came and they didn't fix any of it, in fact all they really did was snuff out most of what was good about the game to begin with.
The main appeal of the alpha of Starbound to me was mostly just how chill it was, the game has excellent music and good art direction, it was fun to wander around the universe, exploring random planets, mining underground to get new equipment, and just kind of hanging out, enjoying life. Sadly, the addition of the story in 1.0 totally ruined this for me. The story is thoroughly uninspired and uncompelling, which would be ok, I guess, except for the fact that it takes itself way too seriously and forces itself on you, tarnishing the feeling of freedom and self-determination that good sandbox games have.
While I did enjoy some of the dungeons you play in to progress the story, most of the new gameplay elements added are just terrible. In order to progress the story you have to walk around random planets and look for specific objects in villages to collect. The planet you chose didn't have the right object? Too bad, you spent half an hour walking around a planet, bored out of your mind, for absolutely no reason. It sucks and makes replaying the game an absolute chore.
So many problems also persist from the alpha - planets are usually just reskins of a few basic templates with one or two villages on them, the combat is stiff and boring, the game's performance is terrible, and the NPCs in the game are terrible - crewmates? more like dead weights, am I right?
There are a ton of things I like about Starbound, but unfortunately it was squandered by an impassionate development team who didn't even pay their workers (oh yeah, that happened!). It could've been better than Terraria, but it's not. Maybe it's fun with mods, I know it has a large modding community, but as a base game it was pretty disappointing.
not only have the devs abandoned the game, but it was also generally half-finished in the first place. while i've had a lot of fun and would otherwise love to give the game 5 stars, that'd only be deserving if credit also went to the modders that not only made the game playable, but also engaging.
It's impossible not to make this comparison, but Starbound feels like Terraria in space in a lot of respects. It was a great time exploring the worlds and all the things you could come across, just a shame I burned myself out on the game even before the full release.