Starbound is an action-adventure, survival game, taking place in space. The goal of the game is to survive and progress. You play as a customizable avatar of one of several intelligent races. Each race has its own type of culture or “personality”, the Florans being carnivorous and primitive, or the Apexes being intelligent but rude.
The game begins with you waking up in a bunk bed, presumably in a school of sorts. You learn the controls and walk out of the room, grabbing your Protectorate Uniform from your locker. The Protectorate was an intergalactical peace group with the idea in mind of uniting the several races and having peace. Another group, the Peacekeepers, were a branched off group of Protectorate that was more for fighting intergalactic crime together. You then go to the graduation ceremony, and after a speech, the room shakes. Then large squid-like tentacles rip apart the place and attack the current Great Protector, killing them. They end up leaving a valuable tool for the player, a Matter Manipulator which is used for things like breaking materials.
You then get to play through your dying earth, running through the place as it’s coming apart, breaking dirt and sod blocks that are in your way, and getting the Broken Broadsword, your first weapon. Then you run to a spaceship and fly it off Earth as it is destroyed completely, you’re knocked unconscious and your ship is damaged from the unprepared takeoff. Earth is now destroyed, and you are the only survivor of the attack. The player made it out with a few medical supplies, the broadsword, and your life.
The player is then able to do their own thing, maybe on the lines of what we did, which was fool around like an idiot until we figured out what we were meant to do. You go and find 20 Core Fragments, which are volatile materials used for crafting explosives or powering things, like Ancient Gateways. We go and power said gateway and you are teleported to The Outpost, a hub of sorts. We meet Esther Bright, a former grand protector, who tells you about The Ruin, a giant planet-like entity that seeks to destroy all that exists except for itself, and how a God had sealed it away for a long time, at the cost of its own life. We’re set with an objective to open the ancient sealed gateway by finding 7 artefacts and going in, to destroy the Ruin.
We’re tasked with fixing our ship, which involves going to the Erchius Mining Facility, a mining facility that mines Erchius Crystals, which are used for FTL drives in ships. However, it seems to be on lockdown once we arrive, and when we go in we’re met with strange, pink humanoids that blast pink erchius attacks at you. We have to defeat many of these before finding ones that are wearing human clothes and using their weapons. Presumably, these are mutated humans that have been affected by the Erchius radiation. They then attack us and you’re forced to kill them. We eventually breach through these monsters and find The Erchius Horror, the first boss in the game. The game tells us conventional weapons cannot hurt the Erchius Horror at all, and that we must use the Mining Laser beneath it to shoot into it until it dies. This isn’t easy, as it fires plasma beams at us and Moontants, the mutated, pink humans that are mindless slaves of the Horror. We eventually defeat it and become capable of using your ship again after getting it repaired.
After the fight of the Erchius Horror, we were free to travel to other planets and explore.
The game is admittedly very long and not as fun if you are told everything that happens. I hope you understand. The game was astonishingly well-made and greatly designed. I would suggest it to anyone who feels like survival and adventure type games, like Minecraft or Terraria, are their thing. Have fun.
Lorcan McGee – TY Press