Is Void Bastards Good?
Yes, and it somehow feels both familiar and fresh. Void Bastards is a single player rouge-like First Person Shooter. Meaning you’re going to die a lot by design. At first glance, I expected to run through the games various space stations painting the walls with all types of intergalactic space monster goo. I started the first level, and excitedly ran out the door slamming my right trigger at the first baddy I saw- CLICK! What kind of game gives you no starting ammo!? I immediately started laughing my ass off! Oh no! I needed to survive and escape the ship! My entire mindset shifted, this was not the game I expected- and things only got better.
What does it do right?
Void Bastards has an item tree and crafting benches. Weapons can be upgraded, leveled, unlocked, and modified. Your health and movement speed can be unlocked and leveled. Ammunition can be found, crafted, unlocked, and probably leveled. All of these things would be a drag in a slow survival campaign game if you had to stop, reload, and try again, but this is a rogue-like baby! You’re literally expected to die in the first mission. Immediately you learn your character isn’t even a guy!
You’ll play as a sentient backpack that trades out hosts as they die. Each of the hosts has different passives ranging from things such as, occasionally coughing and giving away your position, from being too tall, and being able to see enemies through walls. You also keep any of the equipment and guns you loot. The longer you play the stronger you’ll get, Void Bastards is a gift that keeps on giving. As you get ready to turn it off for the night you’ll find yourself unlocking a new weapon or pushing yourself into deeper space for “just one more”. Also, the cell shading looks cool.
What is bad about it?
Void Bastards is often unforgiving, if you spend too many grenades or too much ammo, you might be better off leaving than fighting. I started to learn sometimes it’s just about finding the supplies and getting out not clearing the whole ship! Void Bastards is somehow related to Bioshock and even feels a bit like the original Doom to me. Enemies aren’t particularly well programmed or intelligent AI, and there is literally no vertical plane to speak of, no elevators or ladders. There is no multiplayer for X Box, I can’t speak for the other systems but it seems like a cooperative mode could be a lot of fun! Even though the game is all about piloting a ship from space station to space station, you’ll never build or customize your ship at any point, and you’ll never find yourself doing any of the flying. Just the shootin’ Tex.
Should you play it?
Right now Void Bastards is free on Xbox Game Pass, it’s absolutely worth your time! Just remember to please give it more than 15 minutes of your precious attention, you’ll start weak and you’ll die a lot.
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