Grounded is a survival game that entails a group of kids who were shrunken down into the size of a walnut and forced to survive the dangers of their own backyard. Even though this concept isn’t wholly original, it makes for a compelling video game. This game was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and it’s a very different animal compared to their other games. They are most known for their work with The Outer Worlds and Fallout: New Vegas. This past October, the developers gave this game a patch called, “The Hot and Hazy” update. What this did was, not only provide new areas to explore but also new gameplay features altogether. Grounded was launched as a title that had some rather thin content. As time went on, the developers steadily kept fattening up this world with more things to do.
Even though Grounded was essentially a “survival game” of sorts, it kind of has morphed into a full-blown RPG throughout the months. This is mainly due to the ever-branching storyline that keeps evolving. There will come a time to where this game will have a complete narrative. Right now, everything is kind of slowly oozing in that direction. The developers are busy with other projects, like Pentimnet and this may slow things down a bit. However, this is a title that generally had a somewhat rough launch, only to get better and better as time went on. Even though the biggest update was last October, the developers are constantly tweaking things to make the best of what this game has to offer.
Oversized Minature Adventure
The “Hot and Hazy” update expands the map in a plethora of ways. There are now new fully explorable biomes that players can venture through. The “Trash Heap”, the “Picnic Table” and the “Sandbox” are the new parts of the map that players can poke around in. Naturally, these places will introduce a flurry of new enemies like the Antlion. This insect is a foe for both humans and insects, alike. Thusly, there will be a new anthill to explore called the “Black Ant Hill.” This new biome introduces a new threat which will be the Black Ants which will require a whole new set of gear to fight with. This anthill is very much like a “dark dungeon” that’s layered with pathways, tunnels, and curving corridors. Inside, players will be able to find special loot along with a mini-boss of some kind.
Speaking of loot, this update also provides a shovel that can be utilized to dig up treasure. There are hints of buried treasure peppered throughout the map which can be seen in the sunlight. Players will be able to spot them with a little “shine” in the ground. Speaking of sunlight, the “Sizzle” feature made a comeback with a vengeance. It’s been greatly expanded upon and it’s mostly seen in the new Sandbox biome. This feature basically means that if players stay in direct sunlight, the heat will cause harm and it will deplete their health. The only way to rectify that situation is by staying in the shade. Many players rather enjoyed this feature from previous updates and they wanted to see more of it applied to other parts of the map. Apparently,, Obsidian Entertainment was happy to oblige.
Furthermore, the Hot and Hazy update also provided ways for players to upgrade the stats with their weapons and party members. This is done through milk molars and globs. Additionally, the new “Brain Power” feature helps newcomers with this game unlock crafting and recipes. The Lab has been redone to help out with finding objectives and what to collect. Thus, a lot of the map has been retooled to give a little more “seasoning” to the environment. Things like “explosive fungi” and new infected forms of insects like weevils and ladybugs. Everything was basically revamped from top to bottom to help make Grounded more accessible and immersive. Armor has also been broken up into different categories. These categories are; light, medium, and heavy. This helps sort out what kind of gear is best suitable for certain parts of the map. The light armor helps with the regeneration of stamina, medium armor kind of stagnates stamina while heavy armor slows it down.
The “Haze Biome” had a major facelift with this update. It’s been around forever, but it left very little reason for players to go into it. This update provides a variety of new incentives to go back, including new loot and enemies to encounter. Even though the Hot and Hazy update has been out for a few months, it’s definitely rejuvenating the player base. Grounded has generated a lot more meat to its bones ever since its original launch back in 2020. With this latest update, now is a good time to go back out into the backyard and see what’s new. If players have drifted away from this game for a while, playing this game again will make it feel like it’s a whole new title. Obsidian Entertainment is planning to put in Steam achievements and cards and a complete storyline. This was scheduled for 2021, but certain things got in the way and it was evidently postponed.
Squashing The Bugs
Of course, there is no question that Obsidian Entertainment is still passionate about this game. They’re always listening to player feedback and seem to be interactive with their fan base. There is no solid schedule locked in for the full release of Grounded as of now. However, it is a good bet to think that the developers will be announcing something in the near future. Needless to say, the current state of the game is actually a compelling little adventure and it’s worth playing in its own right. Once the story is fully complete, this title will actually be quite the little epic story to go through. Upon launch, Grounded will be available for the Xbox and Steam. Unfortunately, there are no plans in the books to release this game for Nintendo Switch or PlayStation.