Astroneer brought the goods to PAX West 2018
I have an urgent and exciting announcement for all veteran astroneers and those who have yet to voyage beyond on known galaxies. I spent some time hands-on with Astroneer’s latest update at PAX West 2018 and walked away with a glowing impression. I’ve been aware of the game’s existence and have even witnessed a friend dabble in the game since its start in late 2016, but until today I’d yet to experience it for myself. Astroneer is easy to pick up, fun, aesthetically charming, and the newest updates are sure to excite longtime fans.
Thankfully, I spent the demo cooperatively playing alongside Joe Tirado, a passionate and highly experienced dev who introduced me to a number of the features. I slowly but surely managed to wrap my head around the simple controls as we crafted a rover. The beast of a space-mobile darted me out of a lush forest rife with exotic shrubbery and into an impressive base brimming with other new goodies. The forest in and of itself is one of a few new locales that spice up the environments of each planet, but the majesty of the well-equipped base quickly grasped my full attention.
Veteran players would surely recognize the bulk of various stations and tools at our disposal. However, the notable new additions included the chemistry lab, atmospheric condenser, and Chambers. The chemistry lab enables you to create many scientific trinkets and doohickeys, but it primarily serves as a means of harnessing the elements you’ve collected while terraforming your environment. We utilized the chemistry lab to produce items needed to 3D print the atmospheric condenser; a machine that literally gathers the atmosphere. Having collected the atmosphere, we applied it to our brand new small shuttle equipped with a solid-state thruster. That bad boy swiftly zipped us to the opposite side of the planet where the real surprise lay waiting.
Upon arriving at the untouched portion of the planet, we were greeted by a massive, intricately designed structure known as a Chamber. Like a moth to a flame, I found myself drawn to its inherent alien nature and mystery. System Era Softworks isn’t quite ready to reveal exactly what Chambers are and how they function. What we do know is they’ll add a greater sense of adventure and progression to the established sandbox experience and provide a bit of lore upon completion. The lore is intended to provide insight as to who you are as an Astroneer and why you’re venturing from planet to planet terraforming to your heart’s content. Chambers sound interesting, and although I’m a newcomer, I’m excited to hear more.
If you’re a longtime fan of the game, I apologize for my lack of experience and ability to fully understand how to play the game to it’s fullest potential. The good news is I loved what I played at PAX. In addition to what I know of the base game and how it’s evolved since December of 2016, the new additions sound fantastic. They’ve certainly enticed me, and I’ve spent a mere twenty minutes with the game. As a cherry on top of my demo, I got to sport one of the new two new space suits. I donned a fashionable blue suit equipped with orange gloves while Joe rocked the new Exotic suit. Both are highly attractive and definitely shield you from the health risks of space travel, I assure you. For more on Astroneer and all things PAX West 2018, stay tuned to COGconnected.