It's been called “Terraria in space” and hailed as the second coming of procedurally generated, emergent RPGs; it has a mass following but doesn't have a marketing budget. It's picked up massive support, interest and crowd-funding but it didn't have a big Kickstarter campaign. And now, it's entering beta, and it didn't even need Steam's Early Access to do so.
Starbound is the love project of a small group of indie developers at Chucklefish. The game, the concept, the developers... it's all so hip that even tree huggers might scoff out of jealously. Nevertheless, it's hip with a purpose and it's cool because it's fresh. Most importantly, Starbound is the game that succeeds the Minecrafts and Terrarias by a good margin, bringing with it the next step in emergent gameplay.
So what makes Starbound so cool? What makes it so amazing? Well, you can take your space ship and travel the galaxy to unknown worlds, to known worlds, to hazardous locations, to tropical locations and just about any and everywhere in between. It's not just about traveling and exploring, though. Some of you might want to stop and setup an abode – you'll be able to take respite from your galactic journeys to build laboratories, houses, research facilities, medical bays or fortified military outposts. The galaxy is a sandbox limited only by the scope of your imagination.
What's more is that Starbound offers some offbeat activities, like crafting recipes like an alchemist or botanist from Elder Scrolls; there's also the option to get together with your friends and put on a concert by playing some rocking tunes, like the Portal theme, “Still Alive”...
If you so desire, you can gather your resources, recruit your friends and dominate the galaxy as a small military regime, destroying all in your path of conquest.
The game's scope is quite amazing and it's finally arriving (in beta) this December.
Even more than that is that we, the gaming community, were slightly tipped off to the game's beta when Andrew House let it slip that Starbound would be arriving on the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita before 2013 was out.
At this junction, even if you have something worse than a potato for a computer but you have either a PlayStation 4 or PS Vita, at least you can still give the game a go. Interested in partaking in the beta? Feel free to pay a visit to the official website. Things get underway beginning December 4th.
If you honestly can't wait until next week to get in on one of the most hotly anticipated games you may not have ever heard of, feel free to play some Terraria to pass the time.