Void Bastards never let you get too comfortable. As you explore spaceships and scramble for supplies to take yourself a step further, your strategy should be flexible. A new zapper is suitable for immobilizing some enemies, but it is useless against those with shields. A lobed grenade is useful against those shielded enemies, but it prevents you from taking more destructive firepower to fight more massive enemies. Void Bastards forces you to take small decisions at every stop on a not-so-abandoned ship, making these encounters challenging and exciting. This is our Void Bastards Review.
1. Void Bastards Review: AboutNext Section
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Mac OS, Macintosh
- Developer: Blue Manchu, Blue Manchu Pty. Ltd.
- Publisher: Humble Bundle, Humble Games
- Genres: Action, First-Person Shooter
- Release Date: May 28, 2019
2. Official TrailerNext Section
3. Void Bastards Review: GameplayNext Section
Void Bastards puts you in the shoes of countless rehydrated ‘customers’ aboard a stranded staff ship, whose AI has no choice but to rely on its dangerous cargo to repair the boat for a final jump to its destination. Your job is to search nearby ships for unique items and other resources, using components you find to create new weapons and tools to help you dodge and battle the myriad of nasty enemies that protect these rewards.
The game jumps between a frantic first-person shooter as you board ships and a galactic exploration adventure beyond. Your small craft needs fuel to travel, while you need food to survive in the empty void every day. Both sources can be found on nearby ships, which you can inspect from afar to identify potential residents, lucrative rewards, and unique modifications before making a choice onboarding or passing by.
Modifiers can be anything from security systems that are gracefully offline to the corridors stripped of lights to make your travel through them more treacherous. These little modifiers will keep your ship adventures exciting and provide knock-on effects for you and his enemies to play on. Powerful one-liners and some dark humor drive the world construction of Void Bastard, which is mainly conveyed by your AI handler and sometimes by intercom systems on ships where you board.
Nor extensive on the knowledge to make the setting more interesting than it may seem at first glance, but it’s entertaining enough to earn a few laughs everywhere. The story is supported by beautiful comic book style cutscenes that book every completed goal. It has a distinct style that gives Void Bastards an identity. The aesthetic of the comic book blends beautifully into the gameplay, with the action looking like it’s ripped from the narrative panels that preceded it.
Explosions litter the screen with descriptions of their destructive power, visually depicted in bold colors and thick black outlines. Enemies move as if they were 2D sprites living in a 3D space and rotating in fixed steps to look at you. It’s a striking style that makes Void Bastards instantly recognizable and infuses the adventure with personality. With its rogue-lite structure, Void Bastards is as much about staying alive as you can, but also about dying.
You don’t lose all your progress when your current character expires, but you lose all the ammunition, fuel, and food you picked up. You will also lose your current style, which may have both useful and harmful skills. You may be able to sprint silently, so you can defeat enemies faster without warning them. Another could do the opposite by randomly coughing and revealing your position. It’s fun to work with and around these traits, but with Void Bastards, you can keep all weapon and gadget upgrades and progress intact if you lose a character early.
Making these items is also streamlined. A clear and concise upgrade tree shows you precisely what you need to build a new item, as well as what components to look for to upgrade them one level. You can even tag specific gear and display potential nearby locations with the necessary components on the Milky Way map so that you can chart a course for them. Void Bastards regularly rewards you with items for upgrades.
You will likely have something new to do after the most dangerous expeditions to nearby ships, which will not only help shake up every combat encounter with some new weapons and toys but also increase your possibilities for involvement with the myriad types of enemies you encounter in contact with. The enemy variety of the game is critical to keep any expedition surprising, and they start simple enough.
Slow-reacting but explosive blue alien globs and dumb janitors are littered with the halls of your first few ships, eventually making way for quick and dirty youngsters and skittish Writers who run from danger. As you descend into deeper mists with more rewards, the risks increase, with formidable variations on previous enemies. Hard-hitting Stevs will quickly work on your health bar, while Secs can promptly make your gear obsolete, as their impenetrable shields block anything you throw at them.
The randomization of enemies on ships and their increasing cruelty keeps you thinking about which weapons to take on board, and how to combine them for specific strategies. You have a choice of three items to take with you as you moor, and your equipment cannot be changed once you board the ship, making your understanding of the onboard hazards of paramount importance for your selections.
For example, if a ship’s security systems don’t work, but it is flooded with colossal Stevs, it might be better to leave a stun gun and bring the autonomous and explosive Kittybots, which do an excellent job of firing off enemies as you slide by. Ships with smaller enemies in large numbers can benefit from a weapon with a higher rate of fire than a semi-automatic pistol. Hundreds of weapons are at your disposal, but the variety between them and the tools you have makes these experiments possible.
It’s satisfying to use an immobilizing stun gun to freeze enemies in place before launching a pack of tiny grenades that bounce and bounce off the walls of a narrow walkway to deal devastating damage. A silent arrow pistol allows you to poison enemies from afar so you can watch them slowly die as you suck up their incoming fire with a personal shield if you are noticed. Or you can take a more indirect approach by sucking up an enemy in your handgun, placing them in an airlock, and blasting them into space.
The careful distribution of ammunition for each weapon prevents you from storing enough inventory for your favorites all the time, also helping you familiarize yourself with your entire arsenal. It avoids frustration at how nice each weapon is to use in the right situation but also makes you think carefully when to use the right tool for the right job. The ships onboard can also provide strategic combat options that you can exploit by their arbitrary construction.
By merely locking doors, you can create traps for enemies to roam in, allowing you to slide a few explosives before locking them in a hallway without escaping. You can ignore security systems and have them fight for you if you have enough credit to spend. At the same time, environmental risks such as nuclear spills and cut electrical cables can act as nuisances or useful traps depending on whether you see them in time or not.
Void Bastards gives you maps for each of the ships you board from the start, so you can focus on the enemies lurking in their halls rather than remembering how to get back to your exit. Resources are hidden between enemies and dangers; this keeps exploration fun and exciting while leaving out the tedious primary navigation.
Void Bastards does not introduce any changes in the gameplay loop during the course, and the narrative objectives don’t shake it meaningfully. But there’s a steady stream of new weapons and suitably challenging enemies to test them on so you don’t get stuck in a rut. And because you make some progress between deaths, dying doesn’t stop you from jumping straight to the next run. Void Bastards succeeds because it lets you move forward and rewards you on the go, without feeling a pushover.
4. Void Bastards Review: ConclusionNext Section
The delicate balance emphasizes the assortment of random levels, enemy compilations, and uniquely designed weapons that all make Void Bastards an absolute pleasure. It’s hugely entertaining to go ship to ship and wipe out enemies with constantly changing strategies, and equally engaging in using your cleanup gains to make yourself feel more powerful. It’s a satisfyingly stylish shooter that can play as well as, if not better than, it seems.
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