Just when you think you couldn’t possibly be drawn to another survival after the many that have graced our gaming grid, just one trailer was all it took and I needed to get into Outpost Zero made by the folks over at Symmetric Games who have teamed up with tiny Build as they launch on Steam Early Access. The planet Gaiya is absolutely stunning, it drew me in like a moth to a flame but what did I have to do to dominate it?
Server choices are as you’d expect. Official and Private - PvP PvE and Local Sandbox. I tried them all though for the sake of this review, played largely in PvE and Local.
Without knowing anything about the game I imagined every possible scenario of what it is I would be and again was pleasantly surprised before we even landed as the short cutscene you log in to paints a Death Stranding game meets RoboCop introduction of your crash landing into the planet Gaiya. You’re here as a robot to build a colony for human life to thrive.
Beyond the visual beauty of Outpost Zero, the soundtrack is also vivid, sound effects immersive tugging on your attention right down to the rustling leaves, incoming sandstorms, scuttling spiders or muffled robotic footsteps that differ between terrains. Symmetric Games studio is a small team though it doesn’t feel this way in the game as they also take an open approach with a public board on Trello supporting updates that are rolling out regularly and swiftly.
Fun side note: If you’re interested, you can listen to the Outpost soundtrack composed by Moonracoon over at Spotify (you must be logged in).
Now I’m not sure about you but I’m a - go get resources asap, watching all health indicators and the user interface as you harvest - kind of survival player. The in-game tutorial is super helpful though after a dozen restarts due to server loss, death or trying different modes I came to the conclusion that the tutorial is great until you finish it so I tend to make sure my base is built first setting up machinery, power and storage before I complete it knowing soon after you’ll be raided by space pirates keen to plunder. You also need to make sure your base is set up to ensure your safety against the wrath of Gaiya and her elements which can range from an earthquake to a meteor shower, or ice storm. All of them so pretty that the warning bells have saved me a few times already reminding me to move!
The base building part is where I need to improve and stop being a building addict to let my drones take over so I can then focus speeding up iron, silica and sulfur quantity to get to the next step, then the next.
Now, something I have minimal experience with but enjoy thoroughly already is base hunting for dropped items left on a base or nearby. This has been a great way to get resources especially steel before setting up a fabricator. On both PvE and PvP servers, most of the bases are usually abandoned in the starter areas as folks head south to build larger and more self-sustained as soon as they have the resources. I tried taking over bases but so far I wasn’t able to find a way though this might not mean we’re not able to I just need to figure it out but be careful you don’t take any damage from traps set by base owners!
SUMMARY OF EARLY STAGES OF EARLY ACCESS Outpost Zero is not only fun and beautiful but complex and progressive. It is the kind of game perfect for those who love to play games with loved ones and friends or solo. There is also enough artistry and technicalities to please the person who loves to create or the person who thrives on hunting and exploring. I have yet to experience any events or end game bosses, which I am thoroughly looking forward to as well as making sure I get to stack movement speed gear and see how this would navigate across Gaiya.
Anyone who loves being challenged at your own pace will appreciate Outpost Zero, marveling with me at how well the game plays already when it’s just arrived in Steam Early Access.