One of the indie games that has been bubbling below the surface for quite a while now is Void Bastards. The first-person, strategic, roguelike, shooter has shown a few teasers and garnered some quiet anticipation but has never really captured the spotlight. Well, hopefully, that is all about to change as the game now has a release date of 29th May. And if you have a Game Pass subscription, you’ll be pleased to know that the game will join the service on the same day.
Void Bastards is certainly a game full of potential. It has a really cool cel-shaded graphical style with a comic-book aesthetic. There’s an impressive array of talent behind the game, headed by Jonathan Chey (design director on Bioshock and System Shock 2). Most importantly, though, it has some very interesting ideas.
You play as a continual procession of expendable convicts. Resources are tight and you’ll be forced to manage them well. You choose which missions to undertake and the best way to handle them. Some missions will be too much of a stretch and you’ll have to decide whether to push through or save your remaining resources and try a different one. Do you make your way to the generator to restore power or use your resources to go to the security module to disable the defences? The game gives you lots of choices.
If you’re unfamiliar with Void Bastards here’s the official description for the game as well as the release date trailer –
Inspired by BioShock and System Shock 2, Void Bastards is a revolutionary new strategy-shooter that will test your wits as well as exercise your aim.
Can you lead the misfit prisoners of the Void Ark through the derelict spaceships and myriad dangers of the Sargasso Nebula? Will you make the right choices about what to do, where to go and when to fight? Master combat, manage ship controls, scavenge supplies, craft improvised tools and much more!
Forget everything you know about first-person shooters: Void Bastards asks you to take charge, not just point your gun and fire. Your task is to lead the rag-tag Void Bastards out of the Sargasso Nebula. You make the decisions: where to go, what to do and who to fight. And then you must carry out that strategy in the face of strange and terrible enemies.
On board derelict spaceships you’ll plan your mission, taking note of the ship layout, what hazards and enemies you might encounter and what terminals and other ship systems you can use to your advantage.
Move carefully through the dangerous ships, searching for supplies and manipulating control systems. React to what you find – will you detour to the generator to bring the power back online or will you fight your way into the security module to disable the ship’s defenses? Choose carefully when to fight, when to run and when just to be a bastard.
Use your hard won supplies to improvise tools and weapons, from the distracting robo-kitty to the horribly unstable clusterflak.
Navigate your tiny escape pod through the vast nebula. Flee from void whales and pirates, and politely avoid the hungry hermits. All the while you must keep scavenging for the food, fuel, and other resources that keep you alive.
Void Bastards features a 12-15 hour campaign that you can complete with an endless supply of prisoners, each with their own unique traits. When one dies, another steps forward to carry on the fight. Don’t worry though, as any crafting progress you’ve made is retained from one to another.