The Outer Worlds developer Obsidian’s next game, Grounded, is headed for a public beta test very soon. Microsoft has announced that a beta test, or “flight” in the Microsoft parlance, will launch on June 9.
The beta will be available on Xbox One through the Xbox Insider Hub (which is free for everyone to sign up for) and on PC through the Steam Game Festival. The free beta runs through June 14.
Microsoft cautioned that this is an “early demo” of Grounded, so it’s possible there will be some issues. The demo “gives players a look at one day in the life of Grounded’s single player campaign.”
While the Xbox Insider Program is free, Microsoft said access to the beta will be on a first-come first-served basis because the company only has a “limited number of slots available.”
Grounded is basically Honey, I Shrunk the Kids meets Rust. “You wake up in a suburban backyard, shrunk to the size of an ant. You hear the voice of a mysterious robot named BURG.L. He seems to know what’s going on and lets you know that the machine to turn you back to normal size is currently out of order,” reads a line from the game’s description.
Everything in the yard is trying to kill you, not unlike the Rick Moranis movie, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. “The backyard is rife with different kinds of ants, flying insects, and spiders. You must gather, craft, and build bases from scavenged items found in the backyard, searching for life-saving resources such as the dew off grass to quench your thirst or transforming an acorn shell into body armor to defend against a host of unpredictable creatures,” Microsoft said about the game.
Grounded features solo play or multiplayer with up to three others, but the beta test is limited to single-player.
GameSpot got to see an early build of Grounded back in 2019. Editor Phil Hornshaw noted that Grounded appears to be a “confident step in a new direction, and we’ll need to wait to see whether the things people like about the studio’s games, like storytelling, character development, and player choice, are compatible with the survival genre.”
After the beta, and assuming the schedule does not change, Obsidian will release Grounded through the Xbox Game Preview program and Steam Early Access on July 28. The game is free for all Xbox Game Pass subscribers on Xbox One and PC.
Obsidian’s previous game, The Outer Worlds, recently passed a significant sales milestone, eclipsing 2.5 million copies sold. Microsoft now owns Obsidian, and future Outer Worlds titles–if they are made–could be exclusive to Xbox and PC.
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