Void Bastards

With a name like Void Bastards, what really draws us to this game?

I’m going to be honest, it was the name that got it on the periphery of my vision.
Always good for a quick chuckle, when the name appeared on my feeds, and I managed to see some gameplay from Jim sterling, I’ll admit I may have fallen in love with the game just a little.
So what is it?
Void Bastards is a game in which you play a freeze dried convict, stuck aboard a ship in need of a little work.
In fact all it really needs is for you to scavenge a few parts from neighbouring ghostships and build yourself a new ID card, as you need a new ID card to reactivate the FTL drive, and your old ID was apparently destroyed when you became a criminal.
As such, you begin moving from ship to ship in a giant nebula turned ship graveyard, having to fend off mutated tourists, security and janitors, in an effort to salvage enough food, fuel and key items, in order to progress.
Sounds good right?
Now, we ramp up a little, this game doesn’t make it easy for you, in fact it outright expects to kill you, but that’s okay, once you sure another freeze dried convict is rehydrated and it carry on.
Each of these convicts have their own quirks and abilities, so no two should really be the same.
For example my first was prone to a horrendous smokers cough, and would alert nearby enemies, after he died my next character was.. diminutive, able to enter vents without crouching, but unable to reach high objects.
Don’t like a trait? There’s machines on some of the ships that will allow you to remove traits or even add new ones, but good or bad, they get lost in death.
What really struck me about this game is the visuals, cel shaded, ships somehow manage to look both clean, futuristic and artistic, depending.
And the sound effects! When a creature is on the other side of a door, you’ll notice the visual wood for the sounds it makes appearing in the doorway, a simple, geeky eat to indicate what’s what.
With a comic book feel to both game panels and cut scenes, Void Bastards really drew me in with the looks of it all.
It isn’t an ideal game however, with enemies being a slight annoyance.
I mean, enemies are always an annoyance in a game, that’s their role, but in this instance specifically most of the enemies are little more than a distraction.
Tourists explode when you get close to them.
Janitors vomit plasma at you.
Screws will.. Well actually I don’t know, on the games advice I’ve always run at the sight of a Screw, only ever getting close enough to see bright blue crystals form out of their backs.
When I say that enemies are annoying, my meaning is specifically that they seem very limited, I’ve seen a good half dozen, but they are always the same.
Tourists will always be small and blue.
Spectres will always teleport.
Juveniles will run at you screaming obscenities.
It’s all fun, but I’d much rather have some variety, here’s a little variation in enemies with different abilities, but honestly I would love more.
Other than that, I’m about 3 hours into the game, and I’m loving it, but if that love continues we shall see.
So this is what we call an edit, which is odd as I forgot to actually publish this post last week.
Within a week of purchase I have completed Void Bastards, and honestly I felt it came too soon.
Coming in at £24.99, Void Bastards is a well polished game, but very formulaic.
The game had 3 stages, each consisting of “Collect these items from derelicts” and then it moves you on to the next, in the game description they even say “12 to 15 hour campaign” and you know what? I completed this around the 12 hour mark, so they’re straight up about it.
But honestly, I wouldn’t exactly call it a campaign and considering what it is, you could easily double the length of the game with a little more creative thinking.
Void Bastards is in a strange place in my affections, I really enjoy the game and want to continue playing but I know there’s nothing else, the content is an inch deep and I’d have to actively avoid objectives so I won’t accidentally complete the game a second time.
So at this point, I’m hoping an update comes along that gives some depth to the game, but we shall see.

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