Writing for PCGamesN, Jack Yarwood reflects on Astroneer, the accessible interplanetary survival sandbox played by more than 2 million space explorers while in Early Access. In Astroneer, Yarwood feels the loneliness and isolation of journeying through space.
Without extraterrestrial threats, space politics, or threatening fauna, Astroneer presents a different kind of hazard: an endless mission that must be faced alone:
This is what makes Astroneer a more personal and introspective game about space travel than some of its contemporaries. While it has mostly been pitched to players as a fun, multiplayer sandbox game – a la Minecraft – playing Astroneer alone can be an extremely isolating and contemplative experience. . . . After all, no matter how hard you work, there’s no end to your character’s toil and no prospect of ever returning home. Instead, your explorer must simply continue their research, creating makeshift bases out of whatever space junk they find lying about. It’s a tragic existence and one that many can relate to, in spite of its sci-fi slant. After all, who hasn’t felt alone at some point in their life?
Astroneer is available now on Xbox One and PC via Steam. Updates coming later this year will add new story missions, equipment, and multiplayer options. For more updates from space, check out the official website and follow Astroneer and developer System Era Softworks on Twitter.