Today, as part of Microsoft’s XO19 conference in London, Outer Worlds developer Obsidian announced its first project under the Xbox Game Studios umbrella: a survival adventure game called Grounded.
Grounded, which is releasing in early access on Xbox One and PC in spring 2020 (digitally and as part of Xbox Game Pass), is an up-to-four-player survival game set apart largely by its tiny setting. You play as an intrepid child who’s been shrunken down to the size of an ant as part of a science experiment that strikes me as massively unethical. The whole world is very literally your backyard; because you’re so small, this makes for a sizable map on which to craft items and build bases using everyday objects that, to you, are as big as houses. As you are the size of an ant, you’ll also encounter ants and other creatures that are the (relative) size of you.
It’s a departure for Obsidian, a studio best-known for story-driven RPGs like the aforementioned Outer Worlds, Pillars of Eternity, and Fallout: New Vegas. Then again, Obsidian also spent two years working on multiplayer tank battle hootenanny Armoured Warfare, so it’s not like it hasn’t added a little jalapeno to its bread and butter before.