Welcome to Gaiya, a world so inhospitable, corporations are sending robots in to colonize and harvest its resources. Could Outpost Zero be the next hot game on the block for survival fans? The Early Access title from Symmetric Games and tinyBuild is looking to establish itself as the next go-to for fans who like to make something from nothing. It features survivalist gameplay, requiring the player to scramble for materials to build a base, establish defenses, and more—much like Ark, Rust, or Conan: Exiles would have you do. From the moment you drop onto the planet, you’ll be fighting for your life. Whether you’re defending yourself against the fauna, taking shelter from deadly weather, or fighting aggressive, rebellious bandits, there are few moments of respite.
Each survival game has its own hook. With Ark, for example, you can tame and ride dinosaurs. In Outpost Zero, you can build an army of robots, assigning them duties. They can gather, build, and fight beside you, quite literally working to make your base self-sufficient. The premise is intriguing, but the execution currently feels a little clumsy.
From the moment you land on Gaiya, you’ll have two tools and a traveling companion at your disposal. You get an axe, which seems to be more useful for harvesting flora, and a multitool—useful for harvesting ore, building structures, and fending off enemies in a pinch. With them, you’ll have to make a mad dash to build a base, complete with a power source, defenses, and the workbenches necessary to build and upgrade gear and companions.
The whole time you’re marching through the wilderness, your battery will drain. You and your drone companions can re-energize by building a spot for it in your base. Run out of energy and you’ll start to take serious damage. If you die, you’ll respawn as another android, falling to the surface of Gaiya. But you can recover what your previous body was carrying.
As of right now, Outpost Zero is kind of a rough looking game. Spending time in Gaiya feels like getting dropped into the middle of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Everything is orange or brown, no matter where you look. It felt overpoweringly despondent at times. I would love to see some greenery in the future to help give the world a sense of life—and not just the kind that wants to kill anything that moves. There are some cool moments buried in Outpost Zero right now. From storms to pirate invasions to the occasional crash landing in the distance; there are events to pull your attention.
In its early stages, Outpost Zero feels empty and rough around the edges in a way that made my interest in seeing late-game content fall to the wayside. The world feels largely devoid of meaningful things to do. That being said, the team at Symmetric is still actively developing, working to roll out changes that improve the experience as often as possible. It will be a long road to completion, but there could be something unique enough here to grab one’s attention. It is clear the development studio is passionate about working to improve what they have. We will just have to see in time.
Preview copy provided by tinyBuild