Grav Early Access Impressions

GRAV is a sci-fi themed adventure/exploration focused sandbox with crafting and survival elements, published/developed by BitMonster inc. BitMonster inc have previously developed the following titles: Lili (iOS), Lili: child of Geos (pc), THRED (presented by Coca-Cola, made for the RED charity) and Gunner Z (iOS, Android).

gravEveryone agreed that there was no need for the campfire, Reaper’s dancing was hot enough

Being in alpha there isn’t a story. However you begin stranded on a planet, your first task is to explore the surroundings in order to find a good site for your base. Next up you will hunt for resources and blueprints (which are dropped by the various creatures) in order to build various machines and equipment which will aid you and eventually allow you to escape the planet and explore the universe.

GravIt’s not flying its falling with style

Gameplay wise the way in which blueprints are acquired either through hunting or looting chests, which can be found in caves or on occasion somewhere in the world adds rewards to the adventure. Blueprints can be used to build new equipment and even vehicles. In order to create items or indeed the item listed on the blueprint players will need to either “mine out” resources, hunt down a particular creature or creatures or perhaps they will be lucky enough to find the resources in a chest.

Upon entering a cave players will find it’s a little bit like a dungeon whereby they will face off against various creatures levelled to the cave instance and their level. There will be a smattering of resources and potential loot create at the end (perhaps even more than one). You can also “set your own checkpoint” using the in game uplink building which is handy when going into caves/dungeons.

grav Adventure awaits, mystery, loot and the chance of death

Players can acquire various “pets” that will buff various stats depending on the pet or provide the player with a handy light source. The game does contain “quest givers” which for now serve as additional pet shops however they do elude to the possibility of interesting and exciting quests to complete.

GravWhat do you mean setting up a spawn point and armoury for ammo etc in a dungeon is cheating?

As indicated by the sandbox nature players will also be able to build bases as well as a number of different machines which they can use to upgrade resources and make better equipment which will in turn give them somewhere safe to store their belongings and also allow them to meet higher challenges which will be required to create equipment allowing them to travel away from the planet. Game servers can be PVP, PVE or combination thereof, players of course play in the single player mode. It should be noted the game is primarily designed to be played with others.

GravThe only thing better than a fence; is an electro-laser death ray fence

The harvesting and building mechanics all work really well however the way the buildings are done is best described as (except for in certain particular instances): they sit on top of a foundation which essentially puts the building “ground level” essentially at the level of first-floor/2nd story the main “room w/door” does have a ladder, but I couldn’t seem to find a way to start building at actual ground level this may be intentional or indeed my own incompetence.

It should also be noted that the “partial controller support” is exactly that so for now it’s best to use keyboard and mouse. Graphically the game is really beautiful and the sci-fi futuristic aesthetic is very well adhered to. The soundtrack and sound assets are all very accurate and immersive also.

GravReaper uses his multi-tool Mk3 to dispatch of the mighty level1 tree

Overall I really enjoyed my time on GRAV and I’m actually really glad I got to review it as otherwise I feel as though a really good developer would have slipped under my radar. There are of course a few minor problems that come part and parcel with early access/alpha builds but nothing too major at least as far as my experience goes. That being said giving the game “recommended” over a score seems to be fairer given its alpha status.

Grav

Reapers dreams of an acting career were dashed after a “wooden” performance
p.s. I’m not made of wood that’s just the way the first tier armour looks

Disclosure: Game copy was provided by developer/publisher

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About Colin Lavery

Profile photo of Colin Lavery
Colin is a PC/Xbox gamer to whom gameplay outweighs graphics by a country mile. Colin is rather fond of pixel art games such as Pixel Piracy, to games such as Prison Architect, Rimworld and Project Zomboid. Space games such as X3 and Starpoint Gemini. Games with any mention of a “Reaper” or responsive Devs get double XP.

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