What exactly is PS4 exclusive Boundless?
Last week Sony held its first ever press conference at Paris Games Week. It was a great conference where we got to see more of exciting games like Horizon: Zero Dawn, No Man's Sky and Dreams, as well as new game announcements in Detroit: Become Human and Gran Turismo Sport. One announcement that caught my attention, but could easily have slipped under the radar, was Boundless.
Boundless was shown as part of three indie games coming to PS4 in 2016 as console exclusives, the other two being No Man's Sky and Avicii: Vector. I can't say I'm even remotely a fan of Avicii, and I've seen more than my fair share of No Man's Sky (I just want to play it at this point), so Boundless was the game that stood out to me in that trio. Much like Media Molecule's Dreams, Boundless is likely to be a very hard game to market or show off at trade shows. Regardless, take a look at the trailer Sony showcased at PGW:
So, if you're anything like me, you likely got a real Minecraft vibe from the trailer. The good news is that vibe could give it mass appeal. The bad news is, it's unoriginal and I personally don't like Minecraft. However the deeper I dug, the more I realized I was selling Boundless short. Sure it definitely has some Minecraftian elements but it is very much its own game.
Cross Platform Universe
Boundless is coming to both PS4 and PC in 2016, and everyone will be playing together in the same, giant, seamless universe! Each player will have their own, unique homeworld that is procedurally generated. However that's just your homeworld, your base of operations as it were. From there you can open portals and jump to other worlds.
One world may be desolate and barren, with dangerous weather even, so you may wanna get out of there on the double. The next world might be a beautiful haven full of creatures that can be farmed.
Each world is unique and alive. It's a giant universe with disparate worlds where you never know what you might find.
Developer Wonderstruck has written a blog post on the PlayStation Blog, explaining it in much greater detail. In the blog the team describe the game in a way that will inevitably evoke No Man's Sky:
When you find that world you really like (you know, the one with that amazing waterfall), why not make if your official home and claim some land using a Beacon? Any land you claim will become yours, and yours alone to change.
The concept of emerging on an alien world, finding a beacon, claiming it as your own, and farming resources sure does sound a lot like No Man's Sky. However, the difference with Boundless is that you can choose to stay on said planet and make it your own. Wonderstruck said more about colonizing worlds, and it sounds like a ton of fun (carrying on from previous quote):
That is, of course, unless you want some neighbors, in which case invite your friends and form a guild. Share land, resources, build amazing things, and go on some adventures together. Compete with other guilds and become the most loved, or feared, group in the universe.
One description of the game said you could go around worlds, collect various species, bring them back to your world and start a zoo. Yes a zoo! You can even charge other players to come to your zoo and see the species, the more rare they are the more you should charge. Boundless, as per the name, offers a lot of options for gamers, it's one of the more literal sandboxes we've seen.
Attack on Titan
Search each new world to discover the location of its ancient Titan. Once activated, these huge sentient fortresses menacingly stalk the landscape searching for anything they perceive as a threat. These apex predators are filled with traps and swarming with deadly Protectors. Attempted alone, your only hope is to explore, survive, and escape with a handful of valuable resources. If you’re feeling brave, call together all the citizens of your adopted world and attempt the impossible — defeat the Titan.
This quote from Wonderstruck is definitely one of the more interesting ones. Each world has its own Titan, which you can search for and fight, or steal from and run. This makes each world sound unique and as though it has a purpose - like individual restaurants with dynamic menus, rather than a chain drive-through. Even the Titans can be used in fascinating ways:
Harvest Titan’s mechanical guts and repurpose them to make your own floating airships and ingenious contraptions.
In case you haven't realized it by now, Boundless aims to be every bit as open and rife with potential as it the name suggests. The game really does sound like a mixture between Minecraft and No Man's Sky - joining together the creativity and aesthetic of the former with the exploration and scale of the latter.
For one last idea of how big and option-filled Boundless is, Wonderstuck offered up a bullet-point list of things you can do, check it out:
- Hunt for creatures in dangerous areas and sell the rare loot and materials you find to non-combative citizens.
- Offer your services as a master-builder to other citizens and do honest work for coin.
- Collect the weirdest creatures from across the universe and open a space zoo(!), then charge citizens coin to visit.
- Create amazing sandbox contraptions like people cannons and hyper-efficient crafting machines, and then sell copies of the blueprints to other players so they can create them too.
- Collect the most valuable and rarest resources from across the universe and open a shop that citizens will flock to.
- Open a Portal hub, connecting your world to distant worlds across the universe and allow citizens to travel, for a fee of course!
- Become a Boundless real estate agent, by searching for and claiming the coolest plots of land and then selling them to other players for coin.
- Craft the coolest wearables, the tint them to perfection and open a boutique fashion store.
I can say in all earnest that this game did very little to appeal to me with the trailer shown at Paris Games Week. But I was intrigued enough to investigate it further, and I'm glad I did. The information I found and presented to you here is enough to make Boundless leap into my most anticipated games list. I'm very excited for No Man's Sky, but Minecraft never grabbed me - maybe Boundless is the perfect combination of the two.
Boundless has a 2016 release window for PS4 and PC, but a beta for the latter will happen sometime between now and the eventual release. For everything else that was shown at Paris Games Week, check out our recap. Until next time, stay tuned to GameSkinny!