Void Bastards is releasing at the end of May and promises to be a fine addition for gamers who enjoy not only strategy and shooting, but also the sometimes soul-crushing obliteration they face in roguelikes. The developers Blue Manchu state that there will simply be times when the odds are so heavily stacked against you that it feels completely unfair, adding a certain challenge to the idea of surviving in space.
With strong themes from FTL: Faster Than Light, the objective of the game is to control various prisoners of the Void Ark through derelict spaceships in the Sargasso Nebula. Pre-release footage and commentary from the developers describes that the strategic choices in this game are varied, from selecting appropriate weapon types for different enemies, routes through ships that weigh risk versus reward, and sometimes overwhelming numbers of foes.
Void Bastards features a campaign that should take about fifteen hours to beat with an endless supply of prisoners, each with their own unique traits. When one dies, another is “volunteered” to carry on the fight, and progress previously made in crafting is retained throughout your game. If the premise sounds familiar, you may be thinking of Rogue Legacy, only without the idea of a family bloodline to tie it all together.
As mentioned, the game brings up a strong feeling of FTL: Faster than Light. This can be seen in both the Nebula that requires a route to be selected, and the overlay map of the ship itself. In FTL: Faster Than Light, both of these are fundamental to creating an effective strategy, and the slightest mistake can be punishing to the point of the death of your entire crew and the end of a game.
If Void Bastards employs this kind of decision-making into an always different, procedurally generated map, this may well be a sleeper hit. If this is the case, the stressfulness felt by players may be far higher, since FTL can be paused in the middle of space combat to plan for a next move, something that does not seem like it would be thematically appropriate here.
Void Bastards launches on May 29 on PC and Xbox One, and will form part of the Xbox Game Pass library. You can check out more of the unique-looking game here.