Indie developers have built up a reputation as risk-takers; willing to blend genres and ideas more readily than big developers in order to create the next big thing. Asteria follows this ideology, describable as Terraria in a grim and futuristic setting. With laser guns.
In its 2D setting, Asteria embodies a sense of the epic from the beginning in its action-adventure confines right off the bat. The key selling point is the openness of the game; in which you are given free reign to go and do whatever you please from the first second. You can mine for items, explore your surroundings, or even just do something as simple as blast holes in every enemy that crosses your path. You are not forced to follow a linear path; you can simply play the game as you like, which ultimately results in an immensely fun experience.
It uses a mix of beautiful pre-drawn backgrounds, while, in the foreground, we get equally pretty 32-bit style graphics that evokes Super Metroid – we control a hero who wears a combat suit that could put Master Chief to shame, running around the sub-terrain killing many strange enemies, all stylised in a dark but undeniably very pretty way. Indeed, Asteria wins many points in the visual department.
Asteria doesn’t just impress in the gameplay, fun and graphical department, it also sounds amazing. The gameplay is accompanied by a rousing soundtrack that wouldn’t feel out of place in a big-budget Hollywood movie. It really contributes to the scale of the game; the worlds you can play in are massive, and the music appropriately reflects that.
The idea of a large and non-linear game may sound daunting to many, but this game has a lot to offer, and as such, Asteria is worth your time. Artistically, it impresses, but the depth of gameplay here will keep you hooked long after your first play.