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BOUNDLESS is a world of beauty as seen through the eyes of a MINECRAFT player, though in this case (ie Me) it's through the eyes of a non-Minecraft player.

BOUNDLESS has the same blocky chunks for trees, animals, people etc but the long grass and flowers are so different, being stemmed and thin. The trees where you can collect foliage (leaves) have the regular blocky leaves but as you look carefully at them you can see the circular(ish) shapes that will fall after you have struck the same spot 4 or more times - in fact whatever you are collecting you need to hit it 4+ times to collect it - you are that strong thet you can carry a large amount of stones, gravel, sand, foliage, wood (of different types)  in your back pack and yet if you hit a small animal you hardly damage it - one attack from it may well kill you though.
Moral: If you are playing the peaceful version (you can choose to play where the animals and others don't attack you unless provoked, or they will attack you if you get too close to them) then do not attack anything unless you really, really have to; they are stronger than you think.

 

To begin with you need to select a landing site from the various land masses on the planet above you. On this planet you can see the locations where other players have set up shop so it is easy to land quite close to others or select a spot where you will be on your own for a while. You have a one-shot lander drone thingy (to be honest I have forgotten what it was called) that you 'fire' at the planet. Then when you are ready you go to one of the two portal blocks and attack it - this sounds weird but you need to chip away at it to open the teleport (don't worry it doesn't damage it and the next time you are there is it whoole again (next time being when you die or when you start again). This 'opens' a door into your new homeworld and all you need to do is step through. You have the opportunity to play solo or join others and play cooperatively, apparently (I haven't tried) you can also play with others across platforms as both PC and PS4 use the same servers.

 

BOUNDLESS has been placed in the same genre as a sandbox MMO which would put it in the same category as MINECRAFT and WORLD of WARCRAFT. Having played it and both of them I can definitely see the Minecraft connection, but for me it is nothing like WOW. The lands are colourful but totally different and the creatures and characters are nothing like those in Warcraft, there also is not the same buzz as when playing a genuine MMO. This doesn't stop it being addictive though, even as a solo character in a non-aggressive world I still found I wanted to do just one more thing or collect one more resource etc, and time simply flew past. As I am not at all keen on either playing (or watching others play) MINECRAFT I am surprised how absorbed and well disposed towards BOUNDLESS I am.

 

You begin with just a Totem that is useful for just about everything. However each time you use it there is a wear factor. I didn't realise this until I was merrily bashing away at a tree when suddenly I wasn't. I checked my inventory at the masses of wood, foliage, and other stuff I had collected and after a few fumblings I discovered how to make another Totem (so I made 2 or 3 and was pleased to discover that if you have at least one extra in your backpack then when the one you are using wears out the next one automatically slips into place and you carry on. 

Some resources need crafting into different resources, such as making sticks from various collections of woods. Sticks are used for making camp fires, torches and useful tools etc, most resources are used to create more than one thing. After making a couple of spare Totems you should build yourself a Workbench so that other recipes/blueprints become available to you.

    

When you create a Campfire it will burn for 2 hours and while it is burning it will provide you with a specific area in which you can build stuff - you can see this translucent area from a fair way away as it looks like a huge, high see-through block. You need to travel around the area to find the resources you need but you should return to your workbench to craft them. There is a monetary system in BOUNDLESS called Cubits. These are used for various things throughout the game, armour, weapons, body-paint, character customisation etc. Most things you will ever need to play and enjoy the game can be bought with the Cubits you earn but if you want the luxuries and elite objects then you can buy them with real money. Cubits and items etc allotted to a character remain with that character (unless spent, used etc) and are not transferable across characters. Cubits cn be used to buy and build plots of land on which you can build the beginnings of your Empire and they (Cubits) will also allow you to Re-Spec and Edit your character, so they are more than just the wherewithal to buy super-duper weapons.

 

If you get the top edition of BOUNDLESS you will also get 12½ hours of music composed for the game. This is ok if you like listening game sounds at times when you aren't playing but I found it took up a lot of much needed Hard Drive space and let's face it whatever the size of your HDD it is never going to be large enough to load, install and keep all of the good games let alone use it as a musical jukebox.

Visually, even though it doesn't have the sharpness or clarity of a game like WOW, or indeed most MMOs that you can find online, BOUNDLESS does have its own uniqueness. From your home planet you can see the universe of planets above you simply by looking up. Many of these can be inhabited or are inhabited by other players and the majority of them can (eventually) be travelled to via the speedy portal/teleport system, but don't expect to just start the game and become Buck Rogers or Captain Kirk, there is a lot of gaming for you to do before you get to a decent enough standard and level to hold your own against invaders, or to even attack and defeat the indigenous population of the planet you have chosen to begin on.

   

Whether you play in the happy peaceful world or in the aggressive world the more I read about BOUNDLESS the more it seems that banding together with friends to form a guild and eventually build a City is the way to go if you are likely to be playing this for years to come. In this way it is a little like a major MMO, going out in groups to complete Quests etc, plus buying houses (in this case you have to build your houses) and starting a community. Most of the stores you come across will be run by other players who have gathered much needed resources and/or crafter various items and put them on sale so that they can make a few extra Cubits and you save the hours it takes to do it yourself. This is more of a community game than any other I have played as if you want to you can play it almost like the Sims and just live your life on a distant planet in harmony - but only if you are on the non-aggressive server. Pick the PvP server and watch your carefullly designed and stocked City turn into a pile of crumbling blocks.

 

With the way the game is at present it is possible to chop all around a tree, and a below it so that you can walk under the tree as it is now floating in mid-air. Is this an oops in the game programming or is it a clever insight into how trees on foreign planets actually grow, attached by invisible roots.

Boundless offers a universe of boundless possibilities; a universe of connected worlds where every player will impact the growth, not only of their own planet but also every planet in the Boundless Galaxy. Whatever your favourite character class, within sensible reason,  Builder/Crafter, Explorer/Hunter, Store Owner/Trader etc the world is your oyster. As you learn and level you will discover how to open teleportals and travel seamlessly between planets so diverse and different you will think you have entered a different game. From a Beach Hut on an almost deserted Volcanic Island you might watch as the sun rises, illuminating the deathly mountain with its fiery plume of smoke threatening everything you have built alone or with your friends. The more distant and dangerous the planet the more chance there is to find precious elements and treasures and lazy, violent prospective thieves who do not wish to actually do the work for themselves. Your destiny is in your hands and you can forge and sculpt in this epic voxel sandbox MMO. But DON'T TRY SWIMMING, at least not at first, because a) you can't swim, b) you can't walk on water, c) you can't fly and d) you CAN drown!

My final word (for now): I haven't finished the game, although it has finished me several times. There is way too much to say you have finished no matter how many planets you have visited and how many settlements you have founded and that's where the main beauty of the game can be found. just tap a few keystrokes and ready yourself for a new experience and experiment.

Boundless is a subscription free MMO maintained by optional in-app purchases.   Boundless should be available for about £32.99, with the Digital Deluxe edition at an SRP of £49.66  and Upgrade  £22.99. It boasts:

 

Multi-player

 

Online Multi-Player

 

MMO

 

Co-op

 

Online Co-op

Cross-Platform Multiplayer
 

Steam Achievements

 

Full controller suppor

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015