Today, the Grounded team released the most extensive update to the backyard with the Hot and Hazy update. From brand new biomes, new areas to explore, a handful of new insects, and some fantastic new game mechanics to help with playstyle customization, the largest addition to the backyard is certainly a hot one.
Digging into the update with the new Sandbox biome, this area brings the heat, as a new sizzling mechanic is introduced exclusively to this new area… for now. Explore the desert-like landscape during the day and players will slowly roast unless they can find shade or the proper gear to counter it. So why explore during the day when you could wait for nightfall and not get burned to a crisp? You’ll miss out on sparkling glints in the sand that can only be seen during with the light of the scorching sun, and that can only mean one thing: treasure! Craft the brand new shovel and get out there and find that booty. Although, treasure isn’t the only thing buried in this area, as players will now come face-to-face here with one of the strongest foes yet; the antlion. These new creatures love eating two things in this world: ants and YOU. Be prepared!
Speaking of ants, the recently added Black Ant Hill is now open for players to enter. This anthill is the first mega dungeon players can explore as they fight their way through the halls of the forgotten lab below. Players will also have the opportunity to meet with the first mini-boss in the game, that is, if they can find the proper clearance to set up said meeting.
The Haze area has been updated to make it, well, hazier. A thick cloud of weed killer descends upon this biome, leaving those players without gas masks gasping for air. Some new insects join the infected weevil and mite, such as the infected ladybug, larva, and gnat, who offer a different experience from their non-infected cousins, as well deadly exploding fungi. However, players who come prepared will find that the lab hidden in this area has a few secrets to delve out as a reward to those who enter and uncover them.
The universe in Grounded is also expanding, as more in-game brands have been introduced in some new areas. The Picnic Table has opened, and players will now be able to explore this once favored gaming area with pieces from the latest in tabletop RPGs, Minotaur and Myrmidons vol. II, left to check out. On the bench, players will also discover the Pebble Village lunchbox someone left behind. Over in the Trash Heap area, rotten food and a busted AARTZ3000 can be found, along with the new Meaty Gnats to go and greet.
Along with new and updated areas and new creatures (let’s not forget the Sickly Roly Poly that can be found near the Trash Heap!), some fantastic new game mechanics have been included that will allow the players to add a bit of customization to their playstyle. Yoked Girth Milk Molars, the popular teen vitamin with the delicious pulpy center, can now be found strewn about the yard. These molars can grant individual and party upgrades, depending on the type found. The new Smithing Station has been added that will give the ability to upgrade weapons and tools and add specific attributes to them such as Spicy, Salty, or Fresh. Food in the game has gone through a rework to provide players with greater bonuses depending on the meals they create from the cookbooks they can collect, and Brain Power has been added to help players with Raw Science management.
The team added a lot more to Grounded with this update, so to see more details and learn about the features/changes mentioned here and more, check out the Grounded Developer Vlog on the Obsidian YouTube Channel. And as always, the team encourages players to join our communities, such as Discord, to help share feedback and any suggestions they may have.
Grounded is available now on Xbox Game Preview and Xbox Game Pass.
Xbox Game Studios