In this review I will look at the game's 6 playable races, it's infinite amount of creatures and planets, the fighting, the resource gathering, the game's crafting system, the bosses, it's farming and survival mechanics and it's modding community.
Firstly, if you were wondering the steam store and came across Starbound at first impression you may just think it is a Terraria clone, well I can tell you it is similar to Terraria, but different in many ways also I wouldn't recommend this unless you've got alot of time to give to this game.
Now, the game starts you out with a 'Create a character' screen in which you will... Create a character, the customization isn't great nor is it awful, it just sits in the mediocre. You basicly choose a race (6 races with different abilities), customize its hair (There aren't many hairstyles), choose from about 5-6 boring shirts and pants and then you can change their colour, like I said, not amazing, not awful, after that you are thrust into the universe on board your personal ship, each race has their own unique ship design, some are quite cool, whereas some are very generic steel ships with windows, my favourite is the ship made out of plants which is a cool design. Unfortunately after your done looking at your ship you may have no clue what so ever what you are doing, all it does is tell you were to get a matter manipulator, which is basicly the tier 1 of tools, its useful for starting because it is multi purpose. Anyhow, once you have stumbled your way onto your home planet, which is procedurally generated (Randomly generated) the first thing you will be struck by is its beauty, Starbound is a really nice looking game, after it rains you may get a mist descend upon your planet and it may last for days, or maybe you've built your house and you get buried in in a dust storm while your sleeping, the effects are beautiful to watch, the game also has a real time lighting system which is better than most 3D games, when you shine at a wall and half of your torchlight is hitting the wall and the other half isn't, you will only see 1 half coming out of the other side of the wall, it adds makes it quite tense underground because there is no light and you must rely on this torch and you can't see very far ahead, and with all the monsters around you don't know what you are going to meet down there.
Unfortunatly (Again) after you are done drueling at the games Graphics you will once again not know what to do because the tutorial... well its none existent, I spent my first 1 and a half choping trees down with no real purpose, just making some planks and chopping wood, and making planks and chopping wood, you get the point, it does have a 'Main quest' if thats what you want to call it, really its just a half ass excuse to call it a quest, it just tells you to make things and in the reward section it says you will be reward with the thing you have already made!
Now, once you have figured out all that nonsense you will want to hunt down some creatures for food and leather for armor, there is quite a variety of creatures on each planet, there are usualy about 5 different types of hostile birds thinges about 4-6 types of hostile ground enemies and 1-2 friendly creatures, as you can tell, you will be fighting, alot, the fighting system is pretty basic, mouse1 to attack and mouse2 to block, can become repetitive after hours of play and you may end up trying to run away from fights because they are so boring. Once you have ran away from the monsters you may want to farm or mine some things, the mining is quite annoying on this game because it is so hard to find any ore unless you did for half an hour -_-, the farming is basic plant and wait sort of thing, but it does not tell you this, it doesn't tell you that you need a hoe and can't plant in certain dirt types. So you will be clicking the floor for a very long time trying to plant them but to no avail.
After you've reach the last 'quest' in the 'main questline' you will be facing a boss, a penguin in a UFO, sounds fun? Its... Meh, you can easily defeat him by digging a hole and shooting out of a small gap in the hole with arrows or bullets. After you have done this you will most likely want to go to a different planet, well you will have a hard decision choosing a planet because THERE ARE INFINITE PLANETS! All the planets are different, even though there is only about 25-30 biomes each planet can have, settlesment with other races of NPCs, it can have space prisons, creppy dungeons and moons where you need an astronaut helmet to breath, there is a huge variety of things to find.
Now onto my final point, the modding community, there is a dedicated section of the Nexus to Starbound, lots of good mods... but it is riddled with perverted mods... i.e The didlo bed, 2D nudity and dragon penis weapons -_-, although inbetween these weird mods you can find awesome mods such has having your ship remade into the starship enterprise, full scale!
Version reviewed: Early access 26/07/14