New biomes for Christmas: Starbound Winter Update brings 360-degree combat, lots besides


It’s probably terribly unfair to still be comparing Starbound to Terraria. But I spent some of last Christmas distractedly picking up presents in the original 2D sandbox smash’s holiday season. And if I do anything similar this yuletide, it’ll be with Starbound’s Winter Update – the cumulation of many months of nightly builds, available next week through the game’s ‘unstable’ branch.

Four new biomes are to be slotted into Starbound’s randomly-generated worlds – the intriguingly named Gnome Village, Zen, Hive and Bioluminescence.

A “complete combat overhaul” will introduce 360-degree melee aiming, parrying and shield-breaking. Knockback has been removed, and players will no longer be hurt by simply touching most monsters. Those monsters have all benefitted from changes to their attack behaviour, too.

Starbound celebrated its first birthday on Steam Early Access a couple of weeks back.

“Starbound’s development has had its ups and downs (as all game development cycles do!), but we’ve been able to work far more efficiently together since settling into our little office space,” wrote Chucklefish at the time.

“We’ve been super hard at work on a very large update that changes and expands upon the progression system and it’s nearly ready for unstable.”

The devs have released a trailer rather than a “10+ page” changelog – although the community have put together one of those too.

If all goes well in unstable branch, Chucklefish plan to launch the Winter Update in stable beta in January. When was the last time you played in their open world(s)?