Grounded comes to PS5 and Switch – but performance is a problem

April 23, 2024
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Rounding out the initial quartet of Xbox Studio titles announced for PlayStation 5, miniature survival game Grounded has arrived on Sony’s machine – and Nintendo Switch too. Given that we last looked at Grounded in early access on Xbox One and PC way back in 2020, these two new releases give us a perfect opportunity to reappraise all platforms today. And so, here we’ve got PS5, Switch, Series X, Series S and PC in focus, as we see how all compare in terms of fidelity and performance. Most importantly, does the PS5 edition recreate the Series X experience, or are there graphics changes as we saw in Hi-Fi Rush on its PS5 debut? And for Switch, how does its handheld play actually hold up with 30 frames per second as the target?

For the uninitiated, Grounded is a survival game in the mould of Valheim or Ark: Survival Evolved that lets you loose on a garden after being shrunk down to the size of a figurine. You wake up to a jungle of looming grass blades, evade spiders, navigate all manner of discarded gadgets and junk, scavenge for food, and above all – through the power of science – seek a way to return to your normal size. The central conceit calls to mind Andy’s garden from Pixar’s Toy Story, or even Disney’s comedy adventure Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

It’s a great survival-themed backdrop – deploying heavy bokeh depth of field to truly sell the scale of its world. We’re not getting an all-guns-a-blazing showcase for Unreal Engine here by any means. But still, it’s a fun idea with solid execution, featuring a day-night cycle plus some beautiful volumetric lighting effects. Impressively, these latest ports to PS5 and Switch also include cross-play by linking to a Microsoft account, so up to four friends across multiple platforms can combine forces to build structures and survive the creatures of the garden.

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