Before We Leave Handles City Building with Ease on Xbox Series X
Before We Leave, a fun and deep city builder from Team 17 lands on Xbox today, and I have been playing it for the better part of a week. And I’ll admit off the top that I was really skeptical of how this game would run on console. When it comes to strategy games on console, only two have really worked in my opinion: Planet Coaster (which I played on the PlayStation 5), and Two Point Hospital (which I played on Nintendo Switch). So the question became – could I find a equally fun experience on Xbox and love it? Let’s take a look.
Already available on PC, Before We Leave has you rebuilding the world after the citizens, Peeps, emerge from their underground bunker to begin a new life. Like any good city builder, players will have to support their Peeps while continuing to cater to their growing wants and desires. Simple food and water will be suffice early on, but as the Peeps begin to settle into their new lives, you’ll need better food options, clothes options, and a variety of beverages. It’s a pretty great system that slowly gets you into more and more complex supply chain requirements.
But where Before We Leave takes a turn is when you realize you are only one one island of a few on the given planet, of which there are also a few. And the only want to really find success in this game is to leave your current island for another, and ultimately leave you planet for another. That doesn’t mean the cities you leave behind are useless, however, as you set up trade routes to move goods between your growing kingdom. One island might specialize in lumber and iron, while another might be for oil, etc.
Keeping your Peeps happy becomes tougher and tougher as time passes. Working too closely to buildings that push out pollution, or not having adequate clothes for the long walks through the dessert from A to B can cause your Peeps to become disgruntled and unsatisfied, causing huge issues with their production capabilities. As production falls, your whole kingdom can stall at the blink of an eye.
My initial worry with Before We Leave was that the game was going to be too complex for console, and while certain things overwhelmed me early on – and the tutorial was often not the greatest help – within my first two hours (which you can see above) I had a decent handle on almost all the different gameplay mechanics, including shipping goods from one island to another.
For what it’s worth, Before We Leave is a worthwhile experience on the Xbox Series X, and one I will spend a ton of quality time with. There are many planets to unlock and explore, new research to obtain, and more stuff to build. And this seems like a title that screams DLC!