Friday, 3 January 2014

Space Engineers

Here's one of the best alpha games I have played yet. Space Engineers isn't just a space sandbox building game, it's a chance to unleash your inner Dr Sheldon Cooper upon the awaiting procedural sandbox. It's many geniuses to tinker with real physics and build the ultimate achievement of their minds.

The graphics quality is astounding for an alpha, but be aware. If you build monstrous space stations, your graphics card will be pushing it really hard to keep up with the game. I noticed this when my FPS (Frames Per Second) dropped really low and felt like I was experiencing lag. That said, you can build anything your mind can imagine, given that falls into line with the building materials supplied. 

The best way to describe this game is Minecraft meets Star Trek. At this early stage in development, there is only one mode available, but multiplayer is coming. Building is fairly easy, you have three choices of what category you would like to build. Including: 1. Small ship; fairly self explanatory, this is used for building small ships of any kind. Ranging from mining ships, to tram ships attached to docking bridges (one of my creations). 2. Large ships; the big bad looking battleship kinds, or even just the star ship transporters. Your imagination is the limit of what you can build in each category. 3. Space stations; my personal favorite. This is where my creativity ran rampant. Using the blocks to create mega structures that envelop entire asteroids, to mine them with no waste. To my station, which is basically a massive warehouse with a huge docking bridge and a nifty tram transport system running up the center of the docking bridge. 

Next, we have the physics system and damage system. The physics based system is one of the best used that I have seen on any alpha. The damage system not only looks really great, but acts as if it should because of the physics system. The two systems in unison create an in depth crash test experience in vacuum, like no other that I've seen to date, an example can be seen below. However, you are a space engineer and fixing is a vital part of your job. When the grinders and welders are added, this will be a fundamental feature of the game-play. Creation is one thing, but being able to fix it when and if it breaks is quite another. 

Large sections of ships can be snapped in half during impact. Even two ships becoming one big tangled atmosphere venting death trap, for any inside not wearing a space suit.

My thoughts on this game are that the developer is heading into the dark void of space with a shining beacon of original thought. Seemingly endless and untapped creative ideas from the developer, and the public who is adding to the gamer creations every day. 

I recently purchased this game from steam for $14.99 USD, but is also available from Desura and the official website; scroll down for the link. This is a great price to take to the stars and create what you mind truly desires, be that megalithic stations like myself or small agile space fighters the possibilities are endless.

This game is going to be a massive hit with most space fans. We may even see Trekkie's and Storm Troopers working side by side together to create the "USS DEATH ENTERPRISE STAR". 

It's an alpha build at this stage, but I recommend people to get involved with good games at an early stage. The retail price is far cheaper at this stage, rather than waiting for a full release. So here is the alpha rating:


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