Space Engineers – A Promising New Game
There are signs that the new Space Engineers would be amongst the finest sandbox launches in forthcoming years. Yes, the game is that promising, though it is still in Alpha. You can get it through a dedicated server – SpaceEngineersHosting, along with Steam Early Access. On the face of it, Space Engineers seems like a regular voxel based building game and many players would even compare it to Minecraft, as both share a lot of resemblance to each other. However, experts think that Space Engineers is a game in its own league and will grow even bigger with time.
As its title suggests, Space Engineers is about building machinery to acclimatize to your situation. As the game website describes, it focuses on building aspects, but can also be played as a tactical shooter. The developers’ expectation is players should more engage themselves in triggering their creativity and engineering talent to construct fortifications and war machines, rather than direct combat.
The game being still in development, many aspects are being changed in it as well as many other things are being added by the developer team. The developers should be commended as they are prompt in replying to the community on weekly basis.
The game can be played either in a more captivating first person view or third person view. The latter is much better while trying to see things in relation with each other, such as ships. However the first person view is more useful while constructing and operating your machines.
You get some tools to help you – the Hand Drill will take you to the mines buried in asteroids, the Welder will help you to build the blocks that create the ships and stations, the Grinder on the other hand destroys the blocks and the Automatic Rifle defends you against other players. At present the last one (automatic rifle) is not causing much damage, therefore players have found its other uses, such as remote detonation of warheads.
Presently,Space Engineers have two modes – Creative and Survival, one of the similarities with Minecraft.
In Creative Mode, you get unlimited supply of whichever block you choose, you even don’t have to worry regarding energy on the suit. You can choose this mode for creating space stations and larger ships.
Survival Mode allows you to choose from an array of starting situations like an asteroid outpost having a few ships and equipment or nothing at all. You will have to watch energy levels otherwise you can die. You can currently replenish the energy at a health and energy station while piloting a ship.
You have to first have all the components to create something. Each base block too is built from smaller sub components, like computer parts or steel plates.
Latest update is, computer controlled ships, ranging from simple solar sails to complex military escort, have been added which will pass through your world every now and then. Some of them will also contain ores or other thing; you will have to teach them and take control of them to reap the resources.
Regarding control, when artificial gravity is concerned, the astronaut can handle like any other character. You can walk back and forth, strafe from one side to the other, sprint as well as jump. But usually while taking up repairs on a big ship or outside a space station, you will need to use the jet pack function of the suit, which allows you to move in 3D still, like regular controls and also offers the ability to rotate on the axis. This is particularly useful while building large items or moving quickly.
You will retain all movement force/inertia, like all moving objects, till a counteracting force acts otherwise. For example, for stopping from continuously moving forward, you will need to match it with a backward force of equal power.
The other option is much easier and it is to turn the Inertia Dampener on. Both player and ships have this and have the same effect too.
Other mechanics involved in the game are searchlights and headlamps which help you in mining, ore detectors for the same, beacons to help you not losing your space station or ship when you go into space. There are weapons too which can be tied to your ships to protect against threats.
The latest update is, the developers have added multiplayer to the game. Through this, as you can guess, players can come together to construct what they want.
Space Engineers has started on a strong base and seems to have great future. As the developers – Keen Software House – are keen in listening to the community, the few bugs that are plaguing the game will soon be rectifying them in response.
Enjoy the Alpha Footage: