The private space travel industry is a hot topic these days, with almost constant conversations about when (and how) people can one day set foot on Mars in permanent positions. Haemimont Games has re-entered the genre of city-building games, as it launches the exaggerated planetary colonization train, with its latest release Surviving Mars . But is this SimCity with a new layer of dry red Martian dust? Or is there more to the game than simply managing resources and people? It's time to discover it in our Surviving Mars Review of PS4.
A lot to do
What should one do as manager of a Mars colony? As with most city sims, the first order of business is to secure resources to prepare an area for the room. The basic resources in Surviving Mars are metals, concrete, parts of machines, polymers and electronic products, which consolidate it as a science fiction game from beginning to end. Domes are required for humans to get through a spaceship and try to make a living on the Red Planet. Unlike games like SimCity where it is enough to place an area connected to electricity and water to get things moving, Surviving Mars requires that each dome has housing, medical facilities, farms, recreation centers and other spaces if one is successful. Many of these accessories must be built ahead of time, otherwise the newly arrived colonists will quickly become fresh corpses. There is a ton of preparation involved, and the drones will be constantly busy guiding the arrival of the settlers.
Those drones are the work force of Surviving Mars . They can extract resources such as metals from scattered deposits in the barren wastelands of Mars, repair broken equipment, including each other, build and repair structures, and more. The drones can be ordered individually, but they are also good enough to behave autonomously. As long as something is within the reach of your commander drone, if you need attention and resources are available, it will be repaired or maintained without manual intervention.
As a settlement expands, research can be obtained, automatically if the difficulty is low enough, as well as through research facilities with adequate personnel within the domes of functioning. This research can be used to make improvements in five key areas, such as increasing the load of resources that can be transported by each drone, improving worker productivity and many other increases in playability. Each citizen has his own personality, as well as the traits that accompany it, both beneficial and harmful to the colony. If a settler's sanity level drops too low, for example due to a prolonged period of oxygen deprivation and oxygen deprivation, they may commit suicide; however, those who have the religious trait will never commit suicide because of a low level of sanity. There are all kinds of these traits that will mix and match to varying degrees, such as workaholic players, lazy alcohol players, bady party animals (yes, "bady" is actually a trait that can help improve the rate of birth), and others that must be taken into account. It is another aspect of Surviving Mars that ensures that things are always interesting.
They know what they are doing
The development team of Haemimont Games is no stranger to the genre of the construction of the city: I have been in it since its launch of Glory of the Roman Empire in 2006 Shown in Surviving Mars & # 39; operation without problems. In addition to the manual or auto-save, the engine running the program keeps the screen updated with data, and jumping from one screen to another is very simple. As you get closer to the buildings, a decent amount of detail is revealed, and the longer a building or robot has been present, the more dust accumulates over time with a nice touch. Equally important is being able to get away when a city is full, which does not seem to be a big problem either. This is not the most detailed simulation game that exists, in terms of graphics, but in a science fiction configuration it may not be necessary.
City simulation games are usually designed with the PC in mind, because the interfaces are full of things to select and click on. Surviving Mars has a pretty smart control scheme, with compromises for the controller. For example, pressing the cross button selects the object closest to the cursor, which is always centered on the screen. If an incorrect object is highlighted, simply pressing the cross button repeatedly will scroll through the nearby objects, until the desired objective is highlighted. There are practical shortcuts to quickly change the roles or objects of destination, something that is very necessary in a game like this, and always appreciated in the console. However, the DualShock 4 touchpad and its button are not fully used in Surviving Mars . This is a missed opportunity, since much utility feels lost with that obvious omission.
Mysteries in the Dome
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Surviving Mars is its mystery. These are the main source of knowledge, and involve the search for key artifacts hidden in the planet, such as mysterious black cubes or perhaps monolithic structures. By the time this point is reached in the adventure, a settlement will have many settlers, some of whom have come together to try to convince the player, as supervisor, what to do with the artifacts, if at all. Slowly, depending on the player's choice, these mysteries are revealed and can help or hinder the progress of the agreement. This is something that is not seen very often in this genre, and it is a refreshing twist that will ensure that fans return to play in each scenario.
Surviving Mars is not simply SimCity set in our red neighbor Mars. It is a game of resource management with a great emphasis on survival, which involves a lot of death and brutal mechanics. At the same time, their systems are designed to teach the player the best strategy and learn from the mistakes of the past. A potential game time of over 100 hours to see each mysterious game also guarantees a ton of entertainment with an investment of ~ $ 40 USD. For those who love the city-sim genre, this is a truism.
Surviving Mars revision code provided by the publisher. Revised version 1.01 on a PS4 Pro. For more information about scoring, see our Review Policy here.