What happens when humanity realizes the secret of going fast in space? They realize that they should develop brakes as well. I’m back in another space-based survival simulator called Osiris New Dawn. Currently, in early access, it’s being developed by Fenix Fire Entertainment and published by Reverb Triple XP. And just like in NMS, it’s time for me to show these filthy aliens why I’m the best human ever.
So, according to the blurb on Steam, where you can pick up a copy of this game, it’s 2046 and after a leap in FTL technology, you are part of the second colonization group of the Osiris program. What happened to the first team? Well, considering you crashed after leaving light speed, they’re probably all around you. Now you’re trapped on an alien planet all by yourself (this is the single player mode) filled with bloodthirsty predators. You’ll need to build a permanent habitat and build the technology you’ll need in order to survive.
The game opens with your character awakening from his crash with a breached suit. Warning alarms filled my speakers as I scrambled to figure out what to do. I didn’t have time to read my full HUD display except for two things. Suit breach in big unfriendly letters near the bottom of my screen and just below it, my oxygen level plummeting. After quickly locating a nearby supply cache, I found some tape and managed to stop my suit from leaking out. I actually liked this introduction, the game is telling you no matter how strong you think you are, your suit is your weakest link to life. Take a hit, and you start bleeding out; not hit points, but oxygen.
As I mentioned before, the way you survive the game is by building structures and technology. You do this by gathering materials scattered around the map. Some of these are convenient to your starting location or are in ubiquitous supply such that walking to them is worth the time. Others are rare or incredibly distant or hard to find. An example of this from the same game. I needed to find titanium to build a forge so that I could make steel, to build a habitat. I had plenty of the other materials, but I had to travel a ridiculous distance to find what I needed. And it was a material that I found out I would need a large amount of.
Which brings me to another topic that is odd for a game like this. This game has a weight system for inventory. So while it does avoid the pitfall of not having enough space to carry the items you need, it falls into a similar hole that Fallout fans are familiar with. But while it works in Fallout, because there are ways that you can mitigate this effect, there are currently none in Osiris. Meaning that long trips to get materials could potentially take twice as long to return from simply because you’re grabbing everything in one go. So I’m really hopeful for some new addition that will help reduce this effect.
The final point that I want to make about this game is the leveling system. There’s the main XP bar for your character and using items increases your skill with that item group. For example, using your pistol “Stubby” will increase your skill with light weapons. While using your multi-tool increases your tool skill. Not sure what any of these do yet, but on the subject of your character XP, you may as well forget about that. After the initial 200 XP it takes to get to level 2, it jumps to a whopping 1797 XP to get level 3. Now if you’re thinking, that’s not too bad, so far the only way to get XP is from the starting missions and killing creatures, and the creatures only give one XP each. All of this for a 2% increase into…the game isn’t actually clear. There’s no description and given how huge of a gap there is between levels, knowing what I’m buying is important.
I want to remind people that this game is only now available on early access from the 28th of September. The game is lacking a lot of the meat that would make it a good game, but the bones are there to build them on. For all of its faults, I had fun right from the start of this rough and nerve-wracking crafting-survival sci-fi title. This game is a cross between Minecraft and Subnautica, so if you’ve played either of those games then this is for you guys to try out. It might just be my take on this, but I feel this game succeeds in places No Man’s Sky failed. Specifically, in that you feel like an actual space explorer–trapped on a planet, but still an explorer–instead of a space hobo. If you’re a fan of The Martian (book or movie) this game will let you relive the experience. Just with a lot more mining and a lot more alien monsters trying to eat you.