Hardspace: Shipbreaker – Early Access Preview (PC)
If you’ve been on this journey with me this year, you may have gathered that I was really stoked to try out Hardspace: Shipbreaker. Just to be clear right off the bat, Hardspace: Shipbreaker, has not disappointed me, even in its infant Early Access stage.
Hardspace: Shipbreaker is a simulation game, where you play as a shipbreaker or ‘cutter’. It’s up to you to carefully (or not) tear apart the ship using your tools at disposal to earn the most money to pay off your debt to the Lynx Corporation. How much is the debt you ask? Oh, it’s 999,999,999 credits. You’d think that dismantling spaceships you be able to knock that down pretty quickly yeah? Unfortunately, Lynx charges you for everything, basically, they own you and you’re pretty expensive it seems to keep alive. They also dock your pay if you don’t salvage things correctly, but I’ll get into that later. They will also get you a new body if you die so you can keep working for them. Haha sounds like a really fun job, doesn’t it?
So far as of right now (7/23/20), only Act 1 is available and they are looking to incorporate a total of 3 acts for the campaign. This definitely hints at more shenanigans that I CANNOT wait for. They did a really great job of having you learn about the lore of Hardspace and Lynx by the use of audio files that you can find while among ships tearing them apart. I thought this was pretty slick and don’t take a lot of your time if you wanted to learn more about the universe you are in. It really helps you feel like you aren’t alone, which is what you really are besides hearing the radio chatter in your helmet.
Like I mentioned above, you’re in massive debt to Lynx. Everything you do, they charge you for, which then adds more debt to you. This includes room and board or even needing oxygen refills for you to keep doing your job. It’s really a crappy situation that you’re working your way out of. So it is really up to you do make sure every little scrap goes into its proper place for the most amount of money back.
Now the gameplay sounds tedious, and to be honest it is a little bit. But to me, even though you only have so much time to scrap the ship in a day, cutting up the ship and seeing your work actually physically change the ship is therapeutic. Taking a torch and slicing through a wall opening up the internals of a ship is really exciting and it makes not just the massive debt pay off as the drive to keep playing, its finding new ways of breaking something down or seeing an easier way to accomplish your salvaging of the ships.
Don’t be fooled it isn’t all that easy. They do throw some difficulty at you if you want to be the best shipbreaker out there. There’s little things like lights, chairs, doors, and such that get salvaged differently than what they could be attached to. So you’ll need to take those off separately. Those little accessories just attribute to gaining more money and are easy. It’s when you cut through and forget to clear the air pressure and the ship explodes, or not pay attention and cut through a gas line and the ship explodes, or do anything stupid and the ship explodes. But damn does it explode spectacularly. Also, you need to maintain your equipment and level it up when you accomplish some of the requests given to you when getting to dismantle a new ship. You do though not only level up your equipment, but need to repair it as well. Which…adds more to your debt.
The graphics are clean and the details are really fun to look at. Though you take apart the same style ship over and over, there are some little differences that make the ships stand out a little bit. The physics really shines in Hardspace: Shipbreaker, heavier objects move slower, things explode and shrapnel and float around. The hud, suit, and tool look like they fit right in and aren’t an eyesore.
If you’re the least be interested in Hardspace: Shipbreaker, grab it. This game is only going to get better especially with two more Acts coming for the campaign mode. I am really looking forward to seeing where the future of Hardspace: Shipbreaker goes, but already, it looks damn good.