Habitat v0.20 Preview on STEAM Early Access

Habitat_Kickstarter_Logo

One of the few games I’ve been playing recently on the computer is that of Habitat by 4Gency. The game is a “real-time, physics-driven orbital strategy game where you build, fly, and fight with the unique space stations that you create out of space debris orbiting earth.” What that basically means is that it’s a game where you collect space junk and put it all together to create weirdly fantastic space stations and ships in order to survive. Because this game is currently a STEAM Early Access Game (alpha/beta), this isn’t a full review. This is mainly just a preview of what is currently in the game as the game is nowhere near being completed yet. Early Access allows players to test aspects of the game while it is still in development, so that means that I can’t really review this title in its current form as not all features have been added yet. This preview will mainly deal with Habitat Build v0.20.

Habitat 2014-07-01 13-40-57-43

I’ve only been playing Habitat for about a week and so far, it seems like a neat game, though since it’s basically still in development, it’s lacking in some areas. The building aspect of the game however is solid and you’ll be able to jump right into that and create all sorts of crazy builds. There’s a surprisingly good variety of space junk to choose from that range from useful to absurd. All of it though seems to be functional and does have its uses.

The main objective of the game is to survive. Build up your station to collect resources and engineers but also equip it with weaponry to fend off attacks. There are objectives in the game you can complete, but once completed, there isn’t anything else to really do except to explore some more and keep building. Again, since the game is being actively developed, I’m not too worried about missions and objectives right now. Right now, most of the fun comes from just building with whatever you can find.

Below is captured gameplay footage from a recent game of mine. I totally fail at the end, but it’s a glorious ending.

These are some of the new features you’ll find in v0.20:

About “HAL” – The Habitat Management Interface

  • HAL is the system that allows players to tactically manage their creations.

  • Health, resource production and the new combination system, and management of key habitat properties like rocket throttle settings, fuel usage, and weapon tuning are all presented in a simple and clean way.  Time is even stopped so that players are given a chance to learn, think and strategize.

  • More features will be rolled out in the future including features like citizen and crisis management, upgrading parts, re-wiring of resources, and engineer management.

About Combinations

  • Accessed in HAL, a new combination system has been added that unlocks certain bonuses for particular configurations of different components.

  • In this update players can expect bonuses to booster rockets, weapons, and producers like fuel tanks and electrical generators.

  • The team is also working on future combinations that will allow for advanced weapon systems, auto tracking turrets and shields.

Advanced Construction Mode

  • As a result of community feedback a precision based construction mode has been added that gives gamers a more reliable control of angles, distances and symmetry to balance their stations in both operation and aesthetics. This will be the default construction mode in the game.

The Habitat HQ

  • Players now have a Habitat HQ! This is the player’s central hub and houses the Engineer Training Facility, where they can build new engineers for reinforcements. This also makes it a defensive focal point.  If the HQ gets destroyed, it’s game over.

  • As players face more challenges and areas to explore, they will have to balance the need for engineers and resources from the HQ with the risk of putting the HQ in danger.

  • More uses will be added for the Habitat HQ in the future.

habitat_03

Overall, there’s a lot of like with Habitat as well as a lot to look forward too. This is a STEAM Early Access Game so those looking for a complete experience are not going to find it here. There are missing features not yet implemented as well as lack of any real objectives or missions. For the most part, this preview is to just get you acquainted with building and defending. That aspect of the game is great so far and will get even better I think as they add even more objects you can use.

The Early Access build for PC, Mac and Linux is now available through Steam, Amazon, Humble Store, GameFly, Gamer’s Gate, GreenMan Gaming and Nuuvem priced at $14.99, £10.99 and €14.99.  It will also be coming to PlayStation 4 sometime in 2015.

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