Starforge: Can you survive an alien planet?

Do you like video games where you can build, explore and create almost anything you can imagine, while trying to survive an infestation of monsters? Then you might want to check out Starforge by Code}{atch.

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If you have a Steam account you can play this game for the sweet price of $19.99. Not a bad price if you ask me, especially when you take into consideration that this game is a procedurally generated. Now you will login into this game, play it, and see some Minecraft aspects in it, don’t worry your not seeing things, Minecraft was one of the games that inspired the creators of this game to make it.

I will admit, at first I did not want to play this game. I had seen some of my game mates playing it when it was in Alpha and did not pay much attention to it. Then one day we were all looking for a game to play and BAM! I found myself playing Starforge. I instantly liked the game, I mean who would not like a game where you are trying to survive on an alien planet?

As with any survival type game, you have to get resources and from my Minecraft reviews, you know I like to dig. So what’s the first thing I started doing when I joined the game? If you guessed that I started digging, your correct. Now to dig, you start out with a “Ground Pounder”, its basically a manually cranked drill that punches the ground. You can upgrade to more efficient drills by finding blueprints. (Blueprints are how you learn everything in the game.) There was one bug I had when switching to a new drill I got. I had not learned the blueprint for the Graphene Drill, so I had a game mate of mine make it for me. When I equipped it, the drill did not show up, but this was easily fixed by dropping it, picking it up, and re equipping it.

2014-12-04_00001There was another glitch that I found rather amusing, if you log out and then log back in, you are normally missing your helment. Now to you this is unseen, meaning that unless you are in 3rd person you can’t see it. Even when you look at your equipment you will see that you have your helmet on. Sometimes this also happens with boots and gloves, but most of the time its the helmet.2014-12-04_00008

I should mention that you start off next to a giant drill like structure that has a beam of light shooting into space.Its actually a giant spire that is the center of the map, it is even a marker on your compass at the bottom of the screen. It also supports the earth like atmosphere around you and is there to terraform the plant to make it livable. You will also find a space ship that looks like it crash landed and emits radiation that can kill you. Unless you have a very sophisticated suit like the Guardian Armor (there a for tiers of armor, Jump Suit, Service, Spec Op, and Guardian). The higher up the list you go, the less radiation you get from going near the ship.

2014-12-04_00005Surrounding the the giant drill thing that me and my game mates have taken to calling the beacon, are these little red smaller looking spires that have different names. You can find things like blueprints, materials, weapons, and things to make food with. At first I thought these also regenerated like the space ship, but went to loot them again and nothing happened. After some research I found a blog post on the steam community under Starforge General Discussions saying that a yellow light shoots down from space and then turns green letting you know that the loot has arrived. I myself have not seen this, but my game mates have. So I’m going to be watching those little red spires very closely until I see it happen. From what I have read, it is dependent on how many people are on the server, considering there are three of us, this would explain why I have not seen it happen.2014-12-04_00006

Now once you can survive the radiation from the ship, you then have to defeat the horde of aliens that are inside the ship. When you manage to fight some of the aliens off, you can find loot crates full of useful things like blueprints and materials. One neat thing about the ship is that things regenerate in it so you can raid the ship any time. Bad part about the ship, its not drivable and does nothing but sit there. Which I mean, what would be the point if you could fly the ship? The game would go no where as you could fix the ship, fly it off the planet and find another planet where there are not giant worm things with horns and teeth trying to kill you.

The coolest thing about this game so far is the weapons and the vehicles. You can build a ship to fly around in space, or a hoover craft to explore in. Now we have not found the blueprints for the ship that will allow you to go into space, but I’m sure we will. However, we have found the blueprints for a buggy and the hovercraft. There have also been some glitches with these, sadly. One game mate got out of his buggy, it rolled down the hill and then disappeared. My other game mate lost their hoover craft briefly, but it showed up again, it was also being attacked by an alien. Unlike the hoover craft, we have not found the buggy.

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2014-11-24_00007I have explored this game a lot. Apart from the main area you start in, it seems like there is nothing else out there. But, you have to remember that the game is procedurally generated, so I might not have gone far enough, who knows. You can keep busy by building things, but I do better if I leave the building to others and find stuff. I don’t have an eye for building, I tend to make random things that in the end make no sense at all.

I would also like to mention that we changed from a server where multiple people were playing, to a private one with just the three of us. When you are on a server with multiple people, you have to be extra cautious, as they can find your body and kill you. I’m sure your asking what I mean by your body…right? When you log out of the game, your character goes to “Sleep”. So you lay there as if you are in the game, but your not. So unless you have a base that has security and you made the whole base out of a material that is not easy to break, you could possibly lose your stuff. Even with the security there are devices that you can make that can hack or blow up bases. But the stronger the material, the better the chance that you will be just fine when you log back in.2014-12-04_00007

Now this game was in Alpha for a good while, and when it was released in full, everyone thought it was being released as a beta version. My game mates and I had also found some bad reviews, comments and press in general. This lead me to watch the video on Indiegogo and some videos on YouTube of early game play. I also read what was to be released in the full version and I have to say, I can see how people would be a little upset. There are some things that are different  in the alpha, or just not there at all.

Some of those are things like the weather patterns, meaning that its suppose to not be sunny all the time when its daylight, or a calm night when its dark. But this did not really bother me, as it did not seem all that important. Another one is that you are suppose to be able to customize your character and chose between male or female, but in the full release you can only play as a male that is bald. No customizing or gender choosing to be found. Again I was not bothered by this as I spend most of my time in 1st person and you have a space suit on so you can’t see your character anyway. So far this is all that I discovered was different, until I watched the gameplay for the first playable prototypes. Now why they changed everything in the video is beyond me. The building seemed flawless and the graphics looked much better. But, as per usual I was not to bothered by this, I mean the game seems to be almost the same, just with some elements changed like graphics, how you build bases, and guns being almost completely different.

After watching the fore mentioned videos, I have to say my enthusiasm about the game dwindled  a little. But its not enough to stop me from playing the game. I still love it and I recommend you play it as well. Its a simple yet fun game where you can let your imagination run wild, while trying to stay alive. So I hope you will ignore the naysayers and give it a shot as well. Who knows, you might discover something that I have yet to find, and if you do I would like to know about it.

Because of the nature of this game and how it loads, your game will not look like mine. The beacon, the ship, and the red spires are in different locations based on server. Also, I have not discovered everything there is to discover in the game so I might be missing a lot. I hope you enjoy Starforge as much as I have and that you can survive Atlas.

 

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