I am a very big space fan and enjoy most space-themed games. There is something very captivating about the possibility of near infinite places to explore and things to see, of which we as a species have managed to explore an insignificant amount so far.
However I do also highly enjoy building and creating things, I also enjoy spending time with friends, hence why Space Engineers is one of the games I ended up dedicating most of my time to.
Think multiplayer Minecraft in space. That is the easiest description for this game but it’s also a very basic and unfair one as, unlike Minecraft, most of your creations are not stationary and can serve a multitude of complex purposes, there is an advanced damage mechanic, a far better graphics engine and so much more. Read on to find out the details….
Right, let’s get cracking! Welcome to Space Engineers!
This is you:
And you can start in a multitude of worlds, but I choose an easy one for the purpose of this article.
Also when creating the world, be it for single player or multiplayer the map “rules” can be heavily modified…
Sadly I can’t say the same about the graphics options or the controls, considering there is a complete lack of key rebinding in the game at the moment Apologies, it appeares that I was wrong, if you go under options -> controls you will see a drop-down list that has the first item general. From there you can select the categories of keys and options that you want to rebind/modify. I can argue that this was a little unintuitive but i’ll give it a pass as the control menu is quite extensive. The graphics options are also very basic especially for a PC-only title…
…but the game is in Early Access and the developer is working very hard on adding more features to the title. But let’s get back to you!
You’re on a space station…
…attached to an asteroid, with some ships next to it…
…some bigger, some smaller. Your job is to destroy…
… fly around, and generally do whatever you want to do!
The game, similar to minecraft, in the sense that it doesn’t set any goals for you. The decision is entirely yours on how the world in front of you should unfold. In creative mode you can just build endlessly complex designs, the only restriction being processing power – this being the best way to test out new ship designs for survival mode.
In survival, you are limited by resources and the energy capacity of your space suit. Things can go horribly wrong and your objectives become a lot harder but it brings a wealth of new gameplay into the mix, having to manage resources and defend yourself and your base from asteroids and other space catastrophes.
It is very hard to go into too much detail on this particular title as it is very complex and vast so I’m going to sum it up as follows: If you like Minecraft, Space simulators, Spaceships, Mining, Survival or Multiplayer give Space Engineers a shot. It is a good environment that has something for everyone and it really comes to life if you’re playing with friends
An example of a project I had in co-op: We made a race track in space using gravity generators and then each designed our own race cars to compete (the game contains wheels as well if you want to create rovers) and that provided us with a couple of days of fun.
Should you want to buy into the Early Access a word of warning: There are a lot of bugs that still need to be fixed. Most of the game-stopping issues have been addressed and in its current state the title is very much playable but there are still a lot of annoyances to be resolved, especially for multiplayer that relies on peer to peer synchronization. The dev is hard at work to eradicate these problems at the moment and is still implementing new features so there is plenty to look forward to.
Space engineers is currently available on Steam in Early Access and has gotten a lot of good reviews from the community. This is surely a title to look out for once it is released.