Why Hardspace: Shipbreaker Is So Incredible

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Risk vs. Reward. Speed vs. Caution. And Super-High Stakes — Hardspace: Shipbreaker Provides Them All!

Hardspace: Shipbreaker took the space gaming world by storm a few weeks ago, and it hasn’t let up since. This new space simulator is an open-world sandbox with a bit of combat and a whole lot of nervous tension. Oh yeah, and no gravity! With tools like torches, tethers, gravitational tethers, and grappling guns, you find ships to salvage materials from ships. Every ship presents a super high-stakes puzzle where getting it wrong could land you in a life of servitude to LYNX corporation, the company that owns most of the galaxy in Hardspace: Shipbreaker. The game strikes a balance between high-concept sci-fi world-blinding and a great gaming experience. Here’s how they do it:

Risk vs. Reward

In order to understand just what we’re talking about when we say super-high stakes, we need to get into a bit of the story setup for Hardspace: Shipbreaker. Like many other science fiction storylines these days, this story takes place in a technocracy of sorts. LYNX corporation owns everything. No really. EVERYTHING. They own you, your clothes, your pad (Hab), even your tools! They own all of the ships, all of the settlements, and everyone like you is expendable. 

You start the game as a working-class schmuck on the LYNX er… payroll? No that’s not right at all. It’s more like the old coal mines of a century ago. It’s a scenario that doesn’t exactly place a whole lot of strain on the modern imagination. After all, both SpaceX and Blue Origin have announced long-term plans to colonize the Moon and Mars for manufacturing purposes. 

The Company Store

However, if the enemy is the corporate technocracy, it doesn’t get much worse than LYNX. Again, LYNX owns everything, including your genetic signature. If you die, you are resurrected as a clone, and you owe LYNX the cost of your replacement. So, like the old country song says, you owe your soul to the company store.

And it’d be one thing if you could actually pay off that debt, but like in the days of old, it’s pretty much impossible. So you REALLY don’t want to die. That’s the risk. 

On the other hand, if you can get your salvage without getting yourself killed, you might actually make enough money to get yourself off the rock you’re on!

Speed vs. Caution

Every ship mission is divided between two main categories.  The Mackerel is a 30-meter cargo ship that comes in three different varieties. Then there’s the Gecko at twice the size. It’s a full-on freighter with two different variants. Of course, mining materials isn’t the only thing you’ll be doing once your mission starts. You can also access collectables like encrypted data files, audio logs, and others that help the story of LYNX’s galactic domination unfold. 

Each salvaging session lasts just fifteen minutes, and the more quickly you get the job done, the more scratch you make. 

But like everything in space, there are about a bazillion things that can kill you. The more quickly you work, the more likely you are to make a mistake that may cost you your life, and subsequently add to your company debt.

Oh, and remember that bit about LYNX owning everything? Yeah, that also means you have to pay for anything you use. You pay regular rent on your “Hab.” They charge you for using their tools to make them money, and of course, if you’re killed, the body you’re currently wearing. So the lesson is… don’t get killed!

Hardspace: Shipbreaker — Final Verdict: 4.5/5 Comets

It’s easy to see why this is the hottest space game out there right now. There’s a ton to do, and the missions are anything but boring. Every one is filled with tension and completely sucks you it. Then there’s the writing. It’s speculative fiction, to be sure. And though it’s thematically similar to many other stories out there at the moment—big bad corporation owns and oppresses everyone—to enter this world as a low-level space colonist who has to try and work your way out of a life of indentured servitude is a refreshing take on that theme. 

The best part is, it’s on sale on Steam for only $19.99 until July 7th! And even if you miss the sale, it’s normal price is only $24.99! At that price, and with so much fun to be had, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be playing this game!

Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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