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Hardspace: Shipbreaker Review - Working in Outer Space, Awaken Your Sci-Fi Cosmic Dream

When a person is most curious, he will want to open and study everything he sees – why the alarm clock rings, how toys fit and deform, and how a small remote control can manipulate the “big back head” to change channels – they will eventually become sacrifices that help us understand the world. This exploration process is often accompanied by frustration and regret. I think many people have had similar experiences during their childhood when people hated dogs.

So today I want to talk to you about this “Hardspace: Shipbreaker”, which relies on the gameplay of “just need to open it, don’t need to put it back” at the beginning, which makes me have a considerable good impression.

The dismantled object is still the spaceship!

In fact, in terms of general rationality, games like “Shipbreaker”, which takes shipbreakers as the protagonist, should not be considered very popular in science fiction themes. For example, whether it is the Master Chief in “Halo”, the Xue Pade Commander in ” Mass Effect ” or Isaac in ” Dead Space “, the pleasure of playing the superhero of the whole universe is always much stronger.

And in the summer of 20 years, “Shipbreaker” started its preview experience, accumulating 3,300 “special reviews” in less than half a month. Today, “Shipbreaker” finally ended its 2-year EA stage and officially released version 1.0. Compared with the beta version, the official version optimized the UI, added more disassembled spaceships, completed the main storyline of the game, and provided complete Chinese translation support.

You will find that the number of reviews for “Shipbreaker” has approached 10,000 so far, and it still maintains “special praise”, allowing players to suffer as a cosmic office worker for free, which is also a place worth talking about.

The gameplay of “Shipbreaker” is not difficult to understand. If you have rubbed the spaceship with your hands in the Kambala space program , then the opposite perspective of this work will bring you a very unique and familiar game experience.

You play the role of a space Shipbreaker who has just joined LYNX. Your job is to disassemble the spacecraft in front of you and sort and recycle the space junk Recycle the carbon fiber parts, melt the aluminum alloy hull, and put some usable electronic parts and daily necessities on the platform Correctly disassembling and sorting can provide you with more credit points and ability points.

It’s okay if you don’t know how to classify it, the system will prompt you how to handle it when you select the corresponding part.

So most of the time in the game you only need to use two items in your hand – the cutter that cuts the hull with the beam of light and the hook gun used to grab, guide, push and pull parts.

However, under the relatively simple and crude operation logic, the experience of this work is not as wild as various simulators of the same kind. It is simply to relieve the destructive desire that players have nowhere to release. In the process of the game, you can feel that – through very restored settings, the production team seriously wants to teach you the structure of the spaceship.

How serious are you? If you are ready to take out a cutter and randomly divide the 30-meter small transport ship in front of you according to your own aesthetics, then you are very likely to die from extreme heat, extreme low temperature, suffocation, electric shock, radiation, or various “space fireworks”.

In the official version, “Shipbreaker” already has 13 types of spacecraft available for disassembly, from the most basic cargo ships and transport ships, to tugboats, research laboratories, patrol boats, oil tankers, and then to the most complex large comprehensive spacecraft “Condenser” in the official version. The unique structure of each spacecraft provides a full sense of freshness for every restart.

For example, many spacecraft will carry condensers, fuel tanks, radiation filters, and connected main power supplies, and violent removal can easily cause accidents such as freezing, explosions, radiation, and discharge.

Some spacecraft will carry nuclear reactors, which will become unstable after leaving the safety cover and overload in a short period of time. The transportation path must be cleared before removal in order to quickly move to the platform.

The patrol boat has strong power, mainly due to the main engine being connected to a four-way fuel supply system. The complex structure is proportional to the difficulty of disassembly. After the main engine is removed, the fuel will leak and soon catch fire and explode. It is necessary to enter the main control unit and turn off the fuel supply system in a hurry.

There is often a pressure difference between different compartments and outside the hull of a spaceship. In the game, it is represented by “red (decompression) ” and “green (boost) “. If you cut open the hull recklessly, it may cause damage to the internal parts of the spaceship or even cause a chain explosion.

The above designs bring a very real experience to every ship dismantling operation. Before dismantling the ship, you need to first open the scanner to understand the structure of the spacecraft, enter the pressurized compartment first, open the air pressure regulator to balance the internal and external air pressure, and then use the cutter to fuse the connection points, slowly deconstruct and classify the spacecraft. In this process, various high-risk devices often need to be carefully removed from the compartment, just like solving a large puzzle with many small puzzles nested inside.

Each ship usually takes 1-2 hours to familiarize itself with at the beginning of contact. The game also gives 5 levels of evaluation based on the collection rate and scrap rate of the parts. To get the highest evaluation, it often requires repeated trial and error. Optimizing the disassembly process can provide at least 30 hours of non-repetitive ship dismantling experience.

In this process, you will find that you are no longer a “chicken” that can be blown up at any time, but a “cosmic butcher” who can easily disassemble any spaceship, enjoying the dismemberment and disassembly of a complete spaceship in your own hands, and finally giving you the illusion that you can already rub a spaceship by hand. This is the source of the sense of achievement in “Shipbreaker”.

With each level of evaluation, “you” will give yourself a like

When I first saw the game, “Shipbreaker” reminded me of another work that I really like, “Star Cleaner”. It is one of the few works in the history of the Japanese Nebula Awards that has won awards for both the original manga and the adapted animation.

The uniqueness of “Star Cleaner” lies in its grand background and very down-to-earth narrative tone – as humanity enters the era of the universe, more and more debris appears in space and revolves around the earth at a speed of 8 kilometers per second, giving rise to the Cleaner who cleans up debris. The protagonist “Headband Eight” is not a glamorous Supapa camel or a well-dressed interstellar cowboy, but an ordinary space worker. In the story, he represents every ordinary young person in the big environment. When we can see the universe, dreams, countries, and times from the story of a small character, I think this is also where it can move readers/viewers.

Shipbreaker and Star Cleaner are similar, but not exactly the same.

“You” are also an ordinary blue-collar worker who aspires to enter the universe, and LYNX, a large comprehensive company in the solar system, provides you with an opportunity. The cost is that you need to sign a “contract of sale” before joining the company – LYNX provides generous compensation, and employees need to bear the high cost of living and working in space (the cost of a trip is 500,000). In addition, the company has access to DNA, so even if a person dies, they can easily create a replica.

I owe the company 1.20 billion, even breathing has to spend money, why can I happily dismantle the ship every day?

“Shipbreaker” with such a sense of immersion pull full of the beginning, I led into the universe era, this is also reflected in the gameplay, after signing the contract, your account balance will become “negative 1.20 billion credit”, in fact, most players’ game purpose is to work to earn money to pay off debts.

Most of the systems and functions in the game need to spend money to enjoy, a tube of oxygen to 18,000, repair spacesuit to 15,000, thruster fuel to fill up 10,000, all tools will be with the number of missions and slowly consume durability, but also from time to time to spend 9000 yuan to buy repair kits, if you accidentally die at work, the company will indeed pinch a clone and transplant your consciousness, of course, all costs need to be borne by yourself.

Not only that, every day when you wake up, the company AI will give soup and send you a bill with your previous day’s labor compensation… and a long list of expenses, such as genetic backup, rent for cubicles, rent for “eating guys”, etc. These are all paid items, which can be said to vividly restore the life of office workers who have to face daily necessities like food, clothing, housing, and car loans as soon as they open their eyes.

There are many details in the game that fill the world view, such as the CD left by the previous crew members during the shipbreaking process, most of which are text files such as crew logs. After analysis, we can also appreciate the magnificent interstellar adventure through text.

Of course, “Shipbreaker” also has a main storyline. Perhaps its presentation technique is not so expressive – in each mission, your “colleagues” will chat on the radio together – complaining about the company’s exploitation of employees. From literature, it can be found that there used to be a labor union that defended workers’ rights within the company, and they are preparing to spontaneously form a labor union. As the plot progresses, the headquarters will also send supervisors, but the labor union has not succeeded under the ruthless suppression of capital.

During a mission, you discovered a mottled small cargo ship. You were pleasantly surprised to find that its power system still worked, which became your last hope of leaving the company.

Let me leave a suspense for the following story. Experiencing it personally will surely be a hundred times more exciting than my words.

If you have heard of the production company of “Shipbreaker”, you should also understand where the excellent genes of “Shipbreaker” come from.

Blackbird Interactive, also known as the “Blackbird Group”, was formerly known as Relic Entertainment, which produced the classic RTS series “Homeland” Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War ” Company of Heroes “. After being acquired by THQ, THQ went bankrupt, and the “Homeland” IP was acquired by GearBOX for $1.35 million, some of the core employees of the company were reorganized into the current Blackbird Group. The studio also released two high definition remakes of “Homeland” and a legitimate sequel “Homeland: Karak Desert”. None of the games in the series I mentioned above have a rating lower than 80 on MC.

When the Blackbird team started crowd funding for “Home 3” in 2019, they set a goal of $1 (just to see how many people would still buy RTS). In less than a week, it has already exceeded $500,000. By the way, the Blackbird team also has a cooperative project with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the interactive model of the Mars base.

I thought these imaginative guys would leave our sight for a while, but before seeing ” Home 3 “, Blackbird Studio also presented us with a unique adventure and moved me in their best way – even though humanity has entered the era of the universe, “I” have still become a (space) office worker.

In my spare time, I like to occasionally stop my work and fish for a while. At this time, I often look at the mother star under my feet, pondering why I can’t see the border from here, only the earth enters my eyes, or watching the spaceship shuttle between the stargates and emit dazzling light, imagining whether I will become an interstellar adventurer on another timeline, born to overlook the stars in my rebellious life, and die without a burial place.

This sense of immersion is the best interpretation of romance in “Shipbreaker”.

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