If you’ve played games like ARK: Survival Evolved or 7 Dies to Die, then you know that the starting area is supposed to be a safe place where you get to know the game and its mechanics. Let’s flip that idea on its head and just straight up spawn you in the middle of a pack of rogue robots, shooting bolts at your sorry ass. That’s Memories of Mars in a nutshell.
Platform Previewed: PC Platforms Available: PC Developer: Limbic Entertainment Publisher: 505 Games Initial Release Date: June 4, 2018 MSRP: $29.99 (Steam) This Steam Early Access preview is based on a code provided by 505 Games.
Memories of Mars is a survival game where you play as a clone who is left behind on Mars after the machines seemingly massacred everyone on the planet. You and a group of surviving clones must somehow survive on the red planet.
After a brief introduction in the cloning facility, you are transported to a relatively safe zone on the map. When I first spawned in the map, I was immediately surrounded by robot spiders. Imagine my surprise and panic as I made a mad dash to safety. It’s a unique experience. I hope they push this through on full release.
The funny thing is, I have no means of defending myself. I was expecting to spawn in the map, get the lay of the land, and find resources to craft items with. Nothing went according to plan. After scavenging gear wherever I could, I started exploring the map. It took me a while to figure out that I need iron to make the most basic of items. The handgun. And that’s when I realized that killing is how you progress in the game.
To gain access to the various tiers of tech, you need FLOPs to research them. FLOPs can occasionally appear in random containers. It’s not the most reliable way to gain FLOPs but it’s certainly the safest. The only way to reliably and constantly gain FLOPs is to kill rogue robots. Thankfully, you spawn with a mobile 3D printer that crafts simple items. And iron and nitrate rocks spawn in from time to time.
After handling a few isolated spider bots and gaining some confidence, the real problem made itself known – food can be hard to come by. At the moment, your nutrition is dependent on the RNG of containers. There is, however, the dry rations that you can craft with biomass and iron. But here’s the rub, biomass can also be hard to find at times. Expect to die at least once in the early game because of starvation. The next problem to tackle is to find a mining tool to gather resources from nodes on the map. Oxygen also factors in, but the presence of O2 refilling stations and the copious amounts of oxygen canisters make it an issue for deeper parts of the map.
Almost everything needs FLOPs, right down to the building of basic structures. Crafting weapon upgrades and weapon types also require FLOPs. The basic pistol may you see through a random spider bot attack but it’s the sniper, shotgun, and assault rifle is what secures your position in the game. If you have these weapons in your pocket, you are ready for the end game of the season. The global extinction event.
It seems like the devs want to implement seasons in the game where your goal as a survivor is to work towards gaining enough resources to store in a capsule for use in the next season. The capsule can store blueprints or firearms that will give you the edge when the next season starts. I’m kind of excited to see how this mechanic impacts the full game in the long run.
Memories of Mars is looking like to be a fun addition to the genre of survival games. Its reliance on gunplay is what sets it apart from others in the same vein. For an early access game, the basic gameplay is solid enough and bugs don’t cause the game to implode. I find myself liking MoM more and more. The game may only have 4 or 5 kinds of enemy types at the moment, I expect a lot more types to appear down the line. As well as more ways of surviving the unforgiving surface of Mars. I am looking forward to the next step of this game’s development.