If Minecraft Went Triple-A (And Mirror’s Edge-y): Eden Star

By Nathan Grayson on September 13th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

Watch as I fire the opening to Futurama out of my hand.

Oh. Oh my. Hello there, Eden Star. Like most profoundly ambitious indies, you sort of just crashed through the fully destructible walls of our lives without any warning, but I have a feeling we’re going to become fast friends. Where once we un-groomed savages hefted blocks with glass-frail hands of pixelated flesh and bone, you now offer us a crazy laser glove that bends matter to our will. With physics! And that’s good, because we’ll need our hands and feet lithe and un-calloused for Mirror’s-Edge-esque parkour leaping to aid in our survival against all sorts of extraterrestrial nastiness. Maybe I’m just starstruck, but this looks entirely brilliant. Trailer below.

But what is Eden Star actually about? Well, it’s a survival sandbox-y thing (kind of like basically every game that gets announced these days), but with a deliciously destructive physics-(and PhysX)-based twist:

“You are an augmented Pioneer stationed on the Frontier Class Migration Vessel, Eden Star, tasked with the successful reclamation of the hostile alien world, Pharus 7. While on the planet the Eden Kit is your lifeline and link to the orbiting starship. The Eden Kit is a terraforming device that acts as respawn station, resource management system and
beacon which must be protected at all costs.”

“Armed with powerful, physics-bending weaponry, you can grab, blast and smash enemies into the destructible environment, attacking and defending against the hostile native life-forms.”

It is not, however, a tower-defense-style to-do, as exploration and long-term base expansion are both major elements.

According to a newly launched Steam Greenlight page, an alpha will be out sometime late this year. The world and art style look kind of generic, but otherwise I very much like the look and sound of it so far. How about you?

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46 Comments »

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  1. BTAxis says:

    Depends on if the gameplay is actually rewarding, I guess. Just destruction for the sake of destruction or survival for the sake of survival won’t do. I kind of like the look of it so far though.

    • ViktorBerg says:

      It worked for RF: Guerilla. That game had a forgettable story and boring side missions. But it still worked because of the destructibility and the fun weapons. Granted, there was no GeoMod in that game, which was sad.

      My point is, sometimes, satisfyingly smashing things into other things is enough to keep you enterntained for a long while, and considering it’s an indie, the price won’t be too high, which means that even with lackluster long-term gameplay (which I doubt will be lackluster, but that’s just my opinion, I love resource gathering), it will still be worth a buy.

      At least I hope so.

      • gunny1993 says:

        Bridge destruction is a very important part, planting remote explosives on a bridge and blowing it up when enemies are crossing it is insanely satisfying. I.e. in RF: Gorilla and Mercenaries.

        • ViktorBerg says:

          Oh yes, that’s true. Any games that let you sabotage enemy convoys or bases, with glorious destruction to boot, are great.

          Me and a few friends of mine played a self-made mission in ArmA 2. We paradropped into the middle of a map at night, and had to blow up 6 bridges to complete the mission. When we blew up one of them, the vehicles that were patrolling around and on that bridge kept falling into the new hole and blowing up. It was hilarious.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      Are you kidding? Destruction for the sake of Destruction was all Just Cause 2 was about. Red Faction: Guerilla also works as a good example as said above but my mind went immediately to Just Cause 2: The Explosion Simulator.

      • Premium User Badge

        LTK says:

        The Explosion Simulator is indeed accurate, but when it comes to destructibility, Just Cause 2 was kind of lacking compared to RF: Guerilla. Don’t get me wrong, JC2 is the vastly superior game, but when it comes to blowing stuff up it’s mostly spectacle and little substance. The explosions are basically things to check off a list – fuel depots, generators, radio masts – and didn’t have a lasting impact. Remove the explosion checklist, and the game wouldn’t necessarily be much worse; there’d just be less stuff to do.

        The RF-like destructibility is what appealed to me in this video, because we really don’t get a lot of that.

    • AlmostPalpable says:

      I don’t like the look of it so far. It looks like a super-generic sci-fi action game with a few gimmicks they stole from other games. Pseudo-destructible environments really make my teeth itch. I mean, why even bother?

  2. Megakoresh says:

    I think unless it has procedural generation of levels, it can’t be considered a game in Minecraft (i.e. Worldbuilder) genre. If the levels here are all set and you can just fiddle around with them, then it’s closer to Red Faction Guerilla with building elements.

    • Mollusc Infestation says:

      Red Faction Guerilla with building elements actually sounds like the game of my dreams. I wouldn’t complain about procedurally generated worlds either though.

  3. Hunchback says:

    Well what about StarForge?

  4. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    Now that’s an interesting new combination of Stuff I Like Very Much. With Windborne, that makes two that have been recently announced. Yay!

  5. SelfEsteemFund says:

    * Start video
    * See Unreal Engine 3 logo
    * Stop video

    oh well.

    • FionaSarah says:

      Christ all fucking mighty.

      • Premium User Badge

        LTK says:

        What she said.

      • GallonOfAlan says:

        I saw Unreal Engine 3 punch a baby.

        • Shadowcat says:

          Baby punching is one of the exciting new features of the Unreal Engine. Physical blows dealt from the fists of other game engines raised only giggles and excited “ga!” noises from our test babies; but when the Unreal Engine cracked its knuckles, you saw the fear in their eyes — in full high-dynamic range.

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            Pfft, that fear is obviously just mocked up for the tech demo. Sure, real-time baby deformation and childhood trauma are easy to process when you throw a couple Titans at them*, but what happens in a real game situation? Same old, same old, I’m sure.

            *may or may not be literal

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      Expound.

    • Hunchback says:

      So you didn’t play Dishonored, Bioshock and Borderlands?

      KKTNXBAI, hf under your rock!

      • fish99 says:

        Not to mention Mirrors Edge, Mass Effect trilogy, the Batman Arkham games, Bulletstorm, Chivalry, Hawken, XCOM Enemy Unknown, Tribes Ascend, Spec Ops The Line, DMC, Gears trilogy, Antichamber etc…..

        • Dave Tosser says:

          I wouldn’t feel it that much of a loss if none of those had ever been made, but I only play Elektronika BK classics. My favourite game of all time is a Belorussian city management sim called Krushchoby in which your only building is a five-story hovel, and you line up citizens against the wall if they complain.

          • fish99 says:

            I would suggest you’re not best placed to judge those games if you haven’t played them, and if you only play games from one series you maybe don’t have the best perspective on games in general. Check metacritic, there’s been plenty of superb unreal engine games.

          • frakk3d says:

            whoosh…

    • Premium User Badge

      c-Row says:

      Damn hipster.

      • Premium User Badge

        darkChozo says:

        Personally, I only play games on homebrew engines. Not that you’ll have heard of any of the games I play. They’re indie.

        • gunny1993 says:

          I only game on the Acorn BBC Micro

          • brulleks says:

            I’ve got a killer pack of cards. Never even heard of these computer things.

            (This message relayed purely by psychic energy).

          • gwathdring says:

            Uri geller? Is that you?

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Hah! I see what you did there. ;)

  6. Premium User Badge

    LTK says:

    One of the few times I’ve hit the Yes button on Greenlight, and meant it.

    • limimi says:

      Have you been sarcastically pushing games through the greenlight process again?

  7. takfar says:

    Here’s hoping the color palette is a bit more varied than what’s shown in the trailer. Can’t picture myself playing grey-and-greyblue for too long.

  8. rei says:

    Using nvidia’s proprietary physics engine? Guess I have no choice but to pass then.

    • Hunchback says:

      SelfEsteemFund, is that you?

    • tehfish says:

      My thoughts exactly. I thought it looked awesome until i saw the dreaded physx word…

      Due to Nvidias assholery that won’t play well on a significant proportion of PCs then…

    • Apocalypse says:

      I have to agree. There are enough alternatives to that piece of junk, there is no good reason to use physx. It essential like giving 50% of your customers the finger.

      • jamietee says:

        Hey all, just wanted to say that I know for a fact that this game is not Nvidia specific/reliant, the current Apex destruction that the combat demo runs on is only powered by CPU and not GPU, plus – later versions of PhysX are FAR faster (even without acceleration) than the version that is native to the Unreal 3 engine which means that it runs well off the CPU. You can find all the info – http://physxinfo.com/news/ From what i’ve been told… they are testing on Nvidia and AMD powered systems as they’d rather be awesome to all people and flip no one the finger :)

        • rei says:

          Thanks for the info, interest tentatively reignited. All my previous experiences of physx on an AMD card have resulted in massive FPS hits (60 -> 0-10 when enabled); glad if things have changed. Hopefully there’ll be one of those oldfangled demo things though!

          • Apocalypse says:

            Unfortunately current physx is implementation is still junk on cpu. Physx is is simply a substandard physic simulation on its CPU path. Yes, it is possible to have a decent working simulation on the cpu, but no, it is not competitive to other physic engines and it still is artificial reduced in functionality and performance. So, if the game only use the CPU path, than its not like giving 50% of their customers a bad experience, its giving 100% of them an equal bad experience. The Physx engine is still junk.

          • jamietee says:

            Coming from someone who programs engines integrating PhysX, Bullet and Havok, PhysX really isn’t that bad at all on CPU, I have no idea where you’re getting your stats from, the whole lack of multi-threaded utilization on the CPU issue is no longer a problem and considering Unity, UDK and Cryengine all use PhysX integration as their base physics engines, i’d genuinely appreciate your references. It’s often down to the developer’s implementation rather than the tool-set these days as they all have their perks and pitfalls – http://www.codercorner.com/blog/?p=809

            I should also clarify – Rigidbody physics runs on GPU and Apex destruction RB’s (dependent on if they have upgraded UE3 or not) only run only on CPU as native.

  9. jonahcutter says:

    Love the destruction potential. The many-times mentioned Red Faction Guerrilla remains a perennial favorite of mine, due for a reinstall and replay and re-mass-destruction every year or two (though I enjoy the b-movie plot/writing as well). That combined with base-building and defense could really be something.

    The look of the one enemy shown reminds me of the aliens from the first Crysis. The floating robotic-squid thing just leaves me cold for some reason. Sort of like aliens that are basically just big bugs, it feels very “meh”.

    It’s a new ip. You’ve got a blank slate. They’re aliens. Have fun. Go crazy with your designs.

    I suppose a zero-g blob with tentacles is easier to make function within a changeable world, especially for an indie dev. But it’d still be great to see some aliens that seem really alien.

  10. brokeTM says:

    Hey look, it’s one of those thingies from the The Matrix movies.

    • gwathdring says:

      I haven’t seen those guys since Crysis! Glad to see they’re still getting work these days.

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  12. dagudman says:

    Will there be a companion cube though?