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TerraTech: Build A Tank, Kill Other Tanks

TerraTech is near the top of the list of games that I saw at Rezzed 2014, thought were amazing and then failed utterly to tell anyone about. It’s an even split between resource gatherer and combat game, where you’re an intrepid colonist working for a mega-corporation on a new world. Beyond that it laughingly discards any notions of reality. Putting a vehicle together is simple Lego stuff, clicking parts together until you have something vaguely stable. It can be done at any time with the tap of a button and manages to dodge any fiddliness you might expect. The game’s up on Kickstarter now, there’s a demo and you can check out some more hot facts below.

The ability to fly is an improvement over the last build I saw and a few minutes with the demo revealed there’s some new parts and features. A tutorial is useful, and the building mechanics seem a little more stable. There’s also hover jets that let vehicles skim over the landscape rather than out-right fly. It’s small tweaks, and what really interests me is the concept of the game evolving over time. Starting as this tiny tank and then slowly developing a base, exploring the horizon and finding new sorts of materials. Then growing into an army – the only worry is the lack of an endgame, as so many free-form infinite-procedural-generation games lack. Terraria and Starbound managed to construct reasonable plots around their worlds, but only had to do so in two dimensions. Minecraft did it, but it took a long time.

Exactly how deep Payload Studios can go with it all will depend on the money raised, I suppose. Their stretch goals include multiplayer, which having played it could be absolutely brilliant, and a sandbox mode with free access to any part in the game without distraction. At the very least TerraTech is worth playing with before making your mind up.

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Ben Barrett

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