Look at that space corridor. That is a nice space corridor. It’s from Hellion [official site], a sci-fi survival game that is set among the derelict stations and rusting ships of a distant solar system, rather than the alien-infested surfaces of strange new worlds. You and your spacesuited friends will have to find asteroids to mine, salvage the innards from dead stations, and clip abandoned modules onto your home station or starship in order to survive. I’m telling you about it because it is due to float into early access in January 2017, the developers have announced. That, and I like a good space corridor.
Here’s the announcement trailer to celebrate its docking with Steam’s early access next year.
There are some more descriptive trailers on YouChoob, which the developers, Zero Gravity Games, originally posted a few months ago. And these are much better at showing some (pre-alpha) space floating. Here’s one about mining and base-building and here’s one about leaving your spaceship to rummage around the insides of a forgotten station.
It’s still a survival game, so the emphasis is likely to be on mining raw material and making sure you have enough oxygen and water in your ship’s tanks. At one point in that latter video, the narrator mentions that depressurising the airlock isn’t just done to stop the astronauts from being thrown violently into space – it also avoids wasting precious air. Players can also harm each other, in keeping with the genre’s great tradition of casual homicide.
There’s a story element too, with some intel scattered around detailing what happened to everybody. A bunch of other simulation-heavy features are also planned, including: “a complex resource gathering system, a detailed crafting system, unique damage and degradation models for systems and equipment, complex maintenance systems for ships, stations and equipment, all of which are fully modular and customizable.”
It’s eary early lemon early, though. I’ve no idea how it will turn out when it hits early access. How would you even meet other people in the vastness of space? How will your ship travel the long distances between planets? Whatever the answers, I like that it has gone for a harder sci-fi feel than the usual tree-puncher. Empyrion is still my benchmark for space-faring survival but if this can offer some zero-gravity anxiety in a narrow hallway with flickering lights, I’ll be most pleased.