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Hardspace: Shipbreaker breaks down how to break down a spaceship

Pleasingly methodical

Ahead of its early access launch next week, a new vid for Hardspace: Shipbreaker details the delicate process of cutting up an industrial transport ship for salvage without accidentally blowing it up. Coming from Homeworld 3 and Deserts Of Kharak developers Blackbird Interactive, Shipbreaker is a first-person sim about the fine art of space salvage. Buy old ships, crack 'em open, strip them for parts, and try not to trash your haul. It looks pleasingly methodical.

Here we are, a billion credits deep in debt, trying to dig up to solvency by breaking spaceships down for scrap. Head in with your cutter and tethers to slice and tease the ship apart, identify and extract valuable parts, and try not to ruin everything by cutting coolant, starting fires, decompressing atmosphere a little too explosively, sending the reactor into meltdown, and so on. Sell the parts, buy a new wreck, and repeat. What I've seen in videos reminds me of the careful process of Viscera Cleanup Detail, and the potential for catastrophe of Viscera Cleanup Detail.

My favourite touch is actually a touch: press your hand to a pipe before cutting and rumblings running up your spacearm will let you hear if fuel is flowing inside. Active fuelflow being a bad thing if you're intending to remain not on fire, of course.

Hardspace: Shipbreaker will land on Steam Early Access on Tuesday, June 16th. It will launch with the first act of the story campaign (about 15 hours, they say) plus the sandbox mode, then remain in early access... until it's done? Blackbird's early access plans including finishing the story campaign, adding more types of ship, mission, and tasks, enabling mod support, and giving the sandbox mode more life with procedurally-generated ships.

Homeworld 3 is still a long way out. Blackbird tentatively pegged the long-awaited spaceship RTS for late 2022 during its successful crowdfunding campaign last year, though I wouldn't be surprised if that slipped given how much the pandemic has disrupted everything.

Whatever you call it, hit our E3 2020 tag for more from this summer's blast of gaming announcements, trailers, and miscellaneous marketing. Check out the PC games at the PlayStation 5 show, everything at the PC Gaming Show, and all the trailers from the Xbox showcase, for starters.

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Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.