Stuck for something to play this weekend? Take a look at Tolroko [official site], then, as you may find that its freely downloadable alpha build puts your fancy in its sights and gives it a good tickle. With machine guns.
Developer Richard Svensson describes his vision for Tolroko as a cross between the open-world (or open-universe) gameplay of Skyrim or Elite, and the old Edgar Rice Burroughs-penned Barsoom novels - a pulpish early 20th century science fantasy series which imagined Mars as a planet rich in life and full of ancient cultures. You may have seen the actually not awful film John Carter a few years back?
The above gameplay video concerns itself with duelling skyships, though that's not all Tolroko has to offer. Its game world is procedurally generated, including a variety of biomes, with core gameplay revolving around exploration, chatting with taciturn desert natives, making friends and trading goods, and of course shooting whatever looks like it needs a bullet or energy blast to the face. Gosh, video games. When did you become so violent?
It should ultimately be possible to construct your own custom bases, become pals with some of the planet's various factions, and of course acquire the best ships and gear the game has to offer. Explore, survive and prosper: these are things we do in games such as this.
At present Tolroko is free to download and play, although that may change in the future. At the moment the game is very much a work in progress, with some clunky aspects and missing features, but we can hardly be churlish about a free alpha.