The Factorio-esque delights of building machines to build machines until a pretty alien planet is converted into a vast machine building one really big machine today enters a first-person perspective with the early access of launch of Satisfactory. Made by Coffee Stain Studios, the mob behind Goat Simulator and--more relevantly--Sanctum, it is unashamedly Factorio in 3D but that intimate perspective does make a difference when you're racing around in buggies or building up into the heavens.
"Verticality, something not really on offer in Factorio (though it is in that other close kin, Infinifactory) is the game-changer here," our Alec said when he played a preview version earlier this month. And, like, he liked it.
"Satisfactory feels, in so many ways like that, like a game made for streaming and boggle-eyed YouTube clips. Even the multiplayer, nominally up to four player but which will apparently support many more, albeit with no promises that things won't fall apart, feels like a gift to lunatic clip-making. But as a solo, ponderous and messy sort of builder myself, I was glad to find that the route up the tech tree was well-judged (at least for those first six hours). I derived immense satisfaction from simply getting a little (i.e. about half a mile long, with half a dozen circus tent-sized structures) circuit of iron mining and smelting established, rather than feeling disappointed because I'd barely scratched the surface of possibility."
Yes even this crotchety old man, who says things like "the so-called 'Internet'" with great suspicion and believes Twitch is a bird-watching site, can enjoy building big things.
Coffee Stain expect Satisfactory's early access period to last at least one year. As is the way, they plan to use that time to polish it up and add new features, such as the trains coming soon.
This is the latest game to controversially ditch plans for a release on Steam and other stores in favour of Epic. Swayed by a larger cut of sales (88% rather than Steam's standard 70%) and a tidy wad of cash on top, Coffee Stain will sell it exclusively on the Epic Games Store at first. The deal calls for twelve months of exclusivity, after which Coffee Stain may sell it elsewhere - but say they haven't yet decided whether they will or not.
Satisfactory is out now in early access on the Epic Games Store, priced at £27/€30/$30. For folks who don't want to use Epic's Launcher, Coffee Stain have said that the singleplayer is playable without it once downloaded. However, multiplayer does require having Epic's client loaded.