Posts Tagged ‘Haemimont Games’

Surviving Mars’ new, free DLC tries harder to stop you surviving

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You can go a whole game of Surviving Mars without triggering one of its ‘Mysteries’, though that’s as much to do with a slightly dodgy interface as it is personal choice. But when you do the flip the switch and welcome uncertainty into your citizens’ delicate lives, everything gets upended. I won’t soon forget the legion of floating orbs that sucked all the heat out of my colony, killing hundreds. They’re one giant leap into the fantastical from a game that is otherwise fairly sedate about its sci-fi, but I dig the option to wilfully remix things once your base-building turns staid – it reminds me of triggering a disaster in SimCity 2000, just to sadistically mix things up.

So I’m glad to hear that the latest round of free DLC for Haemimont’s mostly great red planet management sim introduces three more ‘Mysteries’ with which to optionally traumatise your off-world colonists. As well as meaning you won’t just run into the same few scenarios in a new playthrough, they give you new things to deal with in your current one.
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Surviving Mars ‘Curiosity’ update teaches old domes new tricks

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Red planet colonisation sim Surviving Mars did a mostly stand-up job of transplanting Sim City tropes to a hostile new world, but a slightly iffy interface and an inflexible aesthetic perhaps meant that its high-stakes potato-farming wasn’t always as epic as hoped. As is increasingly tradition for Paradox-published games – hey-o, Stellaris and Cities: Skylines – it seems long-term refinement is very much plan. We’ve had two major updates since its March launch, adding features and tweaking annoyances, and this week sees the third, ‘Curiosity.’

This performs some pretty signficant user interface-reworking, but clearly the first thing we’ll all be cooing at is the different dome designs it’s adding to the hitherto ‘any shape you want, so long as it’s an upside-down pudding bowl’ options. In other words, Surviving Mars is now even better suited to taking screenshots that look like prog-rock LP covers.
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Surviving Mars patched, now contains fewer idiots

There are too many idiots on Mars but that’s about to change. Colony-building sim Surviving Mars, which pleased our Alec well enough when it launched last month, has received its first major patch. The update notes are a treat – not quite Crusader Kings, The Sims or Dwarf Fortress quality, but there’s some solid stuff in there.

“Colonists will no longer try to walk kilometers on foot to resettle resulting in them dying from lack of oxygen”. Like the headline says: fewer idiots.

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Wot I Think: Surviving Mars

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I shed a surprising amount of tears during the founding of my first red planet colony in Surviving Mars. None of those tears had anything to do with the pipe leak that killed 58 people, I hasten to add. For those, I just swore at my repair drones and made more colonists work gruelling night-shifts at the polymer factory so we could patch up the air tubes.

My tears, I’m afraid, came instead at testaments to my own magnificence: when a dusty patch of sand patrolled by listless worker robots and automated factories saw the construction of its first bio-dome, when the first humans from Earth arrived to stake out a new life in this place I had built for them, when the first non-Earth baby was born. Live inside my work, ye Martians, and try not get caught inside a meteor storm.

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Surviving Mars is stranger than it seems

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The cubes are black, and shiny, and mobile. They hover in a neat, impossible stack outside one of my colony’s larger domes, clicking delicately about one another, always returning to the same overall shape, harming nobody. My robot rovers form a cautious circle around them while my scientists scratch their heads and bicker. I look at the cubes, one of the many Mysteries of Haemimont’s deceptively by-the-numbers management sim Surviving Mars, and the cubes, somehow, look right back at me.

My colonists are also looking at the cubes, noses pressed against their reinforced dome walls. The cubes are giving my colonists some funny ideas. One group considers them a threat, and wants me to blast them to bits with high-energy ions. Others hail them as gifts from some alien god, and want them brought inside the domes where they can be worshipped. A third, undecided faction argues that the cubes should be stored for further study. Everybody is at each other’s throats, and everybody is looking to me for a decision.

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Red means danger: how to survive in Surviving Mars

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The people living in my new habitat dome have jobs to do, that’s what brought them to Mars in the first place, but when they finish work they have two choices: they can either go to the casino or the bar. I could have built a gym or some other kind of leisure facility, but I went with the casino and bar combo. It’s what I’d want if I had to live in a dome on a hostile planet.

And make no mistake, Mars is a hostile planet. That’s why Surviving Mars [official site] can be so demanding.

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Meteors rain on the Red Planet in Surviving Mars trailer

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Surviving Mars [official site] looks like it’s shaping up nicely, if you ask me. Made by Tropico 3 developers Haemimont, it’s a base-building game set on the Red Planet in which you hunt for resources to power settlements housed in giant glass domes.

Judging by the new trailer, featuring the first in-game footage, it’s one to keep an eye on: there’s the snappy animations of games like Cities: Skyline (which shares a publisher – Paradox Interactive) when you place a structure down, be that a twirling generator or a solar panel. And those domes are full of colour and provide a real contrast to the red around them. But, as the trailer suggests, it’s not simply an idyllic space holiday because there will be disasters like meteor strikes to try and get through.

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Surviving Mars brings hard science to colony-building

During the opening hours, you won’t see a single person in Surviving Mars [official site]. It’s a bold choice, having impersonal robots out there laying the groundwork of a colony, but the benefits are immediately obvious when watching the game in action. There’s a certain Factorium-like mechanical satisfaction to the flow of metal, creating supply chains that stud the surface with structures. The great advantage is the gradual shift from a red planet to a green planet though, even if those bubbles of green are few and far between.

More than any other city builder I can think of, Surviving Mars has the potential to show the life of a settlement, and it does that by beginning in a dead place.

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Paradox and Tropico devs announce colonial management game Surviving Mars

In a new partnership with Tropico developers Haemimont Games, Paradox have announced a Matt Damon simulator / colonial-management-city-builder Surviving Mars [official site]. It’s a “hardcore management game” about the colonisation of Mars and if the short trailer is anything to go by, it’ll be leaning toward the EVERYTHING GOES WRONG end of the management spectrum. One for Brendan, then, who does like to put poor little colonists through the wringer.

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Killed By Death: Victor Vran Meets Motörhead

RNG's for a fools, but that's the way I like it baby.

Victor Vran [official site] is an unspectacular but fun action-RPG, says our John. Motörhead are a bitchin’ cool rock band, says me. What happens if you combine the two? I stare at my inbox muttering “Huh? Is that… huh?” that’s what. Then I sit down at my telegraph machine to compose a missive to RPS explaining that a Motörhead-themed add-on is coming to Victor Vran.

The unlikely pairing will introduce a new storyline touring landscapes inspired by the many moods of Motörhead, in the expansion named Motörhead through the Ages. I’m imagining Brütal Legend with more ladies wearing hot pants, biker caps, and bullet belts.

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Sharing Is Friendship: Tropico 5 Adds Editor

Good news for you out there in the Republic of RPS: Tropico 5 [official site] has been updated with a map and mission editor packing Steam Workshop support, which means you can now take directly to the comments section to give your best laboured Communism + Collective Land Improvement + Map Sharing gag. It’s only for the Windows Steam version, though.

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Scream, Dracula, Scream! Victor Vran Out Of Early Access

When our John wanted to click on monsters until they exploded in showers of pennies, blades, and garments, Adam pointed him towards Victor Vran [official site]. The demon-hunting action-RPG had only just launched into Steam Early Access, but John dug it. Unhelpfully, he didn’t leave snappy soundbites like “it blew me away” or “it murdered its way into my heart” – would it kill you, John? – so just trust me on that if you’re too lazy to read his impressions yourself.

Anyway, Victor Vran left Early Access and properly launched today, presumably making it even better. Big updates are still planned for the future, though.

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Big Brother Calling: Tropico 5’s Espionage DLC Hits May 28

Don’t you hate it when you’re trying to run your country on a system of illegal cheese blackmarkets and then those pesky enemy spies start butting their head in? This must be the sort of thing Angelina Jolie sits around thinking about all day.

And by extension, I myself am like Angelina Jolie in a way as I sit here contemplating my unholy reign upon Tropico [official site]. The game’s fifth entry hit last year, and I should note our Alec wasn’t too hot on it when it released – you can read his words here where he says among other things: “There are some bum notes both tonally and strategically.”

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The Incredible ARGs Of Victor Vran Helsing

One morning in mid-February, John demanded that I point him in the direction of a “good ARPG”. I briefly considered mocking up a new title page for DOTA 2, convinced that the in-game graphics were ARPGish enough to fool him, but I didn’t go through with it. While the idea of John stumbling through a MOBA match is enormously entertaining, I’m not a very good fraudster.

Instead, I suggested he check out Victor Vran. And he did. Now, Vran is receiving a coop update and superficially similar slay ’em up The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is receiving a second sequel.

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Victor Vran: Early Access Impressions

Well, we’ve got the next action RPG to look forward to!

aRPGs are an odd genre, with there being so popular, but with so few that stand out. Obviously the Diablos, the Torchlights, and the Titan Quests. There’s Path Of Exile, there’s Grim Dawn, and then it gets trickier. The dreary Dungeon Siege games? The clumsy Sacred series? The almost there Van Helsing silliness? I think we may have a game that could sneak into the list, however, with Victor Vran [official site], currently in Early Access.

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Victor Vran Vannounced: Vatch Veaser Vrailer Vere

“Grab your hammer, sword, rifle or mortar” says the teaser trailer for Victor Vran [official site], the newly-announced action-RPG from Haemimont (the clever chappies behind the Tropico games). Mortar? A bit impractical for close-quarters combat, but almost certainly packing more killing potential than a teeny little hammer.

Haemimont are promising that their action RPG will place emphasis on the action side of the equation, and the trailer does seem to involve rather more mobility and dodging about than the last few lootguzzlers I played.

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Desktop Despots: Tropico 5 Beta Begins Next Month

New Tropico games aren’t appearing as quickly as my brain thinks. This is simply that I now perceive time at such a pace that the world is a dizzying blur around me. If you’d held a knifegun to my headthroat and demanded a release date for Tropico 4, I’d have tried to second-guess myself and suggested late 2012. It was in fact August 2011, and I am an old, confused man, unsure why the Christmasses won’t stop happening. Anyway, my confused rambling aside, Tropico 5 is appearing a very appropriate three years after the last time El Presidente reared his undemocratic city building head, and is now accepting applications for its March beta.

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Wot I Think: Omerta – City Of Gangsters

I’m not a violent man by any means and that should make me very uneasy about my fondness for gangsters, but I far prefer them to other murderous avatars. I’m thinking pirates, ninja, warfighters and bald space marines. That was reason enough to draw my eyes to Omerta: City of Gangsters when it was first announced and I’ve finally played through the campaign of this city-conquering strategy game. I’ve already swung a baseball bat at the demo but went deeper into the underground in the hope that I’d find something there worth clinging on to.

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