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TerraTech trundles out of early access


Designing my own machines is a fantasy I often eagerly sign up to, then abandon when I remember I'm crap at it. For me, freedom is entwined with failure - though perhaps TerraTech can check my over-ambition. It has you roaming about on an alien planet "where you design and build your own creations through a mix of crafting, combat and discovery", ostensibly collecting minerals for a resource-stricken Earth but actually pumping them into fancier vehicles. Payload Studios have launched version 1.0 after four years spent tinkering in early access, though they've still got plenty more planned.

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I'm tempted to play it for the soundtrack alone.

There's no big update to accompany the big one-oh, though a flurry of patches over the past month have focused on bug fixes while adding and tweaking bits here and there. The multiplayer mode received some love in the form of two new maps, which sticks out to me because if I did pick this up I'd wind up spending most of my time treating it like robot wars.

This is 2018, so of course the game is far from finished. The devs have detailed their plans for the TerraTech of tomorrow, laying out what they want to accomplish in the short, medium and long term. A co-op creative mode is the first major feature on their list, and then they'll turn their hands towards a co-op campaign, improving the AI, adding new mission and event types... and that's just scratching the surface of their short-term goals.

Looking ahead into next year and beyond, the devs say they want to re-work many of the game's core features while crafting new content and chucking in more multiplayer modes. After that, in what the devs have labelled "real blue-sky topics", are several ambitious-sounding features that would take the terra out of TerraTech and turn it into No Man's Sky. They're talking about "spherical planets, space propulsion, interplanetary travel", "dynamic economy simulation" and "world deformation (tunnelling)".

TerraTech is available on Steam for £19.99/$24.99/€24.99.

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