Space Wreck – Demo Impressions

Space Wreck is an isometric science fiction RPG made by Pahris Entertainment SIA. It’s an RPG in the same vein of the original Fallout, actually, it is much more than that, it’s like Space Wreck killed Fallout and now wears it as a skin-suit, even if the setting is completely different. I don’t mean it in a bad way necessarily, but everything, from the opening intro, to the door opening in first person view with accompanying sound effect, and music is almost copied 1 to 1, in tone at least. That is the impression I got, anyway. But besides that, does it manage to live up to what it tries to replicate?

The game is set in the far future, and you play as a fresh-out-of-school captain on a spaceship. As would have it, pirates attacks your craft and damages the fuel ship – which means you will have to find replacement fuel on a nearby space wreck. And from here on you are absolutely free to do whatever you want with success depending on what skills you rolled your character as. Low charm and speech will make any interaction with other people an absolute nightmare, but don’t fret, trading social skills for hacker skills opens up a whole new world of ways to complete quests.

And we started out so good!

This is one of the impressive parts of the game, most of the quests seem to have several solutions, from the talky, to the techie, all the way to the shooty. I tried a couple of different stereotypes, and they all played out differently. I had most fun as my semi-charming pistols-first kind of captain, at least when it comes to enemy sentry bots. Unfortunately, he died due to getting stun locked in combat versus another human, and well, here comes an issue I have with the game – there are no saves, it’s ironman all the way (See addendum at the bottom of the post for correction). While I don’t mind ironman, I actually prefer it in certain games, I’m unsure of its inclusion when it comes to RPGs, though, because a lot of what you will be doing is talking. And scavenging, not to forget that, and I think I did the same routine at least 4-5 times before finally calling it quits out of boredom.

These guys got wrecked

Not for any dislike of the game, it was just boring having to do the same thing over and over. Especially going through the same dialogue. It does add tension to the game, but I would have preferred some kind of saving system. Maybe saving with some kind of restriction would be a fair trade-off? Like only being able to save at certain locations, or go the whole Resident Evil route with ink ribbons. I don’t know, but this is not a plus in my opinion, short game or not, as it apparently is.

Otherwise, I found the writing a bit weird, while characters came off as pretty natural, there was a lot of meme stuff in the dialogue, and well, that’s really not for me. It takes me out of the game, instead of being funny, and it’s probably the lowest form of comedy… and how in the hell did these memes survive that far into the future anyway? It’s a small stain on the game I feel, but beyond the saving thing, and the clumsy “funny” dialogue I did enjoy the game, and I’m looking forward to trying it when it’s complete. The combat, that takes place in turn-based mode was good too, and I loved the fact that you can lure mobs onto unsuspecting civilians, that actually will react to the threat. Another plus regarding gameplay is the stealth system with easy to see “view-cones” of the enemy, which makes for a pretty fun time sneaking around.

Hello Fallout!

Visually, the game looks very retro, but I would call it retro-modern, deliberate low-fi pixel graphics, and it works, for the most part at least. I had some problems seeing where I could go at times, and some stuff were hidden behind walls – things your character would easily spot, but not the player. Music, and sound in general is fine, I actually really liked some tunes, as mentioned, it reminded me about Fallout. Very similar in tone music-wise, even if the game don’t really felt like it fit that tone, to be honest.

Well, as it is, this is a demo, and the game is set for an Early Access release, which means it is far from being completed, so who knows what it will look and feel like in the future. But as it is right now, it’s an enjoyable RPG throwback at least, well worth to try – just remember, don’t risk anything, because if you die you have to start over!

Thanks for reading.

/Thomas

Addendum:

After interaction with the dev-team on Twitter, I got explained that the game isn’t actually “ironman”. The game only have one save, but death isn’t the end as I thought. If you click continue after dying, it should take you back where you left off. I’m not sure how I missed this, or why it didn’t work for me – but there it is.

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