Publisher: Coffee Stain Publishing
Developer: Coffee Stain Studios
Genre: Building Simulator
Preface: I've only spent about over 10hrs of play and only covering the most basic aspect of it, I will upload few images from the internet to show you how far you can go playing this.
Ah yes, games where I can build large factories, assembly lines for resources and mess up the biodiversity a bit. Here's Satisfactory, a game that starts off with a short-lived tedium of grind before you start embracing the mega-scope of your industrial complex. The game has been in early access phase for more than a year now in Epic Store, few months ago it finally came to Steam and now it has somewhat gotten out of that EA phase even though it is being dubbed to be EA. Strange.
As much practice as it'll take, the broad scope of how territorial you can be is an enticing offer on its own. In this FPS factory building simulator, you take helm of an employee from FICSIT(no gender specified). You're given the freedom to follow the guidelines and construct makeshift factories while following Milestone goals. The allure is simply the 4 worlds you get to choose from, themselves filled with their own distinctive ecosystem of livestock, vegetation, minerals to mine and more.
While yeah, it takes so much out of you to find a blueprint to work with and do a lot of chores, once you've finished your work, all that you've accomplished becomes present in sweet sense of gratification.
To start off, the game puts you in a shuttle crash landing on 4 different locations(of one big map) of your choosing. From there, you have to go through this tutorial of upgrading your HUD base. Once the Tier 0 phase is done, you have finished tutorial and you're on your own figuring a lot of things out while surviving doing things in the base. You can even build a large building afterwards to build your mining facilities around.
There are around 9 tiers of base operations you have to accomplish in order to get everything you need. Each of them brings newer structures allowing you to expand further than your mining base. The main central goal is to accomplish these missions with your own pacing while feeling satisfied with your work. At first, that might seem like the feeling will diminish but the game offers so much so that you'll be lost after spending countless hours playing.
From there, you collect resources, build your base of operations, set up mining rigs, carry cargo, rinse and repeat. But there's even more. The whole point of the game is to collect resources but also discover new things, create an environment where your industrialization can thrive and that includes messing around with the biodiversity. You can create items in workshop like chainsaws, portable mining rigs, different weapons, zapper, etc.
There's also the matter of wildlifes, each area is unexplored and untouched territory surrounded with vegetations but also different manners of life. Most of them being hostile towards you. It's upto you to determine how to prep yourself against such threats including on your base of operations.
There's a long tedium involved which will take you over 10hrs of play to get through, but right after tier 2, the game takes you to a lot of interesting places. You can do researches for newer materials, structures, and items for use. Use lookout towers for any threats that come to your base. Build enough tools to traverse elsewhere in order to build mining zones and expand your complexes.
But expanding your mining industry isn't the only thing you can have in your daily goals, go out on to the wilderness and discover a lot of new things. Including enemies that deceptively spews poison in the air or bigger mammals chasing you faster than you could skedaddle. Thus, at first tackling them hands on with weaker arsenals would be a bad idea. After unlocking and upgrading your building schematics, you finally start getting your hands on both vehicles and weapons. Afterwards traversal in these large areas become far easier.
Satisfactory will drag at first, but you're engrossed into once you've understood and enjoyed its concept, when you feel like you've made it second nature playing this game after 20hrs, you're not done...at all. There's so much to do, going for hundreds of hours of multi-tasking, researching, building new mining assemblies, exploring the large map, messing with biodiversity, petting harmless wildlife, etc. It's obviously City Skylines and Minecraft inspired but giving it time, this could be something else, defining the genre on its own.
There are a few key issues, one namely being the chainsaw which only can be used for cutting vegetation and trees and not used as a weapon. Same applies with some other set of tools and other way for weapons as well. These confounded issues are a little baffling for a game like and feels as if they could be more ambidextrous in the sandbox worlds you're thrust into.
Of course, you're not entirely playing this game alone because that would be a downer. No, Satisfactory offers online co-op play with 3 different peoples. Only downside is that there is no public matchmaking meaning that you can only add people from either your friends list or share session IDs to let someone join in instead. Some people prefer the esoteric nature of this, but I would like it if the game found a way to bring online sessions to this. There could be other game modes as potential, but seeing as this game was made solely so you could build your own playground along with people you trust, it's amicable that this is a more doable design choice.
But even then, despite all that, there's plenty to do with your friends with the one mode it has. At its basic form, this feature only exists just so people could lend a hand like the one I had after finding a Discord server. If you're interested, here's the link to the server: https://discord.gg/satisfactory
There's voice chat, text box and all that jazz that comes with every games, it gives you multiple ways to communicate. Although without a ping system but this isn't that kind of game that requires it. You can even travel in different places without needing to be in same parameters but unfortunately there's no teleportation system which kind of makes it difficult to easily to reach towards the other player incase they need help. This design does work for those who only seek to travel in their own volition.
The visuals in and of itself is breathtaking, I mean no surprise considering it's another UE4 build. But when it comes to good color saturation and detailed textures, it would have definitely easily sell itself as a AAA title. The foliage design, trees, metal structures, flame and fume effects, all is pretty to look at.
Sound is just well-made intuitively for players to register inputs and mechanics. The music is something from YouTube playlists that just mostly sets the mood for your session. All produced with high quality.
This game's overall charm comes from the baggy looks of the industrial worker surrounded by large facilities and planetary environments. Almost sets a funny undertone of how the workers disregard their form and basic need of exercise just to work constantly like mindless drones.
Satisfactory is not going to be for everyone, at first it felt like it wasn't for me. But playing it after several hours, I could see what it was trying to achieve. This is a brilliant game that is still long ways off. Also, it hasn't gotten off the Early Access phase so maybe in some point of time, the game could fully be realized in the near future?
For me this was a worthy purchase, I'll be going back for another play session, hopefully losing myself for wonderlust.