What is ‘Hardspace: Shipbreaker’? Space salvage game plays with Zero G deconstruction skills (VIDEO)

Promotional art for ‘Hardspace Shipbreaker’. — Picture courtesy of Blackbird Interactive / Focus Home Interactive
Promotional art for ‘Hardspace Shipbreaker’. — Picture courtesy of Blackbird Interactive / Focus Home Interactive

SAN FRANCISCO, June 23 — Reduce, reuse and recycle in a game of billion-dollar debt, junk spaceship reclamation and life-saving DNA clones.

Launched on June 16 for Windows PC as part of an intensive public development programme, Hardspace: Shipbreaker puts players into orbit above a wasteland earth, providing them with a sequence of space ships to take apart using advanced energy tools.

Lynx Corp has rescued them for certain death but charged them heavily for the privilege: 999,999,999 credits’ worth of debt, fealty in continental elections, and compulsory employment as a salvage yard worker.

Held together by industrial girders like an enormous 3D puzzle, each ship contains hard-to-get valuables by way of explosive, unstable, or electrically charged components.

The lure of equipment upgrades, backstory fragments, and lucrative hidden discoveries push players onwards, encouraging them to think strategically, to navigate and manipulate complex 3D structures, and to work steadily and methodically to achieve their aims.

Then, when their short 15-minute shift is almost over, or a disastrous error throws existing plans asunder, it’s time to get things done more quickly, more accurately, and more riskily than ever before.

If the Shipbreaker name sounds familiar, it could be because Canadian developer Blackbird Interactive had previously proposed Hardware: Shipbreakers as its debut title, a revival of the late 90s space flight strategy Homeworld.

That project eventually became 2016’s Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, with Blackbird reviving the original name for this latest excursion into the great beyond.

Blackbird intends to keep the PC version in Early Access until mid-2021, and has announced console editions for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One “soon”; it’s not spelt out, but the 2021 timescale overlaps nicely with late 2020 launches for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

As for multiplayer, Blackbird is concentrating on building out Hardspace: Shipbreaker as a singleplayer experience to start with.

At this early stage, full multiplayer would slow core development too much, despite the team’s enthusiasm.

In the meantime, there are plans to implement global leaderboards, regular contests, daily challenges, and user-generated content.

Yet with Hardspace: Shipbreaker notching top-five placements on the Steam and Humble Store charts since release, it’s not hard to imagine that similar success on console would follow, providing fuel for Blackbird’s vision of simultaneous multiplayer in the not too distant future. — AFP-Relaxnews

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