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Surviving Mars: Space Race

Posted by GG Goblin On November - 19 - 2018

Let’s get back to Mars.

Haemimont Games and Paradox Interactive’s Surviving Mars, the game where players head to the red planet and set up their own colony, is the sort of game that will stay on most players’ PCs for a long time to come. This is not just because the game was rather good at launch, but also because the developers keep on tweaking and updating it, trying to make it the best Mars colonizing game ever. Things have moved one step further now, as Haemimont Games have released their first expansion DLC for the game, and it looks like there may be a bit of competition for prime Mars real estate.

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Whereas before players would just have to compete with minor things like a hostile environment, running out of money or air, or plain old starvation, in the Surviving Mars: Space Race expansion, it is all about getting there first. Being the first to arrive on Mars and get the best landing zone, being the first to complete and objective. Being first is easy when you are alone. But this expansion brings a host of other interested parties to the red planet.

Space Race brings two new mission sponsors to the table in the form of Japan and Brazil, giving the player more options when it comes time to start their colony, with each offering a different bonus that will make life on Mars that little bit easier. Each of the sponsors, including Japan and Brazil, now bring with them a unique building and vehicle that are only available to players that are signed on with them. Games like this thrive on more and more little content being added, so this is always welcome.

Sponsors now also have their own objectives that will reward players differently, and there are a few other little additions, to the game, such as narrative events and supply pods, to keep things interesting. However, the real star of the show is the new inclusion of rivals on the surface of the planet.

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The players’ colony is now joined by other colonies, backed by their own sponsors and controlled by AI. This raises the game somewhat as players will now have to be quick if they want to be the first to reach a certain milestone and reap the rewards. Resources are always limited on Mars anyway, and now with more than one colony racing to get them, things are going to get tight.

It’s not all bad though. Players will have the chance to trade with other colonies if they wish, or even ask for help or give help when required. But then, if the player is not feeling particularly friendly, they can always just poach colonists from their rivals or even sabotage them.

This new addition of sponsors with their own objectives, and rival colonies all trying to be first, really does make for a much more focussed game. Surviving Mars was already good at launch, but with whatever tweaks have been made since and the addition of the Space Race DLC, Surviving Mars is offering players more and more options on how they want to create their own colony on the red planet. The choice is still there to play the more relaxed game, simply by turning the rival colonies off, and thus giving access to a more relaxed pace of play. However, the simple act of being the first to achieve something really pushes the player to make more risky decisions for greater rewards. It won’t always work out, but it is great fun trying.

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Now, the Space Race expansion for Surviving Mars is not the hugest expansion around, but it is also not the most expensive. With the improvements already made to the game, fans of the colonisation game will get plenty of fun from the new DLC. Surviving Mars will continue to evolve, but right now the Space Race expansion will add enough to keep players coming back for more. Worth getting.




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