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Surviving Mars: Green Planet DLC

Posted by GG Goblin On June - 3 - 2019

Like a celestial traffic light, turn the red planet green.

As is often the case with games from Paradox Interactive, there is a constant stream of free and paid DLC that alters and improves on what may have been available at launch. This is no different for the Haemimont Games developed Surviving Mars, and this latest little package of DLC goes much further in the way it changes things than anything that has come before. The Green Planet DLC means that not only can the player get humans to the red planet and set up a domed colony, but now they can go to all of the trouble of terraforming the red planet and having the colonists free to wander as they see fit. The result is a massive extension to the end game in Surviving Mars.

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That’s not to say that nothing has changed in the early game, but those changes will mostly revolve around some interesting new numbers to keep an eye on. Realistically though, this is an end game DLC and players will still need to get their colonists to Mars in the first place, and hopefully set up a thriving colony.

Given how dangerous Mars can be, the chance to make it that little bit more welcoming should be jumped at, and players will now have that chance as, once things are set up well and going smoothly, they can start looking to making the red planet green. The path to making Mars into a hospitable garden of Eden is long and arduous, and will stretch the resources of the player quite substantially. But watching that little patch of green slowly grow and expand is so worth it.

Players will find a selection of new buildings to help in the terraforming. Making the planet habitable will mean playing the numbers game in a few different parameters, but players are given various different ways to adjust these parameters. The parameters will involve the atmosphere, moisture, temperature and plant life. As an example, players may choose to suck moisture from the atmosphere to create ground water, or they could simply direct an ice asteroid to crash onto the surface, which could have some interesting results. Start spreading lichen spores in the air and hope that they take, and before long things will start changing colour.

It’s a slow process, and there are pros and cons along the way. Many of the processes needed to terraform Mars will take resources away from the colonists, such as the Botanists making seeds instead of food, leading to further balancing for the player to deal with. There is also the bonus that certain hazards, such as the cold waves, become lesser, while the possibility of toxic rain becomes more so. It gives the player a lot to think about.

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It really is quite magical to see these little patches of green spread to cover the map, and before long lakes develop and forests grow, making Mars a far more hospitable planet, and also as much as doubling the duration of an average game.

Green Planet is not the only new DLC available for Surviving Mars, as Haemimont Games also released Project Laika at the same time. This small game pack brings animals to the red planet, in the form of both livestock and pets. While the pets have very little purpose aside from cosmetic, the livestock lead to ranches, which lead to a different food source for the colonists. It’s a small but meaningful addition.

For some gamers, DLC seems to be a dirty word. Personally, I love a game that keeps expanding over time with new features and additional content, but I can also understand that some may wonder why this content wasn’t included at launch. This is especially true of the Green Planet DLC which makes the game feel more complete. It would have been nice to have this end game content included, but it wasn’t, which makes the Green Planet DLC very much worth the money. When it comes to the Project Laika DLC, I don’t really understand why it couldn’t have been included in the Green Planet expansion. Given the cosmetic nature of much of this small DLC offering, I would say that Project Laika really is one for the more “flush” gamer.

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The Green Planet DLC for Surviving Mars is a great addition, allowing players to turn the inhospitable red planet into something much more akin to Earth. It’s a complicated route and slow journey, but terraforming Mars is the end game that Surviving Mars needed, and anyone who has enjoyed colonising the red planet thus far would do well to pick up the Green Planet DLC.




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