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Satisfactory Closed Alpha First Impression

An excellent mesh of Minecraft and Factorio.

by Alex Levine

satisfactory-game-alpha-impressions

The long awaited closed Alpha for the upcoming simulator game, Satisfactory has finally arrived. Coffee Stain Studios, who is known for the unique video game Goat Simulator, really stirred up the PC community when they unveiled the game at the PC Gaming Show during last years E3 weekend, and many fans of world-building genre have been waiting to get their hands on this. The closed Alpha took place this past weekend, ending on Monday March 11. We were fortunate enough to receive an Alpha Key to try it out, and we came away fairly impressed.

It’s important to note that the game is still in the Alpha phase of development. In addition, the closed Alpha was limited to certain content, specifically unlocking Research Tiers for building new structures, as well as limiting the starting area to just one world. Despite this, their was still a large amount of things to play with. The game started with us in a launch pod readying up to go forth and explore the new alien world for expansion and construction. Once we landed we were given the very first tutorial, using the Construction Tool.

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Immediately, we recognized that this device would be the make it or break it tool of the game, as it not only is the one and absolute utility for making objects, it’s also the only thing that can deconstruct them. We then proceeded to our first mining area for Iron Ore, the most common element for creating things in the game. It’s remarkably satisfying seeing the hacking animation for our character as they plunged the mining tool over and over for minerals, even if it tends to drag on. It becomes a little easier once we obtained the Object Scanner, which pinpoints where certain Ore’s and other minerals are available on the map.

One we finally built our first main Hub, we were free to our own devices. Although the game encouraged us to upgrade the Hub and build new components for building, we found ourselves traveling the planet discovering many new sources for mining and new species to research. However, with exploration also comes danger, and we were attacked by some creatures that didn’t take kindly to our adventuring in their territory. While combat plays second fiddle to the building aspect of the game, it does become necessary to defend yourself at some points. For the Alpha, all we had to do this with was our trusty Xeno-Zapper, which is basically a miniature stun baton.

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As we said earlier, the meat and potatoes of the game is building up new construction zones, as well as other devices that help you mine faster. Oh and by the way, almost everything you come across can be pocketed as a source for building new components. We can’t count how many times we grabbed leaves, wood, and other random minerals just to use as fuel for the Smelters and Constructors. Speaking of which, we also found that the more we built, the more minerals we needed each and every time, which sent us back to mining areas we had already plunged to try and scrap up some more just to make it by for the upgrade we desperately needed.

To be fair, this is a building simulation game, and it is still in Alpha, but sometimes the treck to go and find materials sent us halfway around the planet. Which brings us to our only real weak point of the game, no fast travel. This may or may not be implemented in the full release, but we really hope that Coffee Stain Studios takes into account how much it takes to run all the back to the main Hub. At least we were able to sprint endlessly. Regardless of this, Satisfactory has an excellent blend of building simulation and adventuring. The continuous milestones for upgrading the Hub kept us coming back for more, and while we didn’t have access to all of the Tier unlocks in the closed Alpha, we can already tell that it will play another large role in creating the giant factory we all dream about.

Satisfactory is set for Early Access release on March 19 through the Epic Games Store.

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