Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game

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Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game


Orphans of the Sky

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Orphans of the Sky

Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game (from here on shortened to Colony Ship) is, as indicated in the extended title, an RPG that has players taking on the role of a survivor after an apocalypse has taken place on Earth. A major disaster has taken place on the planet with survivors needing to board a massive generational ship headed for the Proxima Centauri star system with the hope that a new home can be found. A 400 year long journey turns the trip in to a miserable nightmare of despair for those lucky enough to survive the ship's harsh living conditions. As time passes and new generations evolve, the ship's population gradually forgets what the original mission of this ship is. Now, the real mission has shifted to simple survival.

The game, by developer Iron Tower Studio originally released into early access in April of 2021. Although the game had an estimated 25% of the game completed, it had all of the basic game mechanics in place. However, it lacked the complete story line and content with just the first chapter included. Now after almost a year and a half later, the developers have another two chapters finished and are ready to go with an expected full release date the end of 2022 when the fourth and final chapter will be included.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it

Colony Ship is a party based mission orientated RPG game inspired by Robert A. Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky science fiction novel. The game is reminiscent of the Wasteland and Fallout series of post nuclear apocalyptic RPG adventures of the recent past. The game world in the novel and game is a generational ship seemingly set adrift in the vastness of space, with the main mission of reaching a new planet being long forgotten. Now, after the elimination of the ships original government, it is your job to survive by carrying out missions for various entities. You do this by interacting with fellow passengers and factions - of which there are three - along with several smaller sub-factions. These factions have philosophies that consist of religious, criminal or other ideals. Whether the faction will accept you depends on the past actions and decisions of your character. Choices determine who your enemies and friends will be.

The game starts out with the need to create a character. The character creation in Colony Ship is very detailed and quite comprehensive. As in most (if not all) RPG style computer games it's all about how the players character is developed both intellectually and physically. Can they shoot a gun or are they an egg-head that's peaceful and that prefers to negotiate? How intelligent are they and what types of skill sets do they have? I generally prefer a character that has some smarts, that is strong and that is able to persuade non-playing characters to provide some help with missions. I also want a character that is able to dish out loads of damage with a weapon of choice! If you prefer not to have to go through the character creation process, there are predeveloped characters that can be chosen.

My eyes hurt from so much reading

After the character attributes are decided upon then it is on to creating the type of personality he or she will have. This involves reading an extensive text introduction about what has transpired in the past, plus what your characters beliefs about ship governance might be. You chose an answer that best matches the way you want your avatar to be and that is used when interacting with NPC's and factions in the game. As with the character creation, players can choose to skip the introductory text with a random personality being assigned. Colony Ship requires a lot of reading throughout the game which serves to further the story line as progress is made.

In game items are plentiful. There are numerous varieties of weapons, clothing that act as armour, bio-implants, med-kits and substances that enhance physical attributes and so on. Inventory is very impressive with plenty of storage space in the backpack. Items can be bought, sold, stolen, found or bartered for. There are the standard gun shops, armour dealers and other vendors that sell any number of items that you most likely won't be able to afford when first starting out. I always enjoy finding objects in chests, on the bodies of vanquished enemies and in other areas that are in great abundance in this game. Since the generational colony ship is large, that means the game world is in turn quite large.

Why are things always so difficult?

Most RPGs require extensive combat to be carried out and it is no different here. In Colony Ship the difficulty factor is determined in the very beginning of the game when one of two play styles can be chosen. The two choices are called Underdog and Hero. The Underdog mode is very difficult and it is imperative that the combat system is mastered. In addition, weapon handling attributes will need to be better developed in order to survive a battle. Hero mode is easier over all with combat sequences being easier to win. Combat is turn-based and after the allotted action points are used then the next NPC takes their turn.

Speaking of NPC characters, Colony Ship allows ten NPC characters to be present in the players inventory. However only four can accompany the player character. With that said, choosing companions with a variety of skills and attributes is a must and then having the right ones in the party for the different missions is important. Each of the available NPCs have different agendas, beliefs and personalities. Before recruiting them it would be wise to see if their philosophies match those of the party and the other NPCs in the party.

When can we expect to get to Proxima Centauri?

There's a whole lot to do in Colony Ship and those of us that have played and enjoyed post-apocalyptic role-playing games in the past won't be disappointed with this one. The basic game mechanics are very well developed, whilst the graphics, in it's dark and haunting manner, look great on the Unreal graphics engine. We are expecting Colony Ship to be released sometime around November 2022 when the fourth and final game chapter is completed. With all of that said, I fully expect this Colony Ship to be very successful, but whether or not it finally does get to it's ultimate destination of Proxima Centauri remains to be seen. It may take a century or two to get there but keep an eye on this Colony Ship because it looks to be a keeper!

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There are no guarantees - but we'd bet our own money on this one. If you're going to take a chance with yours, odds are good this one will deliver.

Hooked Gamer's Steam Early Access forecasts are intended to help you differentiate between Early Access games that have the potential to blossom and those more likely to fail. We look at the team's ambitions, their track record, and the state of the latest build to predict if opening your wallet will help fund a potentially great game, or is better used to light other fires.