Genesis Alpha One Preview
At PAX West 2017, I was lucky enough to go hands on with Team17’s Genesis Alpha One, a game that combines a few of my favorite gameplay elements. If you believe you have what it takes to manage an entire space station while under constant siege from alien invaders, then this then intergalactic indie title is for you.
The planet is in ruins. Corrupt conglomerates run the show, and humanity is nearly doomed. It’s your job as an interstellar pioneer to find mankind a new home among the stars. Genesis Alpha One combines first person shooting, base building, and survival spiced with roguelike elements as you command a starship drifting through space. You can build a custom space station with various wings including an armory and launch bay, and send scouting vessels into the ether in hopes of bringing home valuable resources. Sending ships to foreign planets always comes at a risk, because you never know what horrifying creatures they’ll return with. The ultimate goal is to discover an inhabitable planet while producing clones that serve as your crew, and replace you as captain when you’re inevitably slaughtered by hostile aliens.
I believe in arming myself to the teeth when dealing with foreign invaders. So, during the construction process of my newly acquired space rig, I invested heavily in multiple armories. I proceeded to build a sizable launch bay and an agricultural wing, because, you know, we also need to eat. You’re given total freedom with the design and layout of your station. You can bunch your rooms together, widely spread them apart, or build them on top of each other. If you can imagine it, you can do it. You’re also given the option to customize the colors of the interior, so, I took the liberty of coating it in red in black. Sending your ships to collect resources from foreign planets is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. Knowing that danger is expected upon every return, I repeatedly made the proper preparations by setting up multiple automated turrets and shield walls provided by my faithful armories.
When your ships return, aliens burst from the doors with a lust for death. During my experience, I encountered a race resembling Clayface from Batman’s rogues gallery, and spiders. Lots and lots of spiders. With a space shotgun in hand, I blasted the clay bastards to bits while my turrets dealt with the creepy crawlers. What’s interesting about the spiders is that they tend to ignore you upon their arrival, and instead run deep into your ship to hide, lay eggs, and eat away at your ship’s inner workings. They’ll grow in numbers overtime, and if they’re not swiftly dealt with, your ship can shutdown or worse; you and your entire crew can be eaten alive. Fortunately, I have a keen eye for things that crawl in the night and managed to vaporize every last one of them.
“Sending your ships to collect resources from foreign planets is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
In addition to usable resources that return on your scouting ships, enemies leave behind DNA upon death. DNA is used to breed clones clones responsible for maintaining your vessel. As your station grows, more clones are required to operate it. Clones begin as normal human beings, but as you splice human DNA with the DNA of space spiders, they evolve into an entirely new species. According to the developers, your clones always resemble humanoids, but wear the faces of new, bizarre species. The alien creatures eventually got the best of me, and in death I was immediately replaced by one of my clones. Currently, different species of your crew don’t possess any special abilities, but I personally believe it’d give more merit to their diversity in comparison to normal human beings if they did.
I had a blast with Genesis Alpha One. I love the freedom in customization, the shooting mechanics are sound, the random alien encounters keep things fresh, and the splicing of various species is an interesting feature. I only wish the evolution of your clones effected more than just their appearance. Regardless, Genesis Alpha One is shaping up to be stellar amalgamation of genres I adore in a randomly generated setting. A release date has yet to be determined, but the developers are hoping to launch midway through 2018.