Notice: This is going to be detailed, so if your not into that skip to the next review, you have been warned!
Take on Mars - a game designed with a single purpose in mind - explore, and eventually colonize Mars.
Let's talk about the campaign mode later for now I want to talk about the Scenerios:
Manned Missions to locations including Earth's "Backyard Mars", The Moon, and Mars itself are playable as of the current revision, more over they are playable multiplayer. The Multiplayer system is highly reliable from what i can tell minus the fact that the entire game is prealpha. The best part about manned missions thus far is they are strictly co-op, although there's talk of a future competitive mode. Your astronauts will attempt to build and maintain a base in manned mode - the ways to do this vary but in general you need three major resources - Food, Fuel, and Water. Food is self-evident so let's talk about Fuel - The only vehicle in the game (currently) that needs fuel is the scout buggy, although this is likely to change as the game progresses. The Buggy is a methane/oxygen electric hybird, that is to say it can run off methane or electricity. Newly built vehicles come with a full charge of electricity but you'll need to preform some basic chemistry to get the Methane and Oxygen depending on where you choose to play (Earth, Moon, and Mars have vastly differing resources). The best part about the game in my personal opinion is the resource management - it's all very realistic and highly accruate. Of course if your on Mars, you not only need Food and Water, there's also no air to breathe outside your craft - that's where suits and helmets come into play - they recharge when you put them in holders, and the oxygen drains away as you use them, the helmets and suits can be stored in inventory in order to preserve oxygen in sealed areas but in general this does not restore your tanks. Now there's three primary resource gathering machines in this game, one for rock, soil, and Atmospheres (gases) - Of these three methods there are about 10 - 12 different base elements that can be divided among the various conditions, and these can be refined into molecules that use the same elements into a new chemical. It's all very highly thought out. Chemistry aside you may be wondering "if there's no air where's the Food Get the Oxygen?" - good question, Hydroponic Farms are available for construction which (as of yet) only produce potatos, which fulfill both your vitamen and calorie needs (collectively "Food" Needs) Other supplies can restore only one or the other but in general these are limited. Radition is also in it's infancy but it can already kill you. Water is just a simple matter of a water fountain and/or a space fluid pouch. So all told Manned Missions can already be very cool but if your looking for the finished product you may have to wait a while, the Beta isn't scheduled until June of this year. So...chemistry aside you also will want to provide a base to operate out of during the manned missions: There is a simple building block process that creates virtually any shelter you want (but be warned though simple it's easy to make mistakes at first and end up with a junkyard of shelter parts) My advice is find a mission on Mars say a multiplayer designed scenerio, and deconstruct their base to see how they are put together, this will save you alot of headaches in the long run. Nearly all of my 15+ Hours in this game have been spent in manned missions, however there is also a more primitive pre-manned phased called "Space Program" in which you don't send men, but machines to Mars, and it is reflective of budget and/or time constraints that the real space program faces. Space Program is like "Campaign Mode" for your everyday RTS - it's got somewhat of a goal, and there's specific objectives to meet, not always revealed all at once. Scernerio's especially manned ones at the moment are kinda like a "Skirmish" if you've ever player C&C and know about the AI Mode, note though I've been using RTS comparisons to explain these things the game is very much based on a multi-perspective First Person Interaction Design. It's not fair to call it a FPS because there's no guns or weapons, but it's fair to say it's played largely from the same vantage point in manned missions.
All in all Great game lot's of details and it's not even complete.
Alot of the vehicles are complete cases of Work in progress, and the potential is astounding as is the progress for the moment. If I do have one small gripe there's no schedule for updates, but considering the complexity of the game and other games that have tried that approach (ie Space Engineers) have made me realize good things take their time.
7/10 Current Progress; If it lives to see it's full potential fulfilled it could easily make 9/10.