The 4th game in the series, 3089 has the player take control of an experimental combat droid, placed amongst a perpetual war on the planet Xax that serves as a testing ground for your efforts.
Gameplay involves traversing an open world, completing "quests" & challenges, getting into fights with enemy robots, collecting loot, and increasing skills. The world itself is procedurally generated, and the further from the starting point the player travels the higher in level enemies & items are. There are also no boundaries to the world map; as long as you can survive, you can keep travelling further out.
Quests are randomly generated and are effectively infinite in number. Because your role is to test an experimental combat technology, the quests are very straight-forward and - occasionally - don't make sense. This isn't an issue as there aren't any real lives going on here. Completing set challenges will unlock new enemies; these challenges can be thought of as the main quest-line as they (usually) lead to an end-game scenario.
The robots themselves (your character included) are assigned to either the red team or blue team. Your robot is assigned to the red team, and you'll start in a red base along with various other red robots and buildings. Other red robots can be befriended if the player's Prestige is high enough, with no limit on the number of followers you can have.
Items are modular in design; all weapons & armours are built from segments that can be interchanged at a Workstation. This allows - for example - upgrading a "favourite" gun, building a better sword from 2 others that have good parts, or just simply replacing an existing rifle with a better one. There are also utility devices such as grappling hooks, telelocators (weapon-style teleporter), hoverboards, decoy generators, and building tools. Various things can be built, from a simple wall, to a teleporter.
The player's character has various skills (including Agility, Energy, Stealth, Melee) which are increased by assigning points gained by completing quests, challenges, or clearing enemy towers. There is no limit to how high a skill may be, and if you so wish, every point can be added to a single skill. The skill-set is diverse enough to specialise as a sniper, commander, pilot, tank, sword-bot, etc., as well as developing a more balanced robot.
Another ability the player has access to is "time-ripping". When this is turned on, the entire world stops except for you; even new projectiles you generate (from firing your gun) will remain stationary until time-ripping ceases. Grappling hooks will still function as normal though. The player's robot can store up to 15 seconds of time-rip; this can be replenished by collecting donut-shaped pick-ups scattered around the landscape.
*Open world; virtually unlimited in size
*No skill limits
*Diverse abilities & items
*AI is challenging
*Game's source code can be altered for advanced modding
*Playable on 8 year old laptops
*Multi-play is limited to 2-player co-op
*Main quest-line is very short