Hardspace: Shipbreaker Review

Hardspace Shipbreaker

Games rarely paint a good picture of the future, do they? Hardspace: Shipbreaker continues the trend.

Hardspace: Shipbreaker takes place in a time where Earth has decayed and space has been industrialised. And so a new profession has been born: Shipbreaking. It’s something that apparently interests you. So with your personal details entered into an application form and a rather suspicious contract signed, it’s time to start your new job.

Only, straight away it’s clear that it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. Part of the job is having your DNA sequenced so you can be cloned to continue your work should you die. But that, along with countless other procedures that are apparently necessary for the job, have to be paid for by you.

So, before you’ve even started breaking down ships you’ve landed yourself in debt. And we’re not just talking hundreds or thousands of credits. We’re talking over a billion. Needless to say, you’ve got a lot of work to do.

You’ll begin your career in Hardspace: Shipbreaker breaking down the smallest, simplest ships, as you’d expect. It’s a process that involves locating key points that are holding it together, disintegrating them with your cutter, then wrangling the various parts into the correct processing unit with a grapple gun. It sounds easy, but it’s far from it. Especially when you consider the fact you’re working in zero gravity.

Thankfully you have a scanner to help you with your job, highlighting those key structural points you need to reach. But it’s down to you to find a way to get to them, preferably without using brute force; do a shoddy job, and you’ll reap less rewards for the work you’ve done. You will sometimes need to use your cutter to break pieces of the ship you’re working on into two or more pieces though. Otherwise they might be so big you just can’t move them.

You’ll break down one ship at a time, returning to your HAB – a personal space where you can eat, sleep, check emails and manage your workload – when you’re done for the day. To work off your debt, you’ll need to improve your rank, enabling you to break down bigger and more complex ships. And you’ll gain the tools and know-how that enable you to do that along the way. For those that get into it, Hardspace: Shipbreaker will be an engrossing and long-lasting experience.

What’s really neat is that you can make Hardspace: Shipbreaker as easy-going or as stressful as you’d like, too. You can choose to play with no time limit or oxygen constraints, allowing you to break down ships at a leisurely pace. Though you’ll still need to watch out for items hitting you at high speed or your tools overheating. You can also play with the time limit and oxygen constraints enabled and strictly only one life. Mess up and that’s it. Game Over. Try again. And of course, there are numerous settings in-between.

If you’re a fan of simulator-like games, and want something a little more different and fantastical, it’s well worth giving Hardspace: Shipbreaker a try. It can feel very much like work at times, but there’s also something strange therapeutic about it. After all, it’s rewarding doing a good job, right?


Hardspace: Shipbreaker Review – GameSpew’s Score

This review of Hardspace: Shipbreaker has been facilitated by a code provided by the publisher. It’s available on PC.