Preview: Lightyear Frontier Promises Laid-Back Mech-Fuelled Farming

Lightyear Frontier preview 1

Revealed at the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase on Sunday, Lightyear Frontier is a farming simulator quite unlike any other.

Developed by Frame Break, a part of Embracer’s Amplifier group, Lightyear Frontier tasks players with building a farmstead and living a tranquil life in a distant planet. That admittedly doesn’t sound too far out there when it comes to the genre. But what if we told you that you do all this while piloting a mech? And it’s not just any old mech either; it’s one that can transform.

With a design inspired by the usual must-have tool for a farmer – a tractor – your mech in Lightyear Frontier has an agricultural look to it. But worry not, you’re free to make it your own, and by transforming it you’ll be able to take advantage of enhanced traversal and more. The ethos is: why have multiple mechs when you can just let players customise theirs and make it versatile? Why indeed.

Up to eight tools can be equipped to a player’s mech at once – four on each arm – and they can be cycled through at ease. It’s part of Frame Break’s “Shoot to Create” system that sees players firing water at crops to hydrate them, for example, or use an arm-mounted drill to mine resources. And by heading to your garage you’ll be able to upgrade your mech, placing parts in slots to make your tools more efficient and suchlike.

Those who like a bit of direction will be happy to hear that Lightyear Frontier has a story to follow, so they can “complete” the game by bringing it to a conclusion. But Frame Break is also designing Lightyear Frontier so that it’s endlessly repayable. You’ve have worked hard building your farmstead and keeping peace in the surrounding land, so why give it up?

The fact that you can play Lightyear Frontier with friends is perhaps another reason why you’ll want to keep at it once you’re done with its story. Working as a team is always more rewarding, and Frame Break wishes to foster a community that’s collaborative and caring. The peaceful nature of Lightyear Frontier is also a sign of this: while you can shoot in the game, it’s never to kill. And there’s no fail state – if you fall off a chasm, you’ll simply lose some resources.

Related: The Best Simulator Games on Xbox

Set for launch next spring on Xbox consoles and PC, Lightyear Frontier will be available via Xbox Game Pass on day one, allowing subscribers to jump in at no additional cost. With its colourful visuals, chill music and laid-back gameplay, we think it’ll be the perfect game to relax with after a stressful day. Albeit with a mystery to investigate should you feel up for it.