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ΔV: Rings of Saturn

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This is an early access game that I’ve been playing for the last few weeks. It’s not really anything like Aurora; you only control one ship at a time, and you can only visit the Rings of Saturn, plus a station orbiting Enceladus. The only logistical problem is managing your propellant. The ships in the game mostly use nuclear thermal engines, except for one which which uses fusion instead. NTR and fusion engines have both the thrust and the efficiency necessary for crewed spaceflight, but your ship is still mostly propellant storage and cargo bay. The game play is a direct homage to Asteroids, but the author is leaning heavily into the simulation mechanics so that when you change the equipment on your ship you really feel the differences.

There are story elements as well, mostly having to do with your crew–member’s affiliations and ambitions. One of my crew signed up as a ring diver in order to look for her husband, who is lost in the ring. We found the ship he was on, but not his body. Another’s sister is a scientist studying the rings to try to determine why there is more metal present than previously expected. She sent us a message, but the habitat she was living on was attacked. Now she’s flying around the rings in some other ship, trying to hide from whoever attacked the habitat while still trying to understand the mystery. Meanwhile I’ve become a bounty hunter, and was attacked by what appears to have been an AI–controlled ship. I found a bar inside of a hollowed–out moonlet.

The tutorial video has a nice touch that I really like. Just like most games it aims to show you all of the controls, but with a real human touch: your uncle is the one showing you the controls, after your father has left you his ship and you’re old enough to fly it. I think the voice actor really does a good job too.

There’s also a second video that I recommend watching. It is less of a tutorial, and more of a story. The crew of the Riven Brick dive to a propeller formation in the ring looking for a dense vein.

The game is pretty solid, though there are some reports of low frame rates in some situations, with some video cards. The story is still fairly rudimentary, but more and more of it is getting added every week.

I have been looking at it since the middle of 2020. It's very good if you like to explore, test and fiddle with the equipment. The demo policy is very VERY generous, so literally no reason to not try it (unless you don't have a graphics card like little old me).


--- Quote from: Gabrote42 on January 02, 2022, 09:29:47 AM ---The demo policy is very VERY generous

--- End quote ---

That’s a good point; I forgot to mention the demo. The demo is the full game with only one limitation: you can save your game at any time, but you cannot load any save where you have played more than 30 in–game days. That really is very generous indeed.

I tried the demo but I can't make it work - at first nothing worked but after disabling my gamepad, some controls started working but the tutorial seems to be getting stuck and/or some controls aren't working for some reason. Probably just something on my end but oh well.

That’s sad. I don’t have a controller, so I’ve never tried it with one. Keyboard+mouse works great though.


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