As a fan of survival games and science fiction shooters, Memories of Mars from 505 Games quickly made on many must play lists. During PAX East we got the chance to sit down with a demo of the game and experience the beloved red planet for ourselves. Is this the open-world sandbox multiplayer game in space that we’ve been waiting for?
For players of the survival genre Memories of Mars will feel a lot like coming home. The user interface and controls are mapped out in a similar fashion to other games in that respect and that’s not a bad thing. With little effort you can hop right in as your character makes its way out of cryostasis and starts bumping around to see what happened to the mining operation on Mars 100 years in the future. Spoiler alert? It’s nothing good if the lack of people and abandoned locations are anything to go by.
In an effort to maximize our experience with the game, we were given unlimited materials and resources so we could try out everything available to us without spending our thirty minutes with the title collecting resources for building. #CheatMode
The base building mechanic is an easy to use snap-to that allows you to build pretty quickly as long as you have the materials for it. You’ll want to build a base that makes sense and is fortified if you plan to keep safe from game world enemies and other players! You can also use a spray can to paint your base any number of colors or patterns, the same colors or patterns can also be used on your space suit. While the hot pink in your face inspired paint job we selected for our base did nothing for stealth it absolutely looked cool and we had no regrets despite the likelihood that it contributed to our demise. Overall there are enough options available to customize your builds to keep it interesting without feeling stale as you lay down your foundations and walls.
Memories of Mars has both player versus player and player versus enemy elements. You can choose to spawn in and go it alone, fighting giant mutant space worms on your onesies like a boss. Or you can make some friends, create a clan, and brave the desolate world with your best Thunder Buddy. You could also just be the rudest creature on the planet and gun down your fellow survivors. The world is your outer space oyster (spoyster?).
Visually, Memories of Mars is about as close to actually being on Mars as most of us are likely to get. Everyone’s favorite red space orb is dressed to impress. The undoubtedly hot surface of Mars comes complete with the wind whipping sand around and the ability to explore the abandoned buildings of the clones who came before you. When the day cycle shifts to night though it gets dark, but like, it gets REAL dark. Which we found was an excellent time to look up and admire the incredible care and work that was put into creating the galaxy overhead.
Perhaps the biggest thing that separates Memories of Mars from similar titles is the developers willingness to adapt and grow the game into what the community wants to play. They’re eager for feedback and fully willing to implement sought after features if the interest is there. In short, if Memories of Mars doesn’t sound like something that you one hundred percent want to play now, keep an eye on it because they’re not afraid to switch things up.
In some respects, Memories of Mars isn’t unlike what we’ve seen before. Survival games have a bit of a formula to them. Spawn in with nothing, harvest all the things, hide while you gather, choose your battles, build your spot up, and stand your ground. Memories of Mars has all that, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. However, it’s the mystery of the story that left us the most intrigued.
You’re a clone on Mars and you wake up alone. Okay, that looks bad. And there’s no one around to tell you what happened. Okay, that looks worse. And the enemies are next level Tremors in space and you’ll probably be fine as long as the people on your server are feeling charitable. We were left with a lot of questions after our demo and we can’t wait to get some answers!