Hardspace: Shipbreaker - Review

Hardspace: Shipbreaker - Review

We have to pay off the debt in Hardspace: Shipbreaker of one billion and two hundred million credits. Welcome to a dystopian future where one corporation has the upper hand. They even charged you 7.50 credits to write off your entire debt.

Fortunately, there's work to be done to break even on the debt list, but life in the universe of Hardspace: Shipbreaker isn't easy. Whether it's because of the various dangers that lurk while cutting spaceships or the fact that after every shift, we get an extra bill for all the equipment and accommodation we rented.

A career in Hardspace: Shipbreaker can be experienced in two ways. One is through the campaign, which is the best way to enter this universe to learn all about cutting. Another way is free to play, which can be quite therapeutic when you don't have to think about time, air, propellant, or the number of magic ropes and explosives.

It can be said that it is a mode for complete relaxation or even for practicing how to carve a certain ship as efficiently as possible. For those who want to show their competitive side, there is also the possibility of competing in cutting ships as fast as possible.

But let's go back to the campaign that touches on the rights of workers and at the same time demonstrates everything that is wrong with employers who take advantage of these workers. The plot that drives the theme here is decent. It's not something that will be remembered when the debt is paid off, but it's talking about problems that are a reflection of what still exists in the business world today. Sometimes some characters might be a little pushy, but that's the environment. All in all, that segment was done at a satisfactory level since the sense of progress is not visible only through numbers.

Hardspace: Shipbreaker puts us in the role of one of the many workers who got their spaceship dumped and need to dismantle them to separate the useful things from the waste. A simple gameplay loop that is a lot of fun, despite not having a lot of different types of ships. The principle of the job is simple - each ship has different parts that must be inserted into the appropriate location. Waste elements go to the incinerator, structural elements to the processing unit, and everything that can be recycled goes to the cargo area.

Hardspace: Shipbreaker - Review - Pic 1

This includes lamps, computers, storage, antennas, and the most valuable thing – reactors. There are a lot of things that have to be taken care of and discarded in the appropriate section to earn credits. But what's fun about it? Well, that whole process of planning how to approach cutting the ship and be as efficient as possible about it.

Namely, each shift lasts 15 minutes, and it is necessary to remove as much as possible to reduce the debt. In addition, each ship has its progress points, so when they are reached, points are won, which are used to upgrade equipment, and open the possibility of accessing new ships, but also the specific dangers that come with them.

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As already said, there are a few different types of ships, so a few more models wouldn't hurt. The situation is somewhat saved by the complexity of the existing ships, which will provide you with a sufficient challenge. Under the cutting laser, you will find transport or research ships, and there are also larger vessels such as space tankers.

These are not all types, and each of them hides its dangers, which fortunately can still be recognized earlier thanks to the scanner. With the scanner, it will be much easier to plan how to cut the parts of the ship because it allows us to see all the points that hold the structure, as well as the position of the various tanks.

Careful handling of cutting elements is also an important segment. To make the job easier, the game offers us three different tools. One of them is a cutter that has a precise cut but sparks quite a bit when used. In addition, it offers us the option of wide cutting, which will cut through certain elements like butter. Unfortunately, such a principle simultaneously means a greater risk of destroying useful things, if you do not position yourself correctly.

Once the members are cut, a space grabber is used that can break the ropes for larger and heavier structural members. The last tool is explosives that destroy everything in front of them, so you have to be careful because, with the wrong handling, they can do significant damage.

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For added concern, there are things like oxygen and fuel tanks that we have to watch out for. If these same containers are not found on the ship, we can always buy them from the employer. It's nice of them to allow us to spend our hard-earned money on equipment we can't work without. Fortunately, as the equipment is upgraded, oxygen and fuel have less and less influence, so you can completely dedicate yourself to cutting.

That whole upgrade segment is pretty good, and you can't wait to spend the earned points as soon as something new is unlocked. Suffice it to say that you can feel the significant difference in the equipment when you just start your cutting career and when you completely upgrade and become a real cutting master.

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Better equipment will not always help if you start cutting without thinking. For example, entering a ship that has an atmosphere and then cutting off a structural part can result in unwanted consequences that vary from the destruction of the ship's equipment to the loss of one's life.

And you can get hurt in various ways. Explosive decompression can launch us into the incinerator if we find ourselves in such a path or we can crash hard into the part we cut off, and our helmet cracks.

These are just a few examples of the dangers lurking on board. Furthermore, cutting elements can lead to unplanned ignition and explosion, electric shock, or coolant leakage. All this affects the suit and our health, so caution is never enough.

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One well-intentioned tip for you is to not cut the structures you launched towards the processor or incinerator, especially if there are objects inside that can crush you. Learned from experience because I wanted to pull the pipe to increase my earnings and lost my life and got an extra 100k in debt to revive.

A special story is the reactors of the second class, which can quickly explode if they are not prepared beforehand for a safer extraction. The real shame is that there are no more types of hazards, so once you get enough practice in carving, the challenge drops significantly.

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However, it will take a long time because depending on the cutting skill, it will take about 20 or more hours to complete the campaign. That is quite enough time to familiarize yourself with everything the game has to offer and then, depending on your mood, cut into free play.

The biggest advantage of Shipbreaker is that it turns a simple gameplay loop into a fun game. That feeling when the ship is cut apart with minimal damage is great and pushes you towards a new ship that needs to be taken apart. We should also mention the cleverly thought-out concept of a 15-minute shift that leads to fatigue during cutting because it can always be continued later.

All in all, Hardspace: Shipbreaker provides a fun space experience for anyone looking to embark on a career as a shipbreaker. High-quality physics, simple and very fun gameplay, and different things to watch out for make for an interesting experience of the space slag. It's just a shame that the game doesn't have more variety when it comes to ships, dangers, and soundtrack.

Hardspace: Shipbreaker - Review - Pic 7

However, until the end of the campaign, it will not affect the gaming experience that much, because, during your attempt to pay off your debts, you will always have a choice of ships to come under the laser next. As for the background music, more effort should have been put into it. Overall, it's a game and theme that we don't see very often, and luckily for us, this is a great example of a fun job done on the first try.

Cutting spaceships offers quite a fun experience because Hardspace: Shipbreaker has created a game from a simple gameplay loop that can be as tense as it is relaxing - depending on whether we are in campaign or free play.
  • the feeling of cutting and taking apart ships
  • planning how to be as efficient as possible
  • interesting ways to waste your life
  • lacks more variety in ship types as well as hazards
  • the background music had to be much better
  • some characters in the campaign talk more than they should

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