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Factorio Previewed

by Marcus Estrada

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factorio2[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t all started out so simple… At the very beginning Factorio looked like it was going to be just another game focused around harvesting bits to craft into something else. Although there is indeed a lot of resource collecting to start with, the experience slowly piles on deep gameplay elements poised to keep many obsessed – and the game isn’t even finished yet! But before we get into subtleties, let’s discuss the basic mechanics of Factorio.

The first goal is to work through some objective-based missions. So you get to work, preferably starting with the demo, learning the ropes. Factorio is viewed from a top-down perspective with a little avatar for meandering about areas. Players are introduced to the basic concepts of collecting resources and transforming them into something useful. For example, mining some iron yields iron ore which can then be smelted in a furnace. In turn, the newly-smelted metal can be used to help build a variety of other things.

factorio5Part of what makes the game approachable is how well crafting is handled. At any point you can refer to a screen that shows your item recipes and what is required to make them. Another great feature is how it crafts any in-between items that may be needed for a more complex object. That is, as long as you’ve got all required items to begin with. Obtaining wood, coal, copper, and many other goods is simple enough with a trusty pickaxe but things quickly pick up.

factorio4Once dropped into the game proper players realize there is a massive depth to gameplay. Furnaces and wooden boxes are nice and all but why not try automating your entire process? Robotic arms, conveyor belts, electric generators and electric poles, and research labs quickly become necessities. As I continued to play, my need to make the “perfect” factory grew within my skill range. The slapdash factories of my immediate past were suddenly too horrendous to look at. Instead, I took to the Factorio forums and videos to gain new layout ideas.

factorio3Of the few updates I’ve seen, the game seems to be improving at a nice pace. With that said, the demo that I played previously was at version 0.8.8 and even that felt great. The core mechanics of mining and crafting move so far beyond what other games of the genre have done. It feels like there could be a bit more visual polish on the interface, but beyond that, Factorio is solid despite being in beta.

Creating something with so much autonomy is just incredibly rewarding. There are free play sandbox modes available for this simple reason. Factorio is not finished yet, but it is 100% playable (and enjoyable!) in beta form. Right now, at version 0.9.8, it shouldn’t be long before the game launches. At that point, a new batch of gamers will find themselves immersed by managing their very own factories. Factorio is $13 right now and offers players practically infinite hours of game time. Here’s hoping you’ll have copious free time to deal with a newfound addiction to Factorio!

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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/marcus.jpg” ]Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. One day when he became fed up with the way sites would ignore niche titles he decided to start his own site by the name of Pixel Pacas. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come. Some of Marcus’s favorite games include Silent Hill 2, Killer7, and The Sims. [/author]

Marcus Estrada
Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come.
Marcus Estrada

@BackerMarcus

Writer for @Cliqist - This is my new ''PROFESSIONAL'' account. Yay, crowdfunded video games!
Glad to see the BL visual novel Sentimental Trickster was funded. How about those #Kickstarter stretch goals? https://t.co/AEU8LaeD6M - 5 years ago
Marcus Estrada