[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]he harsh and desolate realm of space can feel cold, lethal, and mysterious. Do you think you have what it takes to survive the dangers of space-exploration? Reassembly asks player to prove it by giving them rich and in-depth control over their fleet. Customize ships right down to the shape and color of your hull. Harvest resources and explore the universe to upgrade your fleet’s capabilities. And you will die. Oh my, yes. You…will…die! Such is the way of Reassembly.
When I started Reassembly, I dutifully played the tutorial missions. After some time, I thought, foolishly, “By now, I should be ‘mastering’ the game.” First of all, the success of your fleet rides entirely on your ability to construct ships. Sure. You can continue to use the defaults, but you need to craft your own “factory” and command ships if you want to have any hope of taking down the much more difficult enemy “agents” (ships built by other players.) Me? Apparently I’m crap at ship building. I can’t even beat the AI in trial runs.
Despite this, I still found myself lovingly (obsessively) constructing my spaceships in the builder (which, as it turns out, is very easy to use, just as Anisoptera Games promised it would be.) The game really appealed to my compulsive need to discover and collect things. Finding new enemy factions was both exciting and scary. This game isn’t a horror game by any means, but I practically jumped out of my skin when a command ship filled my entire screen to obliterate my spunky little space fighter.
Still, I wish Reassembly had done its tutorials differently. There are still many things I don’t understand about the game. Like how can the other ships in my fleet attach the floating parts of defeated enemy space ships? And can I take over enemy space stations? How do I upgrade my space stations? As I mentioned, you can learn things through the guided tutorial missions, but if you don’t complete parts of the tutorial, then you don’t unlock anymore. I would have much rather had a codex (with pictures, because I’m a combination learner, thank you very much) that could have answered all of these questions. I realize I can probably go on the forums and have my noob questions answered, but a game should really endeavor to cover this stuff by itself, and not in a way that makes it difficult for the player to learn such things.
But it’s a minor flaw, and many would argue it’s not a flaw at all. Their argument would be that anyone who pays attention and plays the game long enough can figure things out for themselves, and on that they are right. I don’t want to give off the impression that Anisoptera Games’ latest title is somehow difficult to learn—it just might be confusing for some people at first.
Reassembly manages to capture the essence of a dangerous but fascinating space frontier by its ambient music, beautiful vector-based graphics, procedurally generated universes, and addictive fleet customization. In the end, it’s a great experience for fans of exploration, ship building, and space-based games!