From Coffee Stain studios comes a new twist to the factory building automation genre with its newest game Satisfactory which is available on the Epic Store. If you’re familiar with games like Factorio than you have an idea of what to expect here. Except here everything is in your face in first person in a 3d open world. Does Satisfactory satisfy that building itch? Time to find out in this early access review.
Satisfactory is a base building game set in an open world environment that not only has tons of things to find but things that wouldn’t mind eating you as well. You play as a Pioneer for FICSIT Inc landing on this possibly hostile world to lay the foundation work for the mighty corporation. The story element is fairly light in the Early Access version but does what it is needed by helping you to learn the basics and grow from there. The meat and potatoes of the game are in building and eventually automating various pieces of machinery as you explore your chosen biome.
You start by choosing one of three biomes (each with their own unique set of issues) and then go about the business of building and upgrading. You begin with the very basics of crafting recipes, your handy dandy building/demolishing controller and your lightning pipe for basic survival. After you find a good area to that you want to set roots down in with your main base module, you can increase its level by making and sacrificing various items and raw materials to the machine gods to level it up and gain access to more awesome recipes as well as item space and a few other nifty things. As you build from your base module and extend from there you can build things like smelters, power poles to carry electricity from the main plant connected to your base to various other machines. Walls can be built as well if you’re not feeling particularly safe in your current area. The fun kicks into high gear once you get the level that gives you access to make conveyor belts. From there you can connect smelters that process raw ore into ingots and then convey that to a machine that turns those ingots into wires, sheets of metal, screws, etc. and on and on and on.
While the beauty of the building in Satisfactory is a sight to behold, the various ways to automate systems and set things up juuuust right to your particular taste makes this game the time sink that it can be. As long as you have power to your system (which can be as simple as vegetation plucked from the ground to compost, and so on) you can automate to your heart’s content. Eventually, you can make vehicles to carry heavier loads of materials from off-site and yes, you can automate the vehicles too. Freeing up even more time for you to explore the world.
The world presented in Satisfactory is beautiful. Although there can be some interesting bugs in its current early access form. While there are a ton of places to gather materials from, there are also passive critters roaming about and very aggressive things that will kill you if given the chance. This can make exploring not only fun but also turn it into an adventure as you seek new richer veins of ore and try to survive deadly alien monsters. It should be pointed out that while there is multiplayer, it can be janky at times. That way you don’t have to build everything alone.
A copy of Satisfactory was given for review purposes.