Rags-to-Rich survival games are a dime a dozen these days, but Factorio the wild ambition and open format elevate the potential for complexity by several notches. He starts off as a survivor of a spaceship crash with only a pickax to explore his randomly generated 2D planets with, but stick to it long enough and you can build up to fighting aliens with tanks and crafting mega-infrastructures in seconds with a swarm of personal robots. While it’s a bit slow in places and its ultra-complex supply chains can be overwhelming, the rewarding depth that can be extracted from its roaring conveyor belts and steam-powered power plants is well worth it.
The most important thing to understand about Factorio is that it is one of those games that you probably won’t know how to play best through trial and error alone. My first experimental factories ended up being such a mess that I decided it was better to just abandon them and start over rather than trying to save the tangle of assembly lines and mining drills I had created. before understanding some key tips and common pitfalls. . You’d better do your homework and read wikis and watch tutorial videos, or bring a friend who knows what they’re doing in multiplayer, because Factorio won’t guide you away from a frustrating disaster.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, as anyone who has played great games like Minecraft, Dwarf fortress, or Crossed kings can tell you. Factorio scratches a similar itch with its intimidating but exciting depth: once I enter a groove, learning to weave underground conveyor belts to connect extractors to refineries at multiple layers of factories to create an assembly line optimal, I found the expansion and modernization of my factory. almost Zen at times. And that is quite forgiving for mistakes, because you can rearrange machines quite easily and at no cost, so you are unlikely to mess up so badly that you cannot save it on the default difficulty. It just takes a little while.
Everything from your astronaut to heavy industrial equipment is drawn in a readable and colorful pixel art style, which greatly reduces overall stress. It’s usually very easy to see which buildings are producing what, whether they are getting enough electricity, and where all of your power lines are going. That said, the interface – like everything else – takes some getting used to. There are tons of keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys that let you perform important tasks quickly and accurately, but it took a bit of trial and error before hitting Z to manually feed items to a machine or by clicking. Shift to duplicate the output of one factory on another has become muscle memory. .
The progression can seem a bit tedious every now and then, such as when you achieve your next level of science – which is “researched” by crafting different colored science units from various materials – requires two products that you don’t have. , and each one is made from two or more secondary products that you don’t have either, which may even require you to search for new raw resources away from your main base. And you’re running out of copper again, so you need to explore new areas of the map and build an outpost that can supply more to your main base. Trying to figure out what steps to take and in what order might give me a slight headache, and there is quite a bit of repetition in setting up a new supply line that works just like the previous ones but with a different extraction building. But the satisfaction of making everything work properly is a hell of a drug.
What really keeps Factorio from slipping into monotony are a few key technologies that can totally change the way you play, and they’re well spaced out in the tree. Unlocking trains allows you to quickly ship large amounts of material over long distances on a schedule. Cars, and later tanks, give you personal mobility and a major combat advantage against the determined insectoid inhabitants of this alien world who are resisting your industrial revolution. And ultimately, populating your base with autonomous drones will allow you to move resources from mining sites to refineries without a maze of conveyor belts, or even copy and paste large, multi-part structures for easy expansion. It’s one of those games that makes it seem like it doesn’t even really start until 8pm or so and has access to a lot of tools that make your life easier. And even after more than 40 years, my most advanced factory still has a lot to unlock. The card is large enough to accommodate some truly magnificent and intricately designed manufacturing facilities – the only limit is what you can figure out and your processor finally saying enough is enough.
Making small optimizations to save space and increase throughput isn’t all you’ll worry about, however; you will have to prevent your logistics puzzle from being shattered to pieces by these ever expanding alien nests. Almost all of your machines generate pollution, even if you switch completely to green energy, which will rightly stir up these creepy critters if they reach their habitats and cause them to attack in waves until every creation is wiped out. .
Defending your bases with walls and turrets is viable, but I found it more exciting to lead the fight against them and make sure there were no active nests near my base or fronts- posts. The first enemies are pretty trivial and you can attack them effectively with a basic pistol. But the longer you play on a given map, the more they will evolve new types of units. You have to keep up with the arms race by researching better weapons, better armor, and unlocking military tech like tanks, artillery, and combat drones, otherwise you will ultimately be overwhelmed. The clever interaction between the different types of enemies makes taking down their bases a hectic challenge as you have to dodge the acid-spitting worms and use the terrain or your own pre-built destruction zones to avoid crashing. be surrounded. Later technologies, like customizable modular power armor with energy shields, personal drones and more, slowly transform you into a futuristic superhero.