Team 17 gave us the chance to review Genesis Alpha One on the PlayStation 4. Genesis Alpha One is a survival game in Space where you and your crew must gather resources to expand your ship while looking for a new home to settle on due to Earths dwindling resources.

Story

Genesis Alpha One’s story is simple, you must survive and build up a base of operations in space while finding a new home for humanity. You’ll find little bits of story here and there through audio and video logs but apart from that there really isn’t much of a story but I never felt like throughout my time with Genesis Alpha One that a major narrative focus was needed. I have my mission. I see it as more of an RPG one of those that you shape your own adventure. It is your journey.

Gameplay

Genesis Alpha One throws in a mix of genre’s, base building, survival and roguelike shooter elements with a procedurally generated Universe. While a lot of this works, a few bits didn’t. The space building and collecting salvage the spaceship looks and performs fantastically and is both simple to manage and fun. The more you progress the more ship components, weapons and clone abilities become available. You’ll have to search Planets for resources to manage your base, to make the ship function and to unlock new ship components. Without resources, your crew and your ship will most probably suffer and you’ll be vulnerable to space pirate raids. As a kid, I always wanted a game where you could run your own mission on a space ship that was fully interactive and you had to satisfy your crew needs for them to perform. This is the experience I got, it truly was riveting and props to the developers for building such an experience.

Sadly while it is fun in collecting everything, the combat really lets the game down. You’ll have to use resources to make ammo, new weapons and defence turrets and shields but the combat feels really basic and unforgiving. I feel like everything else about the game is either good or really good, the combat is the only negative point I found in the game and due to combat being such a huge part of it, it makes some of the game less enjoyable. For example, space pirates boarded my ship through a mistake I made but the AI and combat were just way to difficult to take on. Most of it was my fault due to not having built shields yet, laying down defences and having a crew with only basic stats. Even so though, when your ship is full of 30 to 40 enemies and they can take you out in seconds and even if you hide in the access compartments below your corridors and ship rooms, they’ll follow you and won’t stop. The difficulty spike is really quite unmanageable for a new player and I feel like the developers could just tweak and work on the combat. The guns while they look and sound great, they just lack any realistic feel, no recoil, no reloads, just really quite disappointing. It’s a shame the combat is lacking because Genesis Alpha One in every other way is fantastic. The only other improvement I’d suggest is having a bit more variety in the Planets you visit but I cannot lie, each time the ship opened its doors to me on a Planet, I couldn’t wait to see what lie outside.

Graphics and Sound

Genesis Alpha One looks beautiful, there is nothing better than looking out of the dome of your greenhouse into the dark abyss that is space, wondering what is out there? Each Planet you land on has wonderful lighting as well as a cool looking alien aesthetic. The sound boosts the feelings with a very atmospheric score.

Verdict

I had a good time with Genesis Alpha One, the exploration, the adventure, the base management, all fantastic. Sadly though the combat is really rough as is the enemy AI and I feel with some improvement the game could be so much better.

7/10

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