In January 2021, the space agency reported that there were nearly 22,000 alien objects orbiting Earth. About 4000 of that number are satellites, but the rest are just space junk. There are probably millions of small pieces of junk out there that also can’t be found. This is a problem that NASA is trying to solve, mainly because this waste can be extremely dangerous for future space adventures.
In Hardspace: Shipbreaker there is an imaginary future in which it is the astronaut’s job to leave and recycle this waste in order to earn money. Or in your hero’s case, to pay off some debts. Let’s clean up some space junk.
People seem to enjoy organizing and cleaning up in video games because experiences like house pinball seem to justify. In this game you are a grunt who signs up to be a ship breaker – your dangerous job is to enter orbit and dismantle old ships, collecting the parts for cash. You work for a space business empire that you already owe millions of dollars to, so it’s time to start paying it back. Slowly and with some hard graft.
The campaign – which is a long time old – takes you through a funny and satirical story, focusing on some really big deals. There are some lovely scriptures included, mostly by those who teach you the ropes and by emails and the contents of your cabin or home. As you progress through the game, you meet other people over the radio who give interesting information about their world and the place of a shipbreaker in general. It’s a decent story full of unique narratives, powered by a pretty awesome concept. Ultimately, the game is about smashing ships in space. You will do a lot.
What you are facing is work; a job that has you working at a space salvage yard in orbit. You’ll be tasked with floating in zero-G armed with a laser cutter and space pulley, pulling objects around. Your job is to salvage an old ship, take it apart, and then throw the good parts into a furnace or processor for recycling. Still, the hardest part of this job is tearing down the ship. It looks like an inverted puzzle, which you carefully unravel little by little.
You float in zero-G, not knowing which direction is up and which is down; which in itself takes a bit of getting used to. But once that feeling settles, you’ll find yourself in a sort of zen-like state, all the while getting down to business. It involves getting to a ship and the first thing you need to do is scan the ship for any weak spots, the pieces you need to cut. You find ways, like going through a window, and then start taking the place apart bit by bit. To do this, use your cutter in the correct places on the ship, then tear out the material and throw it in the appropriate junkyard.
It takes some getting used to, but when you get into the mood and pace of Hardspace: Shipbreaker, you’ll find there’s something very relaxing about it. Later on it gets tricky when you have to deal with reactors, decompression mishaps and explosions, but by then you should be aware of what is needed. You can die too, and if you do, you’ll find a copy comes to take your place, at the expense of your debt. There is a permadeath mode for hardcore, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.
Hardspace: Shipbreaker has a nice, rather simple visual design, which makes for interesting ship designs and first-person space exploration. The cabin interiors that you spend a lot of time in are well designed and have an ironic quality of design. The sound is good too, with all the effects, squeaks and moans in space. Along with that is the music; running a country theme, it may very well bitch about a few people. Just because you’ll be roaming space for a while, it might be worth bringing your own music for the ride. The voiceover is great though, working with great supporting characters.
If you’re a fan of the slew of “work” type games that have come to console in recent years, then Hardspace: Shipbreaker will have you covered. Shipbreaking is relaxing and quite satisfying, but it’s hard to imagine it will be enjoyable for everyone. It’s a game aided by the story and humor, but be warned that it all gets a bit tricky and the space quickly starts to feel a bit one-dimensional.
That said, Hardspace: Shipbreaker is a different game, soothing and very compelling.
Hardspace: Shipbreaker is on the Xbox Store
In January 2021, the space agency reported that there were nearly 22,000 alien objects orbiting Earth. About 4000 of that number are satellites, but the rest are just space junk. There are probably millions of small pieces of junk out there that also can’t be found. This is a problem that NASA is trying to solve, mainly because this waste can be extremely dangerous for future space adventures. In Hardspace: Shipbreaker, there is an imaginary future in which it is the astronaut’s job to go out and recycle this junk in order to earn money.…
Hardspace: Ship Breaker Review
Hardspace: Ship Breaker Review
- Spatial dismantling
- humor and history
- Voice off
- Many hours to spend
- Looks too much like hard work
- Many thanks for the free copy of the game, go to – Focus Home
- Formats – Xbox Series X|S, PS5, PC
- Reviewed version – Xbox Series X
- Release Date – 20- September 2022
- Introductory price from – £32.99