At the beginning of Satisfactory, players crash-land onto an alien world. Players work for a giant galactic corporation and must harvest the resources on the new planet. Better tools and machines can help automate those tasks – until they're all running well without you.[read more below]
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Satisfactory draws influence from the top-down logistics game Factorio, but that's not a bad thing. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and Satisfactory is a first-person game of Factorio at its heart.
At the beginning of Satisfactory, players crash-land onto an alien world. Players work for a giant galactic corporation and must harvest the resources on the new planet. Better tools and machines can help automate those tasks – until they're all running well without you.
The game draws a lot of inspiration from Factorio but drops the top-down perspective. Instead, it adopts a first-person view that feels more natural in the long run.
A player's first few steps on any planet in Satisfactory will be nearly identical to Factorio. Find a source of materials like iron to build machines to mine ore for you. The entire progression system in Satisfactory is about automating yourself out of the process.
Players will build robots that assemble new machines, freeing them up to find new resources. The factory continues to chug along with its orders while the player is out and about. Sourcing electricity is essential to power the ever-growing machine players are building. Balancing power consumption and power generation becomes an efficiency game in itself.
The problems players will run into while playing the game are always mechanical. A conveyor belt may break down; a power fuse may blow. Those problems require human input and mending to help the machine return to its fully automated state.
Honestly, it's a glimpse into how production may look 20 years down the road in real-life. The loop is never unsatisfying, despite the game featuring no external enemies. Players are pitted against their inefficiency and tasked with finding ways to improve.
While Factorio's muddied 2D top-down look isn't doing it any favors, Satisfactory is the exact opposite. It's a gorgeous simulator that handles its first-person perspective well. It's easy to look out over your creation and see a red-blinking light – the signifier of trouble.
The gorgeous planets are a joy to explore, and the accompanying soundtrack is enjoyable. I eventually swapped it out for something a little more my style, but my ears didn't hate it while listening.
The core game-play loop of Satisfactory is to build machines to automate tasks. You'll run into problems with efficiency, break downs, traffic jams, power source problems. All the typical problems that exist in Factorio are also in Satisfactory. The one area where they differ is Satisfactory features no enemies to combat.
The logistics problem of figuring out how to efficiently produce materials is the core challenge. Players who mostly play Factorio on peaceful will enjoy that about Satisfactory. The lack of an external enemy to mess up your best-laid factory plans mean you can focus on your own mistakes.
Satisfactory draws much inspiration from Factorio, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The core game-play loop of building a successful automated conveyor belt of self-powered machinery is just as rewarding in first-person. The lack of an external enemy is even preferable since there are plenty of opportunities to make a mistake without an outside catalyst influencing it.
Satisfactory nails the core game-play loop of making a logistics puzzle engaging for hours on end.
Players who love solving logistics puzzles and figuring out the most efficient way to do something will love Satisfactory. It is a min/max gamer's delight.
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