Have you ever looked at a nice, open, grassy field and thought to yourself, “A massive, multi-layered factory would look great here”? If so, consider taking an early look with me at Satisfactory, a game about building factories on alien planets.
Inspired by Factorio, Satisfactory is an open-world game where you make your own massive and fully automated factories to refine materials that will expand your reach in the planet’s ecosystem. The game starts off with you crash-landing on an alien planet, dazed and confused, with a single objective in mind: build.
Your first goal when crash-landing on the planet is to find resource nodes and start mining, as well as establish your main hub, which will be the heart of your factory. However, there is also the need for power sources to get any mining done.
The easiest way to generate power is to start burning biomass, but as your needs for power increases, you will also need more biological fuel for your machines. It should be easy to get the gist of things now, Satisfactory is a constant search for resources as your factory quickly expands in scope.
Considering the game’s main objective, it would be an instant failure on Satisfactory‘s part if building didn’t feel good, so I can thankfully report that the building controls are great. It’s a painless process to establish your base and build things because the game is full of quality-of-life features.
Unlike most factory-building games, Satisfactory is played in first person, which adds a big layer of exploration to the game. Your factory needs to be efficient, but it also needs to have a design that will allow you to walk through it.
The player is also completely free to walk around the entire planet they crashed on, and this means that you will encounter some hostile creatures since not everyone is thrilled about your arrival.
In Satisfactory, we work for an evil, faceless company named FICSIT, and they seem to have quite a hold on our character. There are some really eerie moments in the game where a robotic voice directly comes into contact with the player to give out orders.
Satisfactory also has some really mean enemies, and the combat can get quite challenging if the player isn’t prepared. It’s very easy to get swarmed by hordes of acid-spitting spiders or weird alien dogs.
It doesn’t help that the player drops everything they have on death, which makes for some really tense corpse runs where you have to recover your lost items with even fewer resources. It can lead to a bad time if you don’t have a backup plan.
If you do feel like exploring, I recommend advancing in the research tiers as fast as you can. Getting a xeno-basher at tier 4 is really important, but you should set your sights on acquiring sulfur and unlocking the rifle.
There’s a sense of isolation outside of multiplayer, as you never see other humans, yet it feels like someone is always watching you. FICSIT seems to have taken a real interest in some alien artifacts that can be found on these planets as well.
When nearing an artifact, a sharp, droning ambient noise starts playing as a robotic voice does its best to manipulate us into collecting it. The voice will do whatever it takes for us to collect it, from praising our discovery to threatening our family.
Despite that, Satisfactory is actually a super relaxing game; believe it or not, it’s very therapeutic to piece everything together and watch your automated factory work by itself. There’s a real sense of pride in getting a stable setup going with no redundancies, bloat, or power issues.
Satisfactory is what every Early Access game should strive to be; it’s full of features, gets constantly updated, and the developers give a lot of thought to the community’s feedback. It’s the perfect formula for success.
The game has been in Early Access for a while, and it’s been a blast to watch it evolve and gain so many features. This is a fantastic incremental game that will absolutely sap a few hundred hours out of your time before you even realize it.
The game does seem to be nearing its 1.0 state, so expect to see a full review of Satisfactory soon, and we’ll see if the final release manages to keep up the quality established by the Early Access.
Satisfactory is available on Microsoft Windows (through Steam).