Imagine, if you will, the surface of Mars a century into the future. You are a clone created for the dangerous task of mining precious ores from the red planet. But then, in a flash of light, everything changes. You’re seemingly alone, the robotic sentinels once there to protect you have now become your enemy. Your own survival has become a tentative state. Welcome to Memories of Mars.
Memories of Mars, from 505 Games and Limbic Entertainment (the creators of games like Tropico 6), is a hardcore online sandbox survival game coming to Steam Early Access Spring 2018. I was one of a handful of writers given permission to play the game at a private showing at PAX South 2018.
Welcome to Mars
Johannes Pfeifer, a developer from Limbic Games, commented that while the game is definitely tailored to the hardcore survival crowd, it’s accessible to all skill levels. I tend to agree. There is certainly a learning curve, but it’s nowhere near as steep as a game like EVE Online. That said, having the benefit of a guild or clan going into the game to shepherd you along will certainly be an advantage.
What makes Memories of Mars memorable? For me, it was the setting in which the world exists. Pfeifer explained that the team was inspired to take on Mars due to its prominence today in talks about human exploration and pop culture. I laughed when they even produced a chart of not-too-distant-Earth-future science fiction movies as a timeline to explain where Memories of Mars fits in. For the record, it’s between Interstellar and Prometheus. The catalyst of the events leading up to the game is a massive radiation blast from the Sun that’s triggered a disaster of sorts.
In Memories of Mars, in order to survive you’ve got to scavenge for resources. You craft those resources into items you need to survive in order to go scavenge even more resources. In a game that measures your suit’s oxygen level and your body’s current supply of calories, you’d better figure out a way to locate or craft air and nutrients quickly.
No Place Like Home
At some point, you’ll want to build a shelter. This will provide you with a place to store materials (the more weight you carry, the more oxygen and calories you burn) and craft more complex items with a 3D printer. Building my base felt very reminiscent of using the HALO Forge.
The main currency is essentially units of computational processing power, referred to as Floating Operations Per Second or FLOPS, and are used in various places in the game. For example, once you build your base, it will consume FLOPS to operate. That will keep everything fully operational and secured from other players who would do you harm. If you stop playing for a while and your base runs out of FLOPS, the walls can deteriorate, the security system stops functioning, and anything you’ve got squirreled away is suddenly vulnerable.
Memories of Mars is a persistent online universe with both PvE and PvP elements. Combat is especially critical, since dying will allow anyone who comes across your corpse to help themselves to anything you may have been carrying.
If Memories of Mars seems like your cup of tea, be sure to visit to sign up for Steam Early Access. The developers were very keen to note that the game needs tuning and player feedback in order to become its best version. And, as a thank you gift for being part of Early Access, you’ll receive a special skin available only to Early Access users and a rifle blueprint to use in-game to get a combat edge over your fellow scavengers.