Greetings and welcome back fellow strategists and gunners. Hope you have kept your wits sharp and your trigger-finger ready to go, because we are going back into Interplanetary for some more planet-bombardment action. The folks at Team Jolly Roger Games have made many improvements to the game since we last looked at it, including graphical fixes, network improvements, more weapons of mass destruction, a tech tree and research mechanic, a working spying mechanic, and other improvements and goodies. I have been purposefully keeping myself in the dark about the game’s development, so that way each iteration can become more of a surprise for my next skirmish. Boy I must say, they really have made some great strides since my initial preview, which you can read here if you haven’t already.
The first topic I wish to talk about is possibly the biggest and most influential of them all, the spying mechanic. Previously you could view your opponent’s planet and see where all cities and developments have been placed, allowing precision-based weapons to take a huge advantage and dominate the weapon selections. With the recent changes, you no longer have all that info readily available. In order to view possible enemy weak points, you must construct buildings which will allow you to view planet infrastructure. Depending on your planet’s level of intelligence – the number of spy buildings you have – the possible targets available range from a couple low-value locales up to the entire planet. To keep away prying eyes, you can counter by building “cloaking” or counter-intelligence buildings in order to hide your planet’s infrastructure. This feature alone adds much more strategic gameplay and flow to the system, as players are no longer just racing to get the biggest and best guns. Priority is now split between getting your planet ready for conflict and keeping your cities and important structures hidden, creating both an arms and intelligence race.
Along with intelligence comes the research aspect of the game. You now need to research technology in order to access the bigger and more advanced weaponry. No longer are you able to build missiles and laser weapons right from the get go. Now you must allocate time in order for research to be done. This is done via a simple tech tree, where various tech and bonuses can be researched and applied to your advantage. Techs include giving permanent boosts such as more power production or spying levels as well as the ability to manufacture one of the two new weapons of massive destruction.
Now we are getting to the juicy parts of the new additions, the new weaponry. A new laser and artillery weapon have been added in the form of the ‘Solar Laser’ and the ‘Asteroid Diversion’ respectively. Once I noticed these weapons in the tech tree, I just HAD to acquire them and give them a shot (pun intended).
The Solar Laser is a satellite parked in the sun’s orbit which focuses the sun’s power into a giant solar death ray, obliterating anything you set its deadly sights on with pinpoint precision. I couldn’t help but feel like an evil genius, pinky to mouth, when I set loose the focused wrath of the sun onto my enemy.
As cool as the Solar Laser is, I felt that the Asteroid Diversion was more “in tune” with the sci-fi nature of the game. As the name implies, the Asteroid Diversion weapon takes an asteroid from the local asteroid belt and diverts it to a course of your bidding, into say perhaps a nearby planet that you dislike. Nothing beats the sight of an asteroid hurtling out of space at full speed and slamming right into your enemy’s precious home planet. Numerous blockbusters and B-movies have been made on that premise, and now it is in your hands to unleash upon your foes. So set an asteroid loose on that pesky planet and whip out some popcorn for the show (3D glasses not included).
While all these additions are great, I have merely touched upon a few of the major updates to the game. Many other improvements have been made to the game such as improved multiplayer networking and graphical fixes, all showing that Team Jolly Roger have been putting a lot of effort and love into this project. I was blown away by my first look into the game many versions ago, and the current build they have on offer is no exception to that statement. I look forward to the next iteration of the game. If the additions they have made so far are any indication of the future trajectory of the game, we are in for an Earth-shattering (pun intended) release once the full game is out.
You can check out Interplanetary on Steam Early Access for those interested in some tactical fun. Let’s get those guns primed and lasers flying!
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