The red planet has long been a dream for mankind. The idea that one day we’ll set foot on the rusty soil of our Solar System’s fourth planet and claim a new home is a thrilling one.
Countless stories and media have played out the idea that Mars could be humanity’s new home; Red Mars, Total Recall and The Martian to name a few. One thing most stories of man’s conquest of Mars includes is disaster.
Whether it’s caused by hubris, sabotage, greed or simply bad luck, stories of people on Mars often feature death and conflict. Memories of Mars is no different.
Memories of Mars Preview
Placing players into the fresh new boots of a Martian mining clone, Memories of Mars tasks them with surviving long enough to learn skills before the next extinction event. Some 100 years in the future, Mars’ colonisation has been abandoned, the job considered impossible.
All that remains on the surface are the remnants of a mining operation, long since left behind. On awakening alone and far from home, you’ll quickly learn that Mars suffers from devastating solar flares every few weeks.
These flares mark the beginning and end of Memories of Mars’ seasons and will wipe the planet’s surface clean. So while you learn skills, build your base and make your home, eventually, it’s all going to be destroyed.
Thankfully, being a clone, you’re able to download your memories and begin the next season with all the knowledge you’d previously acquired. It’s certainly helpful in getting a headstart on construction when the next solar flare inevitably rolls around.
Get Your Ass to Mars
Memories of Mars is, at its core, an open-world survival game. Much like other games in the genre, there are stats you need to manage — oxygen, food, water — skills to learn and bases to build.
In the time I played, it seems that Memories of Mars is split roughly down the middle with half my time spent exploring and foraging and the other building a base. Base building gives you a place to rest and recover from the harsh realities of life on Mars as well as escape from enemies, both human and alien.
Your base is where you’ll craft your supplies, like health packs, bullets and structures for other survivors. I’ll be honest, I didn’t dive as deep into the base building as I could have because I was far more interested in exploring Mars.
In the press materials for Memories of Mars, one tip strongly suggests that players find themselves a gun. I couldn’t agree more. The Martian surface is harsh and unforgiving and so are the enemies. Without a gun, you risk being massacred by all manner of alien baddies or other clones desperate for supplies.
See You at the Party Richter
I often prefer the lone-wolf approach in shared online experiences and Memories of Mars caters to this playstyle, though I get the feeling that it’s much tougher than playing co-operatively. I didn’t care and was too busy laughing as I recklessly plundered bases and stole what I needed.
Memories of Mars did teach me a hard lesson though. Since I was so keen on plundering and stealing and not all that worried about the defences of my base, I found that it too kept getting plundered. Like all good survival games, Memories of Mars is about patience and balance.
Without a balanced approach, you really will struggle to survive for very long.
Visually, even though it’s early days, Memories of Mars has a lot going for it. It’s clean and crisp and definitely has a unique and recognisable style. Wandering the planet’s surface, I often stopped and just looked around, marvelling at the alien landscapes and sky.
Laying a Base
A good sign of how much I enjoyed Memories of Mars was the audible sigh I uttered when I tried to log back in only to find the preview had closed. While I was playing, I was awake at all hours of the night telling myself, ‘Just five more minutes’ until the sun was about to rise.
After the short amount of time I had with Memories of Mars, I’m certainly intrigued by the concept. There’s a huge amount of potential for a compelling and exciting experience.
After all, who hasn’t wanted to visit Mars?