The Unreal-powered first-person sandbox physics shooter Eden Star has just appeared on crowdsourcing website Kickstarter. With their pitch comes a flood of new information and gameplay footage regarding everything from character progression to building and the game world itself. At the time of writing, the campaign has just started.
Eden Star takes place on a remote alien planet where all contact with a previous expedition has mysteriously ceased. Players step into the sleek combat boots of a cybernetically enhanced “Pioneer” and are sent to the planet’s surface to investigate the disappearance of the previous colonization effort and begin terraforming the landscape to make it suitable for human habitation. Armed with a glove-like Remote Manipulation Device (RMD) and a matter-replicating Eden Kit, players are thrust upon the barren landscape of Pharus 7 to make it their own.
The RMD is the machine that has prominently appeared in all promotional videos released so far, it’s the sci-fi Swiss Army knife that functions like a cross between a laser drill and the gravity gun from Half-Life 2. The RMD allows players to mine raw materials, assemble basic structures, and telekinetically levitate objects and enemies to smash them into walls or each other like a cranky toddler. These functions have been mentioned previously but watching a wall of steel cubes materialize out of nothing or a robotic octopus get smashed against a rock never gets old.
The Eden Kit is another multipurpose tool that has been mentioned previously but hasn’t been particularly elaborated upon until now. The Eden Kit is a giant, stationary terraforming tool that provides a number of benefits to the player. Among these perks is the ability to assemble complex items, the ability to resurrect the player in the event of an unfortunate demise, and a way to contact the titular Eden Star in orbit in order to sell materials to earn credits good for buying upgrades to your gear or blueprints for entirely new technologies. At night, the hostile IKA will flock to your Eden Kit and try to destroy it to get at the rare elements within. While the player can buy more kits, losing their last Eden Kit is an automatic game over.
Character development is another feature hinted at previously that is finally explained at length. There are no “classes” in the traditional sense in Eden Star. Somewhat similar to the Deus Ex games, player characters start out as generalists capable of doing everything marginally well until the player figures out how they want to play and configures the character to their playstyle. Specifics haven’t been mentioned but it has been stated that the player can create multiple “loadouts” that they can swap between at their Eden Kit depending on the situation, implying the possibility of several different upgrade paths that require resource investment to unlock.
At the time of writing, the Kickstarter campaign has just begun with a little over forty days left to go. Granted, pledges have to be made in British Pounds but with the prevalence of currency calculators on the Internet, that should hopefully be no serious hurdle for other audiences interested in seeing this game funded.