Hellion: Preview

Hellion: Preview

Every so often you get access to something in the early stages of development  that has the potential to be big, really big. Hellion is just that; it has potential. Whether it lives up to that potential is one thing, but so far, it’s promising.

Hellion is, well let’s just say it- a Star Citizen style survival game with Rust-like mechanics. That’s lazy of me yes, but now you know exactly what I’m talking about so I can focus on the details.

The backstory is that you’re part of an expedition from earth looking to settle a new system and predictably it all goes really, really well. You wake from stasis and… well the rest is up to you to figure out. The controls, courtesy of an easily accessible control schematic, are remarkably intuitive. You move around the station, interacting with items and systems with relative ease. You’re able to swap out system components (filters, processing boards, injectors etc etc), redirect station power (through fully interactive computer screens) and even manually override airlocks. The later I wouldn’t recommend, especially given the fact that it will blow you out into space with the expelling air. Like a bullet. I did it three times to check that it wasn’t a fluke. I’m still grinning thinking about it.

Wow, I REALLY overslept…

There are other things that impress about the game. You can EVA, though I’d recommend a space suit (see airlock experiments 1 and 2 above…) and you have 6 axis control, including rotating to match the spin of any ship/system you’re trying to board. And board you can, by depressurising the airlock, opening the door, then reversing the process on the inside. The transfer from free-fall to gravity though isn’t smooth and unfortunately this isn’t the only bug. Systems sometimes don’t respond, the gravity can be a little bit intermittent. Too, you can also randomly fall through the floor, clipping into space. The less we mention the notorious spinning in space bug as well, the better. All of these can be written off as early game development issues. As too can the stuttering and frame rate issues you occasionally encounter, the loading issues and crashes.

You can literally swap out module components to repair the ship.

It looks good mind, really good. For a game this early in development it’s surprisingly beautiful with nice lighting and good sound effects. There’s a crisp overall design and it looks well thought out, with clear mechanics.

EVA’ing is fraught with dangers, but is also seriously fun.

There isn’t much ‘game’ at the moment; it’s quite empty (despite a few ships/containers/asteroids), but its space (obviously) so you wouldn’t expect it to be full and once the mechanics and optimisation has been given a few more rounds, they’ll be free to add as much content as they like.

You’ll see this screen a lot.

I could talk about this game for pages. Especially the way you repair ships and stations, but you should discover it for yourself. I’m not sure it’s worth buying now, not because there’s anything wrong with it- I’m just wary about early access, but this is absolutely a game you should be following closely. I know I will be.

Promising, very promising.

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