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Hardspace: Shipbreaker


Nick R
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It's a game about floating around derelict spaceships, breaking them apart to salvage valuable parts. To do it safely, you have to solve problems like finding ways to turn off propellant flow before cutting through pipes. You can slice chunks of metal apart a bit like in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and then tether the chunks to their designated recovery locations. And if you get things wrong, STUFF BLOWS UP and dry messages flash up like "Your next of kin will be billed for unreturned equipment."

 

It's on Steam early access:

 

https://hardspace-shipbreaker.com/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1161580/Hardspace_Shipbreaker/

 

 

I found out about it today when it popped up in my recommended videos from Scott Manley's channel (whose space gaming videos normally focus on Kerbal Space Program):

 

 

 

Others are covering it at the moment, like Rock Paper Shotgun and Eurogamer - but judging by the comments on both sites, some people aren't keen on the game's imposition of a 15-minute time limit on each shift to provide some urgent pressure. (Ah, the old Jet Set Radio/Jet Set Radio Future problem!)

 

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-06-16-hardspace-shipbreaker-is-about-dismantling-the-relics-of-homeworld

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2020/06/17/hardspace-shipbreaker-is-so-destructive-but-so-relaxing/

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This does look cool, and I thought I recognised that name. This is the company that made Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, which was ace, and that game started life as "Hardware: Shipbreakers". It was then renamed to "Homeworld: Shipbreakers" once they got the license, before getting its final name change. I guess the name inspired this game. :)

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I got this the other day, I had a couple of days off sick from work and I thought it would keep me entertained. It's good but I'm hoping they add a bit more variety and look at the progression a bit. I'm onto taking apart the bigger ships now, and was initially puzzled as to how to tackle them. Slight spoiler below for people who want to figure out for themselves how to tackle those.

Spoiler

I'm level 6, nearly onto 7 and the ships I'm talking about are the large transport ships with the large amount of seating in the middle. I cut a hole in the ceiling above the seats and got into the crawlspace above. You can divide up the beams in there to take the outside armour off the ship, and I usually start on that after taking off the engines for a handy exit.

 

Progression seems pretty slow, I think that everything feels heavily gated. I hope that improves as they add more ships and features, because currently it feels like it's only like that to stop you blasting through the ranks in a few hours. The crosscut never gets old, it's so fun chopping things up with it, just remember to check if there's a fuel line or a power cell behind the wall though, they will blow up! I'm still not sure how to decompress a ship correctly. I always end up in the room with the controls, depressurise the rest of the ship, and when I open the door I get pelted with cargo as everything rushes in. I can't see a way to keep the door open and depressurise, and I don't know if that's even possible. I'm pretty sure there will be bigger ships to attack because I've still got a couple of higher ranked ships to unlock, it's just a major grind to get there.

 

Is anyone else playing?

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...
  • 1 year later...

This hit version 1.0 this week, and I’ve been playing it the past couple of days. So far, it’s bloody great. I can see myself getting completely hooked on it the same way I did with Satisfactory.

 

And it’s on PC Gamepass. Of course, I didn’t realise that when I bought it on Steam and played it a bunch :(

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Anyone had issues playing the Game Pass version of this on PC with a pad? It just doesn't respond to right stick inputs correctly for me. If it triggers, you can roll the view around no problem. The problem is it often ignores the initial right stick movement completely, often taking multiple attempts to register.

 

I want to check it out, but my setup's no good for mouse and keyboard and I'm a pad gamer anyway.

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1 minute ago, bradigor said:

How slow a pace can it be played at? Interested but not sure if I want to be overly pushed in terms of working quick.


I must admit, when it imposed a 15 minute time limit once the training wheels were off I was quite annoyed as I just wanted to play it at my own pace, but I quickly realised that I didn’t have to finish the job in that time limit, I could just carry on with it when the next shift started. I’m sure you get more credit for completing it faster, but it doesn’t seem that bad.

 

On a similar note, I was a bit concerned about having to continually replenish your oxygen and fuel, but it’s really quick to do and doesn’t bother me at all.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Kayin Amoh said:

Anyone had issues playing the Game Pass version of this on PC with a pad? It just doesn't respond to right stick inputs correctly for me. If it triggers, you can roll the view around no problem. The problem is it often ignores the initial right stick movement completely, often taking multiple attempts to register.

 

I want to check it out, but my setup's no good for mouse and keyboard and I'm a pad gamer anyway.


I’m playing on Steam and have been really impressed with the game pad implementation. I would go so far as to say it’s superior to using mouse and keyboard.

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58 minutes ago, Mystacon said:


I’m playing on Steam and have been really impressed with the game pad implementation. I would go so far as to say it’s superior to using mouse and keyboard.

 

It's good to hear that the pad controls are rad... I just wish they'd work for me. 😕

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2 hours ago, Kayin Amoh said:

Anyone had issues playing the Game Pass version of this on PC with a pad? It just doesn't respond to right stick inputs correctly for me. If it triggers, you can roll the view around no problem. The problem is it often ignores the initial right stick movement completely, often taking multiple attempts to register.

 

I want to check it out, but my setup's no good for mouse and keyboard and I'm a pad gamer anyway.


I had this issue, attached the pad via usb cable and works perfectly now!

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4 minutes ago, Nosejam said:


I had this issue, attached the pad via usb cable and works perfectly now!

 

Appreciate the suggestion! I can always scoot closer so that the lead reaches if need be.

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This is great, but I'm not quite sure if it's deliberately lacking in early hand-holding, or if the new player experience is still a work-in-progress. I've had to refer to a wiki a few times already just to get my head around some of the basics, such as:

 

  • Processor/Furnace/Barge - These are the three different places parts can go. The big blue-grey tunnels on either side of the work area are Processors, the furnace-looking things are the furnaces, and the green grid underneath the ship is the "barge". When you move your reticule over a ship part, it'll tell you where it needs to go.
  • Shifts - Unlike oxygen, it's fine to run out of time. When the shift timer ends you'll just get automatically returned without any (additional) penalty.
  • When using the grapple, targeting a part will show you a bar that represents how "secure" that part is. You can use this to work out what needs to be cut free and what can simply be pulled from a surface.

 

I've got plenty more tips but it's one of those games where making mistakes and learning from experience is part of the fun. I haven't worked out how to deal with pipe junctions safely, yet. :(

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I played this a while ago before v1.0, so do need to pick it back up. It's a really nice game, well designed, lovely physics system (you'd hope so as it's the core of the game), and some great "oops I really shouldn't have done that" moments.

 

I do still keep calling it "Hardship: Spacebreaker" though.

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4 hours ago, revlob said:

This is great, but I'm not quite sure if it's deliberately lacking in early hand-holding, or if the new player experience is still a work-in-progress. I've had to refer to a wiki a few times already just to get my head around some of the basics, such as:

 

  • Processor/Furnace/Barge - These are the three different places parts can go. The big blue-grey tunnels on either side of the work area are Processors, the furnace-looking things are the furnaces, and the green grid underneath the ship is the "barge". When you move your reticule over a ship part, it'll tell you where it needs to go.
  • Shifts - Unlike oxygen, it's fine to run out of time. When the shift timer ends you'll just get automatically returned without any (additional) penalty.
  • When using the grapple, targeting a part will show you a bar that represents how "secure" that part is. You can use this to work out what needs to be cut free and what can simply be pulled from a surface.

 

I've got plenty more tips but it's one of those games where making mistakes and learning from experience is part of the fun. I haven't worked out how to deal with pipe junctions safely, yet. :(

Got it installed. Waiting to find time to play. But I am so grateful to get extra info like this from folk who went in first and did some of the "hard yards" for me. Cheers. :)

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4 hours ago, revlob said:

 

I've got plenty more tips but it's one of those games where making mistakes and learning from experience is part of the fun. I haven't worked out how to deal with pipe junctions safely, yet. :(

 

Blowing yourself up in new and interesting ways is part of the fun.

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2 hours ago, routeburn said:

Blowing yourself up in new and interesting ways is part of the fun.

 

One thing I "love" is the one-two punch of blowing stuff up. At first it's annoying because dying and getting cloned is expensive. But when it comes to rushing the handling of fuel or forgetting to check what's behind a cut point, the painful death of your avatar is nowhere near as effective a detterent as seeing the mess you've made when you return. All those little pieces!

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13 hours ago, bradigor said:

How slow a pace can it be played at? Interested but not sure if I want to be overly pushed in terms of working quick.


Just to follow up on this, I’ve just noticed there’s a mode called ‘open shift’ that removes the timer and oxygen supply!

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Just now, Mystacon said:


Just to follow up on this, I’ve just noticed there’s a mode called ‘open shift’ that removes the timer and oxygen supply!

 

Brilliant. Sold! Thank you 

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