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Genesis: Alpha One Preview

Edited by: Tiffany Lillie

WELCOME TO THE YEAR 2147

Genesis Alpha One starts you with the company, crew, and enhancements (called Artifacts)of your choice. Each playthrough, you have the opportunity to earn new companies, crew members, and Artifactsto improve your later trials. After selecting your new adventure, you will find yourself in theShip Building Module, where you can fully create the vessel that will carry your human or human-hybrid DNA to its destiny. Be warned that the design of your vessel needs to be as effective as it is safe. Space is not your friend and will hold a plethora of surprises at each star.

LET'S TALK GRAPHICS

Graphically, Genesis Alpha One is definitely nice to look at. It won’t win any awards in this category, but I haven’t lost that immersive feeling while moving around planet surfaces or the ship hallways. Some of the textures feel more high quality than others, such as the beautiful metal framework of your vessel, compared to the plain, human faces. I want to use the “It's Early Access” cop-out, but I’ll leave that up to you, as the reader.

BUILD, FIGHT, DIE, DO IT AGAIN

The gameplay loop of Genesis Alpha One is simple, yet oh-so-effective. You create the ship that you believe will be best for your mission, you fight the creatures and warriors on the planets you visit (or they come aboard your glorious space barge), and then you more than likely die. If you are anything like me, you will just simply boot up another endeavor into the Alpha Quadrant when this happens.

You will assign your crew members to various jobs throughout the ship. Operating the bridge to scan nearby worlds, working the tractor beam to draw in resources, or even being part of your landfall crew to make planetary approaches with. Each of these sections can be autonomously operated by your crew, but you can always make their actions safer and faster by helping them in their processes. When you first start out, you’re definitely going to want to micromanage your crew's actions. Level 1 humans are not so effective at all tasks.

As you progress, you will locate the DNA of different aliens. If you have the plants necessary to give that alien a breathable biosphere, then you can inject that DNA into your own to create human hybrids, such as arachnid-human people. Each DNA set has its own bonuses to your crew. For instance, there is an alien race accurately-named HOLOs. They look like holograms of warriors from distant worlds. After injecting their DNA into humans, you create extremely smart, yet fairly weak crew members. These clones are far faster at completing the shiply tasks, but really don’t stand a chance in a gunfight.

BEGUN, THE CLONE WAR HAS

Each one of your crew members is simply a clone of you, as the captain. I assume this is because it is far cheaper to just clone one dude than to send thirty or sixty people to their death over and over again. This is where the game takes such an interesting turn. You are creating your own type of life with each playthrough. Spider people, liquid-metal people, fish people, human-torch people, etc. The list goes on and on. You need resources, however, to create these clones. The base resource needed is BioMass. You gain this by killing different creatures across the void of space. This BioMassis stored in a Bio Tank, which then can be utilized to create new life.

Even if you have the required BioMass, you will still need to create a breathable environment for your next clones. This means finding the DNA of different plants amongst the stars. Each breed of clone breathes a different chemical, so be careful about your choices regarding what you plant in your greenhouses. For instance, if you have the majority of your O2-producing plants in a greenhousethat becomes infected and overrun, you will start to see your crew suffocate and die across the ship. This is where tactical players will fall in love with this title.

CLOSE THE BLAST DOORS!

Each module of a ship is connected via hallways and underside vent systems. These vent systems are the bread and butter of the wormy, spidery, slippery, creepy creatures of the Alpha Quadrant. They will create nests and spread throughout your vessel, right underneath your futuristic boots. This is where it falls on you to take your weapons of choice to the belly of the barge. Flashlight flickering and muzzle flash blinding, you will rip and tear these abominations from your foundations, or die trying. Most of these spores will create disease on your ship that will cause your crew to spread the infection and die in their bunk.

Your vessel can also be boarded by the warriors of the void. Be it the dreaded Mechanics, who represent some sort of rogue military unit, or the unstoppable Framenwarriors, who will go to any length to end the Genesis Program. As of now, the only solution I have found to combat these foes is to run. Run for light years. After you have got away from their mothership, dispose of the ones who were left aboard your glorious ship.

IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE FUTURE?

Though I genuinely enjoy Genesis Alpha One, there are two suggestions of things that I would love to see. First and foremost, is a Marine Quarters aboard the vessel — somewhere to assign clones to become the guardians of the ship. While in late game you can fully automate your ship with cross-bred super people, you as captain are still crawling through the vents to kill off the creatures of space. Something about that kind of irks me, but I get it for gameplay purposes. It would be extremely interesting to be able to assign crew to go about and patrol the vessel to wipe out any abominations within your halls and modules.

Second, I think the AI could get some love. It's by no means stupid, but most of your enemies are a one-way track straight to the barrel of your weapon. This makes for an almost tower-defense-feeling combat system. Though the gunplay is rewarding, I would love to see a more aggressive AI in both your crew and your enemies.

The Verdict: Excellent

Genesis Alpha One is a fantastic gaming experience. Every part of me believes that this title pushes the roguelike genre in a whole new direction. With the amount of control you have over your ship, crew, weapons, security, and adventure, it truly shines above the rest. Once this title breaks free of Early Access and fixes the minor bugs and crashes, as well as makes some improvements to the quality of life, I do believe this title is a solid 9. Genesis Alpha One is sure to keep my attention for hours and hours to come. Good luck Captains. You’re going to need it.

Bric Hudson
Written by
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 07:00
Published in Editorial

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Bric is a US Army veteran and a passionate gamer. While in military service, he found gaming to be a way to connect with his friends all over the world. This blossomed into a fascination with the gaming culture and the experiences had while launching up a whole new title. He is fond of a variety of genres, which is reflected on his Twitch streams and on his Youtube channel. Find Bric on YouTube. Find Bric on Twitch.

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