Minecraft Legacy: Five Best Construction Games
Unlike survival simulators, construction games have been around for quite some time — at least several decades. It will be about them.
Minecraft had a lot of followers, but Terraria was ahead with the release of not only them, but also the original itself. While Markus Persson was pulling the rubber with the beta version of his brainchild, the small studio Re-Logic was inspired by his work, came up with a two-dimensional adaptation of the same idea and brought it to life in a matter of months. Terraria similarly throws the player into a huge, dangerous world without any clear instructions. At first, attempts to explore the surroundings often turn into death — there are a lot of enemies everywhere, and primitive weapons cannot fend them off. Therefore, first you need to somehow build yourself a shelter, and then, in search of valuable resources, go deeper into the bowels of the earth, gradually building a chain of tunnels and attaching new caves to your underground empire.
Terraria differed from its progenitor by focusing on action: more types of enemies and weapons, more intelligent pumping, full-fledged boss battles… It is passing Terraria that is both more difficult and more exciting than Minecraft. And the patches released throughout the ten years after the release made the game world even richer and more original, which helped Terraria successfully pass the test of time. It's still a decent alternative to Minecraft for those who prefer 2D. In terms of construction, you are limited only by your imagination: you can build even a medieval fortress, even a giant statue, even an ingenious mechanism. And, of course, the most fun thing is to do architecture with friends.
Space Engineers was lucky to appear in the right place and at the right time. In 2013, the market was not yet oversaturated with "survivalists", especially those dedicated to space exploration. And although the game that appeared in early access at first offered only a creative mode, fully focused on construction, it was he who made Space Engineers popular. The "entertain yourself" rule perfectly fitted the possibilities that low gravity and the endless emptiness of space opened up. The exploration of unknown planets, the design of various (from small fighters to "Death Stars") ships with a reliable physical model, the construction of space stations and ports in orbit, planetary bases in hollow asteroids. Here, at least be engaged in creation, at least arrange large-scale battles on hand-constructed ships.
And when the survival mode finally appeared in the game along with the support of mods, Space Engineers turned from just an interesting but underdeveloped concept into a full-fledged game for fans of mining asteroids and moving exclusively by hyper-jumps. If everything was pretty clear with her before, now you probably can't tell which mode gamers prefer — survival or creative.
ARK: Survival Evolved
Studio Wildcard's debut project sold about 5.5 million copies even before it was released from early access. The reason for such impressive sales was not only the rapid growth in popularity of the genre, but also an unusual setting: it was necessary to survive on a futuristic island straight from Jurassic Park. The world of ARK: Survival Evolved is home to many prehistoric creatures of all shapes and biological species, from nimble raptors and diehard triceratops to tyrannosaurs, giant squids and many others. And if at the beginning of the adventure you have to wield a wooden spear to get food for yourself, then at the higher stages of development different clans of survivors storm each other's bases riding dinosaurs — including flying ones. And even with rifles at the ready.
The success of ARK subsequently led not only to the appearance of console ports of the game, but also to the creation of several spin-offs, as well as a full-fledged sequel with a foundation for a story campaign. The main role in the continuation of ARK, by the way, will be played by Vin Diesel, who, by his own admission, played more than 1000 hours in the first part. Against the background of the character of Dominic Toretto from "Fast and Furious", firmly entrenched behind the actor, there were jokes about the brotherhood and the tribe, but who knows — for the first time the authors did it all. Suddenly, the sequel will not lose face?
Satisfaction from Coffee Stain Studios (the authors of the unforgettable Goat Simulator) is a Factorio from the world of "survivalists". If there the crashed astronaut needed to master the natural resources of the planet in order, in the end, to construct a rocket and get away from an alien planet, then here the player, being an employee of a corporation, needs to set up an entire planetary factory. There are practically no elements of survival in the game — Satisfactory relies on the construction of complex production chains. Why work hard if you can fully automate the extraction of resources, processing of raw materials and its delivery to the destination? Kilometers of conveyors transport components to dozens of assemblers, and the finished product is sent straight to the space elevator — for delivery to the needs of the corporation. Pumps pump water and oil for generators, power lines supply production with energy, and different sectors of the factory are interconnected by rail.
In a word, the puzzle turns out to be quite intricate, but at the same time fascinating - especially if you were fond of "production" mods for Minecraft at one time, but did not get from them the depth and variability that you were waiting for. Even if the world in the Satisfactory is not procedural, you can explore it for dozens of hours without yawning from boredom. And social commentary on the topic of ecology, which the corporate economy sacrifices to its own greed, is an optional bonus.
Valheim very successfully bet on the setting of Scandinavian mythology. Its development began in 2018: then God of War was released, which convinced the authors of the upcoming indie hit that Vikings are fashionable. And Valheim got to early access in January 2021, right after the release of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, an open-world action game devoid of the emergence inherent in survival and construction games. It was this request of the public that Valheim successfully satisfied, harmoniously incorporating elements of many predecessors.
Unlike many colleagues in the indie workshop, Valheim and her story about a fallen Viking who was exiled to a prison world already offered a lot of content and a lot of mechanics as part of early access. Borrowed from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the cooking of food and the parameters of the character fuel interest in the study: what resources are hidden in another unexplored area, what will happen in the end if you mix the first, second, third and tenth in a cauldron? And then suddenly it turns out that permafrost reigns in the new location, and without a warm jacket (or a special potion), death will overtake the hero very quickly. How many "survivalists" force the player to ventilate the room so that his ward does not throw off his hooves from carbon monoxide poisoning? And how do you like the realistic physics of trees, because of which a crooked sawn trunk can kill a lumberjack? In Valheim, you can build even a Whiterun, even an Eiffel Tower, but you need to do it in compliance with safety rules - otherwise accidents at the workplace will not be avoided. However, it was the unpredictable situations that arise due to realistic physics that the public remembered, which is confirmed by the massive enthusiasm on Steam.
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