If you’re in the market for a challenging sci-fi base-building survival/RPG game, then The Riftbreaker should be a game on your watchlist. It’s currently in its Alpha build and developer EXOR Studios just released the Alpha 2 update for PC version the game. Let me just say, it’s going in a great direction, but gameplay can be frustrating at times.

Alpha 2 Update

The Alpha 2 Update brings a laundry list of new updates and additional game mechanics and enemies. Among these changes are:

  • Custom and random difficulty modes
  • Streaming integration options for Twitch and Mixer
  • New item, Treasure Detector, which allows you to find buried resources
  • Additional environmental surfaces: mud, sand, poison bogs, metal flooring
  • New upgraded, more powerful enemies
  • Weathers system that includes meteor showers, storms, and tornadoes
  • Added weapons: Plasma Gun, High Powered Laser
  • New critical hit system
  • New structures, new power plants, and upgradable towers and walls
  • Additional improvements to current features
The Riftbreaker: Base-building

Base-building is fun when you aren’t be attacked by enemies. (EXOR Studios)

These additions add a new layer of difficulty to an already difficult game. While I might not be the best base-builder, as my StarCraft 2 skills will show you, The Riftbreaker, in its current build, presents a challenge to even skilled players. The only playable mode, Survival, gives you one hour to build up your base, upgrade buildings and weapons, and complete research, all while fending off hordes of enemies that attack your base every 6 to 7 minutes (or every 4 to 5 depending on what you’re doing).

Additionally, the weather changes will adversely affect your progress. Storms affect your solar panels, making it impossible to harness power through those means. Meteor showers and tornadoes will damage or destroy your buildings. Once those hit, you end up having to use resources to repair and rebuild, and it takes time away from upgrades, resource gathering, and research.

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Another addition to the game is Twitch and Mixer integration. This allows the viewers to vote on what will happen in the game such as giving steel or carbonium, taking steel or carbonium away, having it rain, or bringing on a tornado. This power gives viewers an opportunity to affect the flow of the game (especially if they feel like trolling the player).

The Riftbreaker: Meteor showers

Meteor showers are a new environmental addition to The Riftbreaker. (EXOR Studios)

Strategy is Key

In my few playthroughs, I found it difficult to maintain base operations while constructing new buildings, researching, foraging and mining materials, and fighting off enemies. There were times when I would get attacked by a large horde, and then as I’m doing my repairs, a tornado would come in and destroy already vulnerable buildings. This reduced my time to fully explore the environment, conduct research, or upgrade. In the end, I just need to work on my time and resource management.

I also watched a few streams in which players were running the game on Brutal (the highest difficulty level) and the bases that they had to create in order to achieve victory were impressive. Walls were six panels deep, and there were at least five to six turrets on each wall. Solar panels and wind turbines were abundant, and there were handfuls of energy and solid material storage units. One player was jumping from rift to rift to manage their multiple bases and control incoming attacks. 

And that looks to be the strategy to use in Survival mode thus far. During the first few waves of attacks there is time to resource gather and explore. Building multiple Carbonium Factories as soon as possible is key in being able to fortify your base and construct buildings. Finding iron deposits and putting up Steel Factories will also help in building turrets and conducting research. Constructing a mixture of power plants will help in the long run, because these buildings use up energy very quickly. Maximizing production early will ultimately lead to victory.

The Riftbreaker: Enemies swarms

Everything is going as planned. {EXOR Studios}

Overall

The new additions to The Riftbreaker make for an exciting, albeit even more challenging, experience. Random weather changes give the game an environmental danger that increases the urgency of building and fortifying your base. The harder enemies can absolutely ruin your day so research and weapons upgrades are a necessity. The game doesn’t give you much downtime, so having a plan going in as to building essentials is imperative.

While Survival mode allows for extensive exploration and research (if you have the time), I hope that we will soon see the Campaign mode. Building and research is fun, and checking out a rather large unusual creatures gives the world a little more depth, but over time that can get monotonous.

EXOR Studios has a really good game on their hands and I look forward to seeing what else they bring. The Riftbreaker has no release date yet, but you can check out their recently released gameplay trailer below or visit the official website

Gameplay Trailer

 

 

Renee Lopez
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