Game Reviews

Shattered Planet

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| Shattered Planet
Shattered Planet
| Shattered Planet

We as a species probably won't get around to conquering galaxies until we've produced very specific equipment for the task.

Principally, a portable machine capable of cloning humans as easily and efficiently as a grill cooks up hamburgers. That way, whenever the expedition encounters slavering space-beasts or poisoned terrain, #69403 can pick up where the hapless #69402 left off.

Shattered Planet by Execution Labs is an adventure role-playing game that revolves around vat-bred heroes. You fill the shoes of a spaceship captain who's been ordered to map the flora and fauna of a weird, segmented world - not an easy job to perform when the natives and wildlife are hostile.

But thanks to cloning technology, "new" captains can pick up the mission and keep on going. For science.

In Shattered Planet, you move tile-by-tile and face off against hostile aliens that get in your face. The terrain shifts every time you send a new captain down to the planet's surface, so no two excursions are ever the same.

Your goal is to find the teleporter located on each map, which sends you deeper into your strange new world. When you meet up with wildlife (more accurately, when you fight wildlife), you automatically make a record of the being and its nature.

Pass the cocktail sauce

Hungry monsters aren't your only worry, however. Each level of the planet is afflicted with "blight" - black goo that spreads quickly and corrupts everything it touches. The blight makes enemies even more powerful and hostile, and walking across it saps your hit points.

When playing through Shattered Planet, it's not a question of "if" you'll die. You will die. And when your new clone is born, it's unarmed. You need to equip it before beaming it back down to the planet.

Though items stay behind when your captain dies, you get to keep all the scrap metal and crystals they've collected during their excursion. Both are immensely important, as scrap metal is used to permanently boost your captain's stats, and crystals buy weapons and armour.

Buying weapons and armour in Shattered Planet is one of the game's most frustrating and endearing processes.

You can buy equipment in bronze, silver, and gold categories, each category costing more crystals than the previous one. The kicker is, you never know what you're going to get when you sling your crystals into the equipment generator.

Sometimes you get a weapon. Sometimes you get armour. It's not unheard of to send your captain out into the wilds with a motorcycle helmet and a rolled-up newspaper.

Enemy disposal with a croquet mallet is still enemy disposal

You're also awarded weapons, armour, and items for filling out your captain's database. The Galactic Federation is looking out for you. Sort of.

Shattered Planet's dry, somewhat dark sense of humour keeps you playing, as does the sense of progression that comes with upgrading your captain clones. It's not an easy game by any means, but who said pioneering should be a walk in the park?

Shattered Planet

Shattered Planet is unforgiving, brimming with traps, and lousy with monsters - but that's what makes it fun