My first contact with Per Aspera occurred a few months ago, when I wrote the preview here for Voxel. During the 4 playable hours, it was possible to notice the care that Argentines from Tlön Industries had when creating the game. With the support of Raw Fury it was possible to cut this precious stone that the company had in hand.
For those who didn’t have the opportunity to read my preview, I said that the game had the potential to innovate the genre. Now, with more than 20 hours in the game I am sure they have achieved something unique in the market. It may seem like a simple game of terraforming and automation, but it goes far beyond that. That’s what I’ll try to explain in the next few lines.
We live in a crucial moment in our lives, where we are dependent on a vaccine to overcome the new coronavirus. Technological and scientific support, and especially personal interests, can be a good comparison of what we will find in the game.
But it will not be just that. Don’t limit your thinking to just them. There are several ingredients that will be part of the adventure, such as psychological factors, in addition to the collective unconscious, equipped with alien or conspiracy theories.
It is very complex to explain everything that Per Aspera allows the player without writing a few spoilers, but rest assured, I will do my best not to spoil your pleasure when you get your hands on the title.
The beginning of your journey on the Red Planet will depend on the capture of ores and the manufacture of items. The automation of the process will be done by you. Everything that happens can seem a little complex for players who are not used to games of this style. I say this, because there is no basic tutorial to teach. Just a sequence of goals to be made, which makes you have to think a little.
After the first process, which refers to the capture of raw material, the great crossroads of AMI will begin. She will have to reconcile all of her work with the arrival of the colonists and the first phase of terraforming.
The first phases to make Mars habitable, go through pure science and mainly through decision-making, which can impact life on the planet forever. Your first task will be to acclimatize it, using different devices.
Some of them can be harmful to the planet, others cannot. You can use nuclear bombs or create mirrors that will remain in the atmosphere to melt the polar caps, thus generating CO2 in nature. One is more time consuming and more expensive. The other is faster, cheaper, but harmful to the future of humanity. The big question that remains is: create a place different from the one built by human beings here or try something totally sustainable?
All decisions pass from AMI to you. Everything will be defined with a click of buttons. In addition to the memory existing in artificial intelligence, which is based on what happened on Earth, there is your thinking of what is best to carry out the mission.
With the improvement in temperature, the second part of terraforming passes through the balance of atmospheric pressure. Here you will also have to choose paths, such as using greenhouse gases, or perform less harmful processes to help colonize Mars.
Per Aspera changes overnight. It stops being a Factorio, that is, an automation game, to be an adventure of decisions, with ingredients of pure psychoanalysis, mainly, to know who you really are.
When you least expect it, you will realize that the two lines of play follow in parallel and it will be necessary to cover your intellect even more to try to control all the actions present in the game.