Humankind has always had an odd fascination with the planet Mars. The red orb that is our neighboring planet has been the stage for many stories over the past few years. Such is the case with the upcoming game Memories of Mars. Set about a hundred years into the future, the focus of Memories of Mars is making the red planet our next inhabitable venture as a species. The problem therein as a developer is making the choice to make this off the wall space epic akin to Star Wars or do they take the more realistic approach with subject matter set in a little more realistic background. The latter may seem like a daunting task, but 505 Games seems to be pulling it off superbly.

The team over at 505 Games is looking to set a realistic colonization/survival style game out to its audience and everything I saw during my behind closed doors meeting supports that a hundred percent. Players are tasked with gathering resources, managing their oxygen and food levels, exploring and scavenging to get weaponry and needed supplies. The map to this game is absolutely massive, clocking in at sixteen squared kilometers, which gives players more than enough space to have a true sandbox experience.

Combat between the factions worked well, it always felt tense, especially realizing that at any moment the team of developers referred to as raiders during my hands-on with the game could attack at any moment. Despite the feeling in my gut that once we went to the glowing beacon, which was sort of a timed supply drop, we would be finally be attacked I constantly found myself on the edge of my seat anticipating the attack. Which is great, knowing that at any second other players could attack will definitely keep players intrigued and attentive while playing the game.

While my team of media and various personalities was scavenging and listening to our guide talk about some of the intricacies of the game we had all kind of spread out and were getting our own resources. I remember looking up from gathering iron (makes bullets and other needed material) and seeing a person in the distance. I could not really make out any details as they were in a building and I had just seen them through a window. I clicked on team speak and said, “Raider in the building” next thing I knew several of us were surrounding the building trying to get in, I saw the assailant again. I leveled my rifle, prepping to take a shot only to realize I had mistaken one of our own for a Raider. While the main story framework for the game is going to be revealed in articles and such found throughout the world (at least as I understood it) I feel encounters and stories like that are what is going to make this game flourish with its community. I have already told that story several times of how I accidentally almost got Kara killed because I was a little trigger happy in a tense moment.

On top of having to deal with other players, there are a variety of alien life forms that will attack the player if they get too close. There was a worm one that appeared several times during the hands-on, it would frequently breach the sand similarly to how dolphins breach the top of the sea while swimming. The worm proved to be a worthy adversary for singled out players, as in players had just respawned and were running back to base or to get their dropped items. As a group of two or three we took out the worm with almost no issue but when I was by myself I made the mistake of trying to fight it and ended up having to try to run away or risk dying again. The smaller spider-like creatures were easily dispatched and seemed to be able to go wherever they pleased. Outside I ran into them in groups ranging from three to five and could easily dispatch them alone. I ran into them inside in much smaller numbers, usually just one, while I was looting a room. I don’t remember seeing any other life forms outside of that, but I remember them being discussed.

Crafting was an interesting element. Players who didn’t have the mining tool could collect small amounts of material they find on the ground and use it to produce smaller items. Once enough material is gained they can craft a mining tool and a whole new world of options opens up to the player. The material is gathered at a much faster pace and goods can be produced at a solid pace. Each player is given a few crafting boxes when they spawn (at least we were I don’t know if that will happen in the final product) and as the material is gathered they use it to turn it into usable items, i.e. iron ore into bullets. There was also a blueprint mechanic, where players had to take the blueprint to specific tables and ‘research’ it so they can then build it in their crafting inventory. I only ever came across it with grenades but I had heard that other players found different blueprints, such as guns and shields, but mostly there was a lack of communication as to what they had found. It is also worth noting that as far as the base building mechanic goes, the sky seemed to be the limit in terms of structure. The system was really fluid and provided players with a ton of options, from simple small rectangle bases like the one we used or massive scale bases that could honestly rival most games out there with the same mechanics. As an added bonus, in efforts to preserve bases from being broken into and things being stolen, in server, players can set who has access to the base so only their team can open the doors and have access.

In short, Memories of Mars looks to provide players with a truly science-based space experience. It features tight combat controls that even an inexperienced pc player like myself could easily pick up and learn. The gameplay is tense even in it’s quietest and seemingly mundane moments (like just gathering material). Oh and any game that lets me access my friend inventory whenever I can sneak up to them and randomly drop items into it is aces in my book. Look for Memories of Mars on Steam in the future. Check out the video below to see the game in action!

Memories of Mars Gameplay:  

About The Author

Allen S
Editorial/Reviews Team, Manager

I started gaming when I was seven years old. I started my own game studio when I was twelve, went to school for game design. Now I work here and also on my own YouTube channel