Encountering a derelict in Ixion

Ixion Review


need to know

what is it? A Frostpunk-inspired space colony sim that follows a small mistake where you blow up the moon.

Expect to pay: £30/$35

release date: come out now

Developer: Fortress Studio

Publisher: Game of Thrones

commented on: Radeon 5700 XT, i5-9600K, 16GB RAM

multiplayer game: Do not

Association: Official Website(opens in a new tab)

From the skirmishes of Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicum to (ideally) the automated production chains that keep Ixion’s massive space station running, developer Bulwark has a compelling premise: When your experimental ship accidentally moves a moon’s A chunk that ended up ending humanity’s existence on Earth? But the shift from squad-based tactics to colony management and collective trauma management comes with pacing issues and a host of technical issues.

You’d think that with so many Greek terms floating around (the first space shuttle to dock at your station was identified as Charon, the mythical ferryman of the dead), someone would bother to scrutinize the brand, the future of humanity In whose hands rests. You see, Dolos, those two names are both the name of the company funding your ambitious space ventures and the name of the CEO, whose philanthropic proclamation sounds suspicious even before the catastrophe, meaning “malicious” in Greek, In retrospect, it portrays an almost “accident” that wiped out the species in a whole new way.

(Image credit: Kasedo Games)

Trapped in a frustratingly lifeless, suddenly desolate galaxy as administrator of the Tiqqun space station, my primary concern is ensuring the continued survival of the crew and figuring out what went catastrophically wrong during the launch. As with similar base-building games, the enormity of the task ahead is overshadowed by a thankfully limited set of starting options: build basic structures like living quarters and infirmaries, design roads to facilitate traffic between them, and— Most urgent—inclining to the station’s irreparably hemorrhaging shell, torn apart by the force of that earth-shattering jump.

For the first few hours, it’s a balanced and calm elegiac hustle, even as Bulwark decides to keep the training wheels on for too long as it learns from novice administrators how to avoid two main threats: an increasingly distressed crew and The mutiny of the hull dissipated into nothingness. To avoid this, I had to explore offboard the conversion of raw materials into alloys, organize my limited space to accommodate storage warehouses and factories to process them, and direct the routes of mining and cargo ships to optimize their entry into question clusters. Ixion was a good introduction to these logistical responsibilities in the first few hours, but at the same time, I felt like I was being dragged on for far too long–I didn’t have the patience to roam the galaxy.

As for crew morale, the same probes thrown into space looking for mineral-rich asteroids and floating icebergs will uncover the event site. Investigating these may answer pressing questions about your current situation, reveal caches of cryogenically frozen humans to thaw out and add to your crew, or pinpoint the location of scientific data that can be retrieved and used to unlock new technologies that improve living conditions, and chance of long-term survival.

(Image credit: Kasedo Games)

These are enjoyable activities that offer a degree of unpredictability and a welcome change of pace from the monotony of base building. Their results advanced the plot of the Tiqqun pilgrimage, revealing a complex backstory that sometimes presented me with fairly simple binary choices, but occasionally offered something more exciting: fragments of a plan. After all, it’s all well and good to subsist on locally gathered insect protein, but like any star traveler, Ixion’s refugees crave reason for optimism, the stuff of dreams.

new Hope?

That dream manifested itself as a set of coordinates. Protagoras was an experimental Dolos ship that disappeared from the solar system after an accident while plotting a route to a potentially habitable planet. This revelation sparked the first major shakeup in the game, suggesting not only that it was more than a meager existence orbiting the smoldering corpses of Earth, but also a rush to upgrade the resources Tiqqun needed for the upcoming interstellar jump and subsequent chase .

It’s at this point, after hours of enjoyable but rather mundane drudgery, that the game finally opens up a whole host of exciting possibilities: exploring unknown star systems and researching newly unlocked technologies, some of which are useful to The way you manage your colony. For example, setting up a DLS center lets me play the politician, enforcing department-wide laws to increase productivity or loudly advocating to appease restless masses, while setting up a waste center recycles waste from living quarters and processing plants, effectively starting from nothing. Produce new resources efficiently.

(Image credit: Kasedo Games)

New dangers also emerged. Higher rates of work-related accidents and resulting electrical failures require you to invest in resource-draining solar panels and batteries, which, with each cycle slowing down and increasingly unhappy crews, will give you The job brings a sense of urgency to find the elusive Protagoras before their despair turns to anger. It was a necessary upgrade, as I admit I had started to get a little too comfortable by then, but the game’s angry tendency to throw every misfortune at me at once made the sudden difficulty spike feel artificial and irritating.

Event selection has also become more demanding, sometimes requiring massive cache transfers from your ship, and others endangering your science team with a single misstep (although some of these feel more like cheap trap moments than the logical consequences of bad decisions ). And, of course, the cracked hull, Ixion’s equivalent of Frostpunk’s insatiable dynamo, suffers more as each part of Tiqqun unlocks to take advantage of the extra space and each interstellar jump brings you closer to finding a permanent home pain of. The ship’s AI’s indifferent announcement estimates it can withstand up to four jumps — the equivalent of game chapters.

Despite the increasing stakes, exploring Ixion with a new star system is most exciting after each jump, as the focus shifts from piecing together the details of what has already happened to planning a future yet to be written , leap into the unknown. Unfortunately, this is also where things start to fall apart.

lunar rover

(Image credit: Kasedo Games)

Near the conclusion, the Ixion’s major technical issues almost seemed to buckle under the weight of its sheer number crunching: severe framerate drops, screen locks, erratic menus. The bugs I’ve come across range from innocuous (such as achievements unlocking before conditions are met) to level breaks. Starting a chapter over is the core option Bulwark offers when all else fails, but trying to do so after cornering myself in Chapter 4 reloads the first chapter. At one point, two-thirds of my crew inexplicably disappeared. When (on my third run) I finally managed to get to the finish line, the last push of a button to bring my people to the Promised Land was a brutal gray, even though I had fulfilled all of its requirements.

At times, I feel like I’m fighting not an intentional challenge, but the game’s faulty circuitry, though it should be noted that some of the more egregious issues have been addressed in an ongoing series of patches in the course of reviewing the game , including the dreaded last button crash (although several others – such as unresponsive controls and graphs failing to update – persisted in my final game).

Other, less accidental flaws become apparent as the story progresses. Chapter-ending sequences often require a concerted effort to achieve an ambitious goal, such as awakening 2,000 souls from their cryogenic pods, which means there’s not much fun to do for a long time, ironically just before you’re eager to go Quench your excitement for a new place with a moment of playfulness. Worse, the balance of production chain management that forms the game’s interactive backbone is harsh, leaving you lingering for hours before the side effects of bad decisions (such as the layout of an entire section, or spending too much energy on a particular specialty) become apparent. One of the joys of producing the chain genre certainly lies in the creative rush of instant uprooting and rebuilding. But the way Ixion slipped quietly into an unsustainable vortex of doom makes a reload preferable to a redesign.

(Image credit: Kasedo Games)

Frustrated by the mounting frustration, but excited to see what the future holds, after reading through the first few chapters, I quickly realized that finding a new home for a human would require more than just retrieving a set of coordinates.Locating Protagoras is the first step in a longer mission that involves a very belligerent UN task force tracking down Dolos ships (you Yes After all, the culprit who destroyed the earth) and a mysterious organization called the Black Market Association, which has improper transactions with both organizations.

Surprisingly, given the calm nature of the game up to that point, the final scene evokes more Lovecraftian horror than the logistical challenges of a traditional base builder; Guillaume David has consistently The swelling chorus and ominous hum of an excellent soundtrack keep the mood high in these tense moments. Throughout the (roughly) 30-hour journey in the final chapter, various endings are available depending on the key decisions you make.

When the last refugee landed on that fabled Earth-like planet, my emotions were mixed: satisfaction with completing a compelling story and securing humanity’s future, but also about exiting a finicky, often counterintuitive Relief in managing simulations. Building those self-sustaining production chains and then sitting back and watching Tiqqun run smoothly on autopilot was, as always, a very satisfying experience. But, at the same time, for an often maddening game, one oversight or wrong decision can lead to countless bugs, long periods of inactivity, and catastrophic, crashing dominoes; one of the biggest Obstacles—whether intentional or not—provided me with very little joy in overcoming them.

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.