By: Matthew Striplen
Artificial life has left Earth in shambles. The once-great nations of the planet now desperately try to preserve their existence by taking to the stars. You are one such traveler, commanding a Habitat to reestablish human life somewhere new. Or, you can hunt space pirates with T-Rex flamethrowers! Either/or.
Habitat‘s awkward controls prevent the rest of its strengths from shining through. The equipment that the player attaches to the ship can be assigned a shortcut key for easy usage, which lessens some of the problems, but not enough.
Navigating the Habitat never feels easy, even with extra boosters and shortcuts. This becomes further exacerbated in combat, when precision and speed are most important. Even moving outside of combat situations is tough since the entire area is littered with debris. Your ship will take damage or get tangled if you decide to fly through it.
Habitat‘s graphics do their job well without being exceptional. Countless moving objects are rendered simultaneously with only minimal frame rate loss. Sometimes it can be difficult to locate the ship’s engineers due to their small size, but this only becomes an issue if you want to use specific engineers for a task.
Ambient, calming music pervades the majority of the game, but things heat up in combat. Still, it would’ve been nice to have a bit more variety to the tracks.
While there’s not a tremendous amount of dialogue, excluding the opening cut scene, there is a lot of screaming. Whenever a ship takes damage or is completely destroyed, crew members get sucked out the breached hull. Although this sounds rather grim, the noises they make are so ridiculous that it’s hard not to snicker at their plight.
The first thing players are likely to notice in Habitat is the massive amount of space debris, just about all of which can be welded to your own vessel. Most of this game’s fun can be found in scavenging for interesting parts to craft your ultimate ship.
Players will find everything from the useful, like booster rockets and laser weapons, to the absurd, like the aforementioned weaponized T-Rex heads and a strangely disproportionate amount of restaurants and trucks.
Usage of these extra parts requires engineers to weld them onto the Habitat. Your crew starts with a handful of people that can be trained as engineers, but you’ll need more people and resources.
A large space station serves as a home base for purchasing supplies and taking missions. Unfortunately, these missions lack variety. Most of them are either search and rescue or combatting pirates. The other mission types are so similar that they may as well be the same thing.
Once a mission is complete, players are rewarded with experience points that automatically upgrade the ship. This increases health and resource output, which is vital to keeping your ship in top shape.
If you feel your Habitat has reached its maximum potential but don’t want to start a new file, two smaller Habitats can be purchased. These are functionally identical to the original but take up much less space.
Habitat features two modes: Campaign and Sandbox. Campaign has a few more story elements, but ultimately it doesn’t offer a much different experience than Sandbox. Sandbox still requires interaction and missions with the space station to acquire additional personnel and objectives.
Habitat strives to capture the wonder of space exploration, but the game is not without its flaws. The awkward controls are a constant nuisance, and the general lack of direction makes the game lose momentum.