Space, the one place where capitalism has definitely spread its corruption far and wide! The stage is set for our drama on a gigantic space station with a new prototype propulsion system. Humanity plans to expand its borders beyond the solar system of its humble origins and set out to distant stars. You are tasked with administrating that huge project, with the help of crew and A.I., of course. Naturally, nothing goes according to plan. No spoilers though, since Ixion lives of its atmosphere and story, the mystery and the unknown.
More to the details of the day to day business of administrating a huge space station. You control the station from different camera perspectives: Interior, exterior and system view. Furthermore you can switch between different sectors of the station with a mouse click. Most of Ixions' gameplay is this easy to navigate. The building menu handles well and is useful. The UI in general though, is a mix of very clean and useful design and some odd parts where things are rather entangled and hard to read. The developers are working on this issue post release. Building is done on a grid, space is limited of course and one of the hardest to manage resources in the whole game probably. I would go as far as saying that managing building space is one of the core challenges of the game. And it is a fun challenge indeed!
While you plan and build, rebuild and change the layout of your station, you have to react to events in- and outside of your station and outside of your control. On the inside, of course, the stations crew has needs it wants to see fulfilled, they react to being overworked, living in crowded spaces and so on. You can see, being the Administrator of a space station is not an easy job! Keep things going smoothly, and the crew will trust in your leadership and overlook the odd stressful work week or two. If they do not trust you though…. ‘I am sure everything will go smoothly Administrator, the Crew trusts in your leadership.’ says the A.I. Voice.
Managing the outside affairs of your station is as challenging as managing the inside for sure. You do have less control about what happens on the outside, especially since the games’ story is scripted and has some unavoidable events in store for you. On top of that your work outside consists of various tasks that involve resource acquisition, power management and more. Its all done with a decent control interface and beautiful graphics. I personally enjoyed the views outside the station a lot. Very beautiful, all of that deadly space!
Additionally, the music, sound effects and graphics create a very spacey, sci-fi atmosphere that I found very enjoyable and fitting. The voice overs for some Npc's are done in a good way and fit the general tone of the game well. The writing was surprisingly good, nothing against the developers here, just something I do not expect from a game that delivers its story via relatively short bits of event descriptions. They did it very well indeed in Ixion.
And with that, I am leaving you to discover the game on your own. It is hard to write more without spoiling some crucial moments and parts of the game. Some of you probably watched trailers and saw more than I told, but I prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to spoilers.
If you are up for a challenging management-builder mix that has more than ‘just a bit of fluff’ story going for it, then Ixion is definitely worth a look! The very good presentation and post release improvements show this as what it is: A work of passion that I can easily recommend!