THE RIFTBREAKER (REVIEW): COLONIZATION OF THE PLANET WITH ELEMENTS OF TOWER DEFENSE

Oct 20, 2021

Source: Epic Games

The Plot

Ashley is selected for a crucial mission: the exploration and colonization of the planet Galatea-37.

Gameplay

The gameplay is a mix of base building/defense, resource management, and ARPG.

In the beginning, we highly recommend playing the prologue. It will teach you the basics. But don’t relax, it’s a very small part of what the game has in store. In short, we are told about the most basic buildings, taught the basics of management and combat, and tossed one or two global events.

We are dropped off on the planet and the adventure begins. Next, we take a walk through the main activities that we will meet in the game.

Construction.

Performed to perfection. A large variety of buildings, all useful. Settlement at some point becomes just huge and continues to grow. There are pitfalls here, as the largest buildings require a bunch of complex infrastructure around them, you’ll probably have to rebuild the base and it’s not that fast.

That said, there’s the constant threat of alien monster attacks. This means double (much better than single) perimeter walls, towers, firing pads, and other related infrastructure.

In addition to the base, you almost certainly have to build extraction facilities near resource deposits. All of these points of interest are also attacked in the general order. Towers are not a panacea in this game - on their own, without a hero, they probably won’t be able to handle a serious attack, so it’s advisable to build teleporters everywhere for a quick reaction.

Resource Management. 

The game has a fairly large number of resources, which at the very least should be mined and stored. Something is in the form of ore on the surface, and something you’ll have to search for, get out of the ground or produce (the production chain here is very long and good). Almost all buildings need energy to function, which in itself is a critical resource. Its peculiarity is that it is necessary to lay a network between objects, to make stores to prevent sudden problems. A little trick - the power supply to buildings that are not yet fully operational can be turned off until everything is ready.

Some resources will have to be supplied as well as energy, such as water or dirt.

Before you build some wunderwaffle, you almost certainly have to calculate - whether it will be possible to run it at all on that exact spot, and what the resource reserves are - you may simply run out of storage.

Combat part. 

It is very varied and includes a conventional defense and attack. The main task is to save the HQ. If it falls, and then our hero falls, the game is over, because there is no place to respawn.

From time to time the base is attacked purposefully by monsters and we have two types of countermeasures against them, which are combined.

1) Defensive buildings with the necessary infrastructure. If well placed and with a combination of types of damage from different towers, they can be very effective. But if the hero gets lost somewhere, it usually turns out that the base gets chewed up.

Among the defensive infrastructure should be considered mines, which the hero sets (this is something like a mech skill). Apparently, you can put them almost an infinite number.

2) The main combat unit is our mech. It is desirable always and in advance to pull it to the place of battle. Even better, if you manage to track down the enemies and meet them on the approaches, at least to weaken the wave that will come to the base. Sometimes some super-monster will show up. And such a “guest” almost certainly must be met far from the base.

Enemies

In addition to the targeted large attacks, the enemy squads are constantly randomly spawning on the map and can create certain difficulties in its research or create a nest that will enhance the attack on the base. So it is better to destroy monsters if possible, especially because it’s fun and brings a bit of resource.

There are quite a few types of enemies and they attack in a variety of ways. Some pile up in numbers, while others can bomb from very far away. There are some super monsters, too. You have to be especially careful with them.

To defeat the enemies we can both pump up the hero, and strengthen your buildings by learning the technology tree.

Upgrades

With the mech upgrades everything is pretty simple: we put up to three weapons on each hand, we craft improvements. Some of the blueprints for nice devices can be found by exploring the planet.

But the research tree is amazing. It’s just some unreal number of improvements and, importantly - almost all useful. If you research in a single lab, it will count for hours of real-time. Considering that this is not the real world, where you can just buy research papers and you have to do everything yourself, you will either build a lot of labs or suffer for hours studying one technology. On top of everything else, you have to fulfill a number of conditions, which can sometimes be quite complicated.

In the research tree, there are three sections, if you do not go into detail - to improve and to unlock weapons (many kinds) of the hero, buildings, and the study of aliens.

Other important mechanics.

The game has a change of day and night, the natural features - all this affects the gameplay. At night the solar panels do not work, and the hurricane will give an increase of wind power, and so on. Meteorites can fall, earthquakes and other such things can happen.

The surface of the planet is designed in interesting ways. For example, over time the cleared jungle grows again, or you can get into a swamp, where the hero will no longer be as fast. Sometimes you can find mysterious objects to explore and a lot of beautiful views for the skillful screenshot taker.

In addition to the campaign, it is possible to play in survival mode with different settings.

Let’s finish the review by looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the game.

Strengths:

+ Excellent, beautiful graphics.

+ Very good music and sound accompaniment.

+ Very many types of buildings and all of them are useful.

+ Good resource management. You need to calculate your strengths when developing.

+ Excellent main character and good control system. Has a lot of functionality and it is not overcomplicated.

+ Good optimization.

Weaknesses:

- Some mechanics may seem too grindy.

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