Some games are just plain dangerous. They worm their way into your skull and sit there, taking up a huge chunk of brain-space both when played and not, not so much demanding attention as monopolizing it. A perfect example of this is Factorio, which has been working its way through various forms of Early Access for years now. That has in no way held back its popularity, with the game getting a huge following just being sold through its web site long before landing on Steam. Since then Factorio has been reliably on the top seller list, consuming the brains of a huge number of new players every week. And now it’s fully released in a shiny new 1.0 status, ready to turn “I’ll go to bed after…” into “Why is the sun up already?” for a whole new crop of players
Factorio was one of the earlier factory games, initially looking a bit like a construction-focused Command & Conquer. A lone engineer crash-lands on a planet infested by bugs and needs to build his way out of there, starting off by beating on trees and exposed veins of ore like some kind of menial laborer before automation takes over. Mining rock allows stone furnaces, coal fuels them, iron goes in the furnace and comes out as ingots, and then the first automatic miner can be crafted. Add a few conveyor belts, one robo-arm to move the ore into the furnace and another to remove it into a storage container and the first rudimentary production line is complete. Except coal doesn’t burn forever, so another set of conveyors from mining drills on the coal seam to the furnace goes up, and now you can ignore that particular setup aside from its inefficiency. One furnace is slow while lots working in tandem are much better, and wouldn’t some copper be nice too? Copper makes wire, all the better to send electricity all over the place, and the coal going to the furnace would be much more useful in a boiler attached to a water source that then sends power out to multiple devices, such as factories that automatically create whatever you need. And you’ll need a lot if you want to progress to nuclear power and eventually build a rocket to get off this bug-infested hellhole.
Factorio has been one of the gaming giants for years now, maybe not quite so flashy as Minecraft or Fortnite but with a dedicated and constantly-growing fan-base. While the 1.0 release isn’t the end of development the game is finally feature-complete, which is deeply impressive for something with as many features as Factorio. In celebration of its release not only is there a brand-new launch trailer but also a remade version of the original, showcasing the evolution in the art over the last four years. The two new trailers and classic 2016 version are all below, ready to seduce you into losing a few hundred hours tweaking the production lines just right.