Five years ago, Brian McRae and his team at Fenix Fire Games started working on what would become Osiris: New Dawn, a multiplayer space survival game where you play as an astronaut on a mission to colonize a new planet. This will obviously not be an easy task, but whether it be the monsters of the night or the somewhat wonky controls that kill you is the question.
Fenix Fire calls Osiris a mix between The Martian and Prometheus and it’s easy to see the comparison. The Martian influences come in the form of constantly having to deal with problems that arise and the Prometheus vibes come from the various violent species that inhabit this new, mysterious planet. They also likened it to StarCraft in terms of story and tone.
When you start the game, you will be asked what clan you want to be a part of. There are two: space pirates or members of humanity’s space program. I couldn’t much tell if anything really changed based on which side you choose, but if there is, it’s minimal. Then you’ll create your character, which is simply a color change. Then they drop you into the thick of it. You immediately have a cracked helmet that threatens you with imminent death, and then are instructed to find tape, which fixes you right up.
After that, you can mine, hunt and build your little colony up. There is even a second planet that you can eventually travel to that is controlled by the enemy, but I didn’t get to go there so that world is a mystery to me.
I might be too much of a console player to understand the controls, but it proved difficult to navigate the user interface. Just getting in and out of the menus was something you had to think about each time and dragging things into different inventories felt confusing. Moving objects was also cumbersome and hard to be precise with.
The controls for the character work well, though, in both first and third person. Shooting and mining felt intuitive as any other first/third person shooter, and running and jet packing gets you around pretty quick. The menus could just use a rework.
That’s not to say Osiris isn’t promising. If you’re into games like Minecraft or ARK: Survival Evolved, you might like this one, because it is just like those, except in space. You’ll be mining for resources, building shelters and tools, keeping your space suit intact and defending yourself from the creatures that see you as a threat.
They are planning on having ten instances for Osiris: New Dawn, meaning that there will essentially be ten servers that you can join and play on. It will be on Steam Early Access later this month and they are looking to bring it to consoles sometime next year. It is an interesting idea for a survival/simulator type game, and for a three person team, it is well made and has a huge sense of scope.