Genesis Alpha One (Xbox One) Review

By Gabriel Jones 29.01.2019

Review for Genesis Alpha One on Xbox One

For over 4.5 billion years, Earth has had a pretty good run. Unfortunately, thanks to humans, it's coming to an end. Ridiculous isn't it? Man's time on Earth was so minute that it could barely be considered a footnote, yet it has managed to ruin the planet. Well, there's no sense in crying over spilled milk, because it's time to find a new home. This mission, dubbed "Project Genesis," is not to be taken lightly. With little more than a Genesis Starship, and a small crew of humanoid clones, the commander must discover a planet capable of sustaining life. Succeed and ensure the future of mankind in Genesis Alpha One, or fail and witness its extinction.

In the deepest region of space was a derelict ship. The only signs of life came from the overabundance of fungi that had taken root. Various portraits and furnishings suggested that humans were piloting this vessel, yet no survivors remained. Empty shells and burn marks on the walls served as evidence that the ship was attacked by hostile forces. Although the crew struggled valiantly, it was overwhelmed and cut down. On one of the corpses was a PDA that simply stated "Project Genesis final report: Failure." It's a shame isn't it? The hopes of a dying race were extinguished by one man's pride and incompetence. Hopefully, the person responsible for this mess has learned a valuable lesson, because they are going to have to try again, until they succeed.

Genesis Alpha One offers its own spin on the roguelike formula. Players are tasked with managing a starship, building a crew, and exploring the galaxy for resources. If and when disaster strikes, all that be done is to figure out where they went wrong, and then attempt to avoid that mistake in the next attempt. Of course, this also means that they have to start over from scratch. On the bright side, if they are able to accomplish noteworthy goals, then they will unlock various benefits. These can include clones with varying stats, new factions with more resources, and all sorts of wondrous artefacts.

Screenshot for Genesis Alpha One on Xbox One

Before starting the mission, it's a good idea to check out the lengthy tutorial, because it covers all of the basics. The first major step is building all of the necessary modules. The Greenhouse contains plants that give the ship a breathable atmosphere. Next up are the Biotanks, which store all collected biomass. DNA is the building blocks of life after all, and biomass is needed to create clones. Oh, and be sure to pay attention to how the ship is being built. The captain must be able to reach every module quickly and efficiently. If running around the starship feels like a rat trapped in a maze, then that's a disaster waiting to happen.

Once all of the essentials are accounted for, it's time to start exploring. Start by seeking out space debris and then beaming up resources. Don't forget to invest in a hangar. Its harvester can be piloted to dangerous planets filled with ore and plant life. Plants are used in the Greenhouse to create a breathable atmosphere. A large crew is required for Project Genesis. Also, while exploring planets, the captain might come across supplies. These can include new modules, suit upgrades, or other extras. If they are not up for the trek, the player can assign crew members to take their place. It's convenient, but there's a risk that they won't survive the trip.

Screenshot for Genesis Alpha One on Xbox One

Enemies of both the human and inhuman variety can attack. This is where the ship and crew are put to the ultimate test. Infestations tend to occur while using the tractor beam, and they are quite the nuisance. If left unchecked, aliens will gnaw on power connectors, wrecking modules, and tearing the ship apart. Worse are the Framen and Mechanics. Rather than participate in mission for humanity's future, they prefer to storm ships and wipe out everyone on-board. It's a good idea to steer clear of them. On the other hand, if the captain has a strong crew and plenty of defences on his or her ship, then it might be worth taking the fight to the wandering jerks. Just bear in mind that they will continue their assault, as long as the starship is in close proximity.

Whenever the captain dies, the nearest crew member is instantly promoted. While lives don't last long, biomass is really easy to come by, so creating clones isn't too much trouble. Researching more advanced clones will also make a big difference, because higher tier crew members have larger HP pools. All told, the level of difficulty tends to operate in reverse. Given enough time, the player can build an extremely strong starship and arm themselves with ridiculously powerful weapons. There's not much out there in the galaxy that can withstand a prolonged assault. Furthermore, enemies aren't all that aggressive, and quickly fall to basic circle-strafing strategies.

Screenshot for Genesis Alpha One on Xbox One

When a suitable planet is discovered, and the crew requirements are met, then it's time for the final phase of Project Genesis. The captain must head deep below the planet's surface and destroy the aliens hiding within. Hopefully, the player has loaded up powerful weapons and loads of ammunition. That said, if they have adequately handled everything else that Genesis Alpha One has thrown at them, then this should be no sweat. Even after a successful mission, the game doesn't end. The captain can continue exploring the galaxy with the kitted-out starship, in order to discover new hospitable planets.

Maintaining a ship and exploring for upgrades is a fun, but slow-going process. The first hour or so can be pretty dull, since most of the time is going to be spent blasting toxic mushrooms, or other minor pests. There is quite a bit of fun in dealing with Framen and Mechanics, particularly in those rare occasions where the crew is fighting desperately to stay alive. These dynamic and entertaining moments don't last however. After a certain point, the player is left to just go through the motions. They repeatedly move between modules, performing whatever task that needs to be done, all while trying to stay one step ahead of marauders. This makes for something that works best in short bursts.

Screenshot for Genesis Alpha One on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

In conclusion, Genesis Alpha One is a decent way to spend a weekend, but it will wear out its welcome not long afterwards. Building, upgrading, and defending a starship is compelling enough. There are also those times when a large-scale invasion generates some real excitement. However, a lot of time is going to be spent performing mundane tasks. Although this does an admirable job of streamlining most of them, boredom will eventually set in. Still, the unique premise might be reason enough to check it out.

Developer

Radiation Blue

Publisher

Team17

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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