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Superb Half-Life style survival game gets even better with big update

The first major Abiotic Factor update is here, filled with community requests and other welcome upgrades including a favorite from Portal.

Abiotic Factor update brings big upgrades to the Half-Life inspired survival game - A scientist runs past a stack of colorful storage crates.

Half-Life 3 may not be on the cards right now, but the excellent Abiotic Factor certainly is. The stellar survival game inspired by Valve’s epochal FPS has already landed to a fantastic reception, scoring over 21,000 concurrent players and an ‘overwhelmingly positive’ 96% Steam review score. Just three weeks since launch, the first big Abiotic Factor update is here, and it’s absolutely jam-packed with community-driven upgrades and new features, including a must-have treat reminiscent of Portal.

Abiotic Factor Community Update 1 (also referred to as version 0.8.1) includes a quite frankly staggering list of additions for how soon it’s arrived after launch. Developer Deep Field Games has even put together a handy video with a quick glimpse at all the major changes to the survival game, which include the likes of dynamic difficulty, save backups, base improvements, painted walls, bionic legs, and a host of balance tweaks.

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Enemy behavior and spawns have been adjusted slightly for players who are alone or in smaller groups. This should make enemies less frequent and combat a little less punishing when you’re playing by yourself, even if you’re on a co-op server. Deep Field does recommend that you still stick together where possible, however: “There’s safety in numbers.”

At your base, repair benches can now pull items from nearby storage once you’ve unlocked the feature for crafting benches. You’ll now be able to rename your crafting bench, which will effectively act as the name for that base as its waypoint will show when you’re out in the field. You can also paint cement bag walls and small storage crates, allowing you to create a rather fetching look for your facility.

When I think of Portal, the first thing that comes to mind after the eponymous gun is Chell’s handy Advanced Knee Replacement (later the Long Fall Boots). In-keeping with Abiotic Factor’s Half-Life vibe, then, the new Bionic Legs are effectively a lower-body exosuit that will both allow you to run faster and help you land safely from a fall – although Deep Field warns that “Gravity is still a fickle mistress, so don’t expect to survive every time you fall for her.”

Abiotic Factor - A scientist wearing the new Bionic Legs equipment.

Deep Field also takes a moment to talk about guns, noting that it is keeping the restriction on not repairing the found ‘overworld firearms’ – “First and foremost, Abiotic Factor is a game about ingenuity and crafting scientific gadgets to prosper,” it explains. There are, however, some tweaks in this patch: lower end weapons are being reduced in power slightly, while high-end military weapons are getting a bit stronger to reward your time investment to use them.

Elsewhere, a ‘cart recovery’ button will allow you to recover any platform carts that go missing, while a new save backup system will now keep up to five world backup saves, made in 30-minute intervals, to ensure that you can restore a world should any sort of corruption happen. This also works for dedicated servers, and the saves are kept locally to avoid any potential issues with Steam Cloud.

Deep Field does note, meanwhile, that some players have accidentally overwritten progress when syncing with the Steam Cloud, and notes that you should not overwrite a newer local save with an older cloud save if prompted. “This is simply how Steam Cloud works, so please be careful, as we cannot fix this if you do it. Make sure you read the popup in detail and always choose your latest version.”

Abiotic Factor painted walls - Stacks of cement bags painted in numerous bright colors.

Abiotic Factor update 0.8.1 is out now on Steam. If you’re curious to see every little tweak in detail, you can read the full patch notes courtesy of Deep Field. The developer thanks players for all their support so far, and asks for continued bug submissions through the in-game report links. A new (redacted) update is set to arrive “sooner than later,” with Major Update 1: Crush Depth set to launch “this summer.”

Looking for more of the best co-op games to play with your pals? We’ve got you covered. If you’re more in the mood to build, here are the best crafting games on PC right now.

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