Now that space is well colonised by PC simulations, those same games have turned their attention to the surface. Much of the chatter around Elite: Dangerous, Star Citizen and Space Engineers at the moment concerns planetary landings - and they’re already implemented in the latter.
Think you'd rather whizz around the vacuum? Play one of the best space games on PC.
After two years of development, Keen Software are ready to roll out their biggest update yet, which will “reinvent the way you experience Space Engineers”.
Space Engineers’ worlds aren’t assembled from regular quadrilaterals, as you might have extrapolated from its Minecrafty, modular ships. They’re lush, green landscapes - undulating natural plains pockmarked by shallow indents and isolated buttes reminiscent of Monument Valley (the Colorado Western setting, not Kevin Spacey’s favourite iOS game). The technology comes courtesy of Keen's other early access project, Medieval Engineers.
Here’s a clip of Keen Software mastermind and self-improving AI dreamer Marek Rosa messing about in a mothership just above the surface of a planet. He drops into the ship through a hole in the roof, drifts over the trees and crags, and eventually plunges his vessel into a rock face. As we all will.
There’s an odd juxtaposition between the Lego ships and the lavish surface - I'm remembering the visiting cartoons in Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Space Jam. But it looks wonderful, does it not?