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Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Super Motherload PS4: Beneath The Red Planet Review

Super Motherload Playstation 4:  Beneath The Red Planet Review

December 10, 2013 By Maya Mayfield



Super-Motherload-Playstation-4-Beneath-The-Red-Planet-Review


Super Motherload is the newest offer from independent developer XGen Studios and is the sequel to Motherload a popular free to play title on PC. Super Motherload was launched alongside PS4 in the U.S. on November 15th, 2013 and is based on the discovery of vast reserves of ore and gems beneath the surface of mars by the Solarus Corporation. Having some experience on excavation, Solarus Corp intends to reap huge financial benefits from their underground discovery, but then something very weird happens and Solarus loses all communication with the excavation team on Planet Mars.


This is where you come in. You are giving charge of a mining machine and sent to the surface of the red planet to gather as much ore and gems as you possibly can while trying to discover why there was communication failure and how you can get the mining operation back up and running for Solarus Corp.

Mining can be very profitable but extremely dangerous and Super Motherload follows in that same premise as gathering the natural minerals underground will gain you huge rewards, but any damage you take to your mining machine will also be very costly. You have to be very careful as you excavate downwards watching out for walls and making sure you don't run out of fuel the further down you travel.

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The games mission is to try and collect as much wealth as you uncover new paths to explore deeper beneath the surface of mars.  The  Resources you discover can be used once you make your way back to the surface, this process of refuelling and depositing gems and ore at the surface may feel rather monotonous for some gamers, but we were able to overlook this by the amount of survival challenges and various puzzles that kept us entertained throughout our downward excursions.

You must watch out for different metal and rock formations while you navigate. These rocks and metal will usually have some natural elements buried inside and you must find a way to navigate through the course in order to uncover it. This is were things can get tricky as you can only dig sideways and downwards when your mining machine treads are on solid ground. This is where your selection of explosives come in handy. You must be very careful which bomb you pick and where you place it as reckless mishaps could destroy the precious gems or ore buried inside a puzzle. To add to the already complicated task at hand, you can also gain some pretty cool upgrades adding various ores together, but these ores must be gathered in a specific way.

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We knew SuperMotherload wasn't going to be anything earth shattering from a visual perspective, neither did we expect any blockbuster cut scenes as we progressed further through the game. The story plot is moved along nicely using pictures and dialogue boxes, although it's nothing spectacular, we thought the story plot had enough mystery to keep us engaged.

Getting to grips with Super Motherload was very easy and the gameplay was smooth and uncomplicated. You can navigate your mining machine using the d-pad, while selecting explosions can be controlled via the touch pad and trigger buttons. The game automatically saves when you refuel, which is a good thing as you will have to do that very often.
The game can at times feel repetitive as all you are really doing is mining dirt, but we did like that Xgen Studios did include multiple endings and hidden characters to unlock based entirely on how you played the game from a moral stand point, the choices you make as you mine the red planet for profit will have an adverse affect on the way the game ends. Plus you can carry all the upgrades from a completed game over to a brand new game, adding instant replay value to the title.

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Super Motherload has several difficult setting to select from. In normal mode you have less penalties for making mistakes. Getting killed will regenerate you back to the last auto-save station, while running out of fuel will only mean you can no longer dig, but you will be able to fly back to a refuelling station for more gas. The Hardcore difficulty setting is far more challenging and will test your multitasking  skills to the max. You will have no respawns if you die, forcing you to begin the mission as another character. Watch your fuel gauge carefully as running out of gas in this mode will result in your mining machine exploding resulting in instant death.  Overcoming Super Motherload in normal mode first is advisable as you will be able to carry all your upgrades into hardcore mode, giving you a much better chance at completing this difficult setting.

Super Motherload supports up to four players, with four initial characters to start with and much more to uncover along the way. We found the multiplayer mode to be quite fun as everyone is working of the same screen. Since you only have one fuel gauge between all four players, everyone must refuel at the same time.

Overall
Super Motherload had enough challenges and puzzles to keep us entertained. Collecting gems and ores, while paying attention to our fuel, making sure our machine avoided damage and making moral choices based on profit and gain is a nice twist to what would otherwise have just been a repetitive mining game. There is replay value in the game too as we discovered once we completed our first run through with all our upgrades still available to us the second time around.

Thumbs Up

  • Engaging storymode
  • Multiple endings and character unlock
  • Replay Value

Thumbs Down

  • Repetitive at times
  • Nothing Special Visually

8/10