Not without its faults, 3089 is still a very entertaining experience and I am interested in just where Phr00t's efforts will take this series moving forward
3089 is an interesting game. Built on the previous works by a one man development team that goes by the name of Phr00t, this is an obvious passion project for the developer and has been something he has been slowly building further and further over the years. The question is, just what is the game and is it worth playing? Well, my answers to those questions are "I am not yet entirely sure" and "I feel so".
To be entirely honest, I am not quite sure what to make of the game. It is obviously a game based more around its mechanics than it is around telling an engrossing story and driving the player forward through the game's narrative. That isn't to say there isn't a story to be found in this game, mind you. There certainly is one and though it is minimalist in nature and unravels ever so slowly over your hours of playtime, I consistently find myself becoming more and more interested with every tid-bit of narrative added, which is told via text after every boss battle completed. However, I am not going to touch on the story because, one, I find it to be an interesting aspect of the game itself and I think the player should delve in first-hand to make sense of it and, two, as I said before, this is a game largely based around its mechanics and I would more like to focus on that than anything. That is exactly what I will do.
To put it simply, 3089 is a first-person shooter. To be a bit more descriptive, 3089 is a survival-based first-person shooter with roleplaying elements. The survival aspects come in the way of how almost everything, from enemies to the planet itself, is attempting to murder you. Whereas the roleplaying elements come in the way of the game's character building and how everything the player interacts with is based on stats; dictating everything from the damage you can deliver, the damage you can take, the amount of weight you can carry and even the sort of ships you can fly. Yes, there are ships. There are also hoverboards, and I find that to be pretty badass.
Really though, there is a lot to this game and a lot of it is a blast. That said, and to give an answer as to why I am not entirely sure what the game is . . . I don't really believe there is an actual point to the effort you put in. If nothing else, there is a much lacking in the way of original content, requiring the player to, more or less, drive his own experience. Having put almost twenty hours into the game so far, I have done little more than participate in ever-so-similar randomized missions; amounting to little more than 'Kill X', 'Find X' or 'Give X to X', which would then award me points to put into my character's stats, which would then better prepare me to venture further out into the ever increasingly hostile environment to then fight the same boss character (if stronger with every occurrence) to then unlock another small piece of the story. Rinse, repeat. Mechanically, the game is a blast to play and building my character's stats and gaining access to better gear is very reminiscent of the sort of addictive experience you would have with, say, Borderlands. Addictive, but repetitious. Unlike Borderlands, however, we don't have a plethora of interesting characters and a well realized world to take away the bite of said repetition.
The game relies solely on its mechanics, and they serve the game rather well. However, sit back and reflect on the experience itself . . . it really feels rather shallow. The only thing driving me forward; the 'dangling carrot on a string', if you will, is the slowly unfolding story that, in all honesty, is more interesting to me because of its cryptic nature than anything. You have that, and then you have the mechanics. That's it. For a lot of people, a game based almost entirely around its mechanics is fine. Hell, for me, personally, it more or less is as well. I guess the whole point of this first impressions is to ask the reader if they are the type of person who can take solid mechanics, make their own experience with them and if that is an experience they can make last for the long haul. If you want to see everything the game has to offer, at least in terms of the story, the answer is going to need to be yes. If not, I am not entirely sure this is the sort of experience for you.
Above paragraph aside, I do very much enjoy this game. The aesthetics are rather neat and are dissimilar to those of pretty much any other game I've played thus far, the game plays well and, in my opinion, the game can be a blast at times. The story, as slow-burning and minimalist in nature as it is, slowly proves more and more interesting the further into it you get. As I said earlier, there is a lot going for this game. It is by no means a bad game, but it is a game that, more or less, is played for the sake of playing it. For as much as you put in, it doesn't give much back to the player in return.
Not without its faults, 3089 is still a very entertaining experience and I am more and more interested in just where Phr00ts efforts will take this series moving forward. At ten dollars, it is hard for me to deny this is a solid deal for those interested, caveat aside.
To check the game yourself, click here to get to 3089 Desura page!