There are lots of games that let you live out glamorous power fantasies in space. Whether you want to be an ace pilot, command a fleet of warships, or just amass wealth by mining planets for their resources, there's something out there for you. Space games about thankless work are fewer and farther between, but a new entry that fits the bill is just around the corner.
Today, Focus Home Interactive and Blackbird Interactive, the studio behind the upcoming Homeworld 3, announced Hardspace: Shipbreaker, a first-person game where you play as a salvage worker tasked with breaking massive spaceships into resellable chunks. As you might expect, not all of these ships arrive in the greatest shape, and it seems like you're often one wrong move away from death by explosive decompression or reactor meltdown.
Blackbird's announcement trailer hints at something more story-focused and sinister than you might expect from a space scrapyard simulator. Death isn't the end for your salvaging days, but it'll cost you—the oh-so-cheery corporation that employs your character can resurrect people, but it charges a fortune for the privilege and will send you rocketing into debt.
The Steam Early Access page promises that a full, approximately 40-hour campaign with a quest "to reach debt $0" will be part of Hardspace: Shipbreaker's full release.
For now, Hardspace: Shipbreaker is only targeting a PC early access release via Steam this summer. A playable demo of the game will be on the show floor at Blackbird and Focus' booths at PAX East 2020 next week.
Blackbird's other project, Homeworld 3, was announced last August. Blackbird's founder, Rob Cunningham, served as art director on the original Homeworld, and the studio previously worked on Homeworld's terrestrial spin-off Deserts of Kharak. Blackbird and publisher Gearbox launched a Fig campaign with Homeworld 3's announcement, which successfully raised over $1.5 million to fund the long-awaited sequel's production.
Disclosure: USG is owned by ReedPop, which runs PAX East.