IN a gift that keeps on giving (for myself at least), the latest expansion for sci-fi colony builder game Rimworld has just released.
RimWorld: Biotech adds an entire slew of new features such as the ability to raise children, play with different character races and build and control entire armies of mechanoids.
For full disclosure, RimWorld is one of my absolute favourite games I’ve ever had the chance to play, so I’ve been far too excited to get my hands on the latest addition to the game and do a deep-dive on it.
For those unaware of the base-game, RimWorld is a sci-fi themed colony & city building game set on a distant planet at the edge of the galaxy.
The goal is to build a colony and survive by any means necessary (and then ideally build a ship and escape). There’s an endless amount of ways to approach playing and managing your colony (which is exemplified even more by the huge modding community), which for me is where I find a lot of the joy behind my countless playthroughs.
Want a colony built around being a nudist colony who mass-distribute harvested organs? Sure thing. Would you prefer a cult-based ideology that also simultaneously are the biggest liquor distributors in the area? Done and done.
I’ve been frowned out far too many times when talking about my RimWorld colony’s exploits in public spaces (because nothing that happens in-game should ever be spoken about on a crowded train), but I truly cannot rave home about RimWorld enough – but let’s get back on what’s new in Biotech.
One of the biggest additions in Biotech is the inclusion of children and a real ‘aging’ process into the game. You can build schools, provide them an education and allow them to flourish in your perfectly under-control colony, or in my case – you can militarise them because the flu wiped almost the entire adult population, and you’ve enraged all of your nearest neighbours to the point of no return.
As children age as well, you get the option to shape their skills and passions based on the environment you’ve allowed them to grow-up in, which lead me to having far too many adolescent cannibals than I’d care to admit – but hey; that’s RimWorld baby!
RimWorld is infamously known for throwing random, and at times completely chaotic scenarios at its players (I’ve lost far too many colonies to hordes of stray cats than I’d care to admit).
From raider attacks, to mechanoid cluster strikes and at times the occasional call for assistance, you really never know what kind of situation you’ll encounter on any given playthrough, but with the addition of kids – it makes the entire randomness even more grim.
Getting raided from a group of mercenaries who have equipped 10-year old kids with maces should make me feel worse, especially as I watch them walk through my intricate bear trap maze, but this is an everyday occurrence in space colonization. If there’s one thing I can always count on: RimWorld always manages to remind me that I’m absolutely awful person.
As mentioned earlier, additionally in Biotech players are introduced to a new array of xenohuman factions you can play as, all with unique requirements, bonuses and visual aesthetics. Instead of humanoid colonists, why not spice it up a bit and play as hardy pig-people, or poison-drinking waster pirates, or better yet – blood-thirsty Sanguophages who require continuous blood in-take before spiraling into a fit of uncontrollable rage.
It’s amazing how entirely new the game feels with these additions additions alone, and I’ve already built a list of colony types I want to try out and inevitability fail with.
My newest colony is very ‘Children of the vault’-esc (for any Fallout: New Vegas fans out there), in which I’ve got two adults overseeing an army of working children who manage a brewery. That of course raises the question as to what happens when a child matures into adulthood – and I’m glad you asked: my colony is also coincidentally built on the back of a rather grim ideology in which they need ritual sacrifices to remain happy, so the problem really solves itself. It’s the circle of life – no further questions.
I’ve barely even scratched the surface on everything else that Biotech has introduced, like genetic modification, the introduction of pollution, building mechanoids and all the new forms of items you can build and bosses you can encounter across the world, but this is definitely one of those games you need to experience to fully appreciate. RimWorld Biotecech is currently available on P.C only, but will be coming to consoles in the not-too-distant future.