MMOGames sat down with Daedalic Entertainment for a closer look at The Long Journey Home, a single-player space exploration RPG inspired by beloved modern science-fiction shows like Farscape and Firefly. The game is scheduled for release Q4 of this year. In this game you will guide your crew through complex quests, moral dilemmas, and uncover ancient secrets in the ruins of distant worlds. Fight for survival in a dangerous, endless surprising universe. Let’s take a look at The Long Journey Home Gamescom showcase we got.
“From the bridge of your ship, you see a million points of light. Only one of them matters. Home.”
For your journey home, you enter a procedurally generated, living galaxy by entering a name or a word. This will be the “name” of your Galaxy, and it will become a story unique to this name. If another person uses the same “name” they will enter the same generated Galaxy and they can in effect encounter the same issues on their path. It’s a neat way of ensuring that no two games need to play out in the same way, but can be shared with others, by suggesting the name chosen for that galaxy. For the playthough at Gamescom, we chose my personal name to generate the Galaxy, and charted our course for home.
“It was only supposed to be a short trip.”
When your jump drive malfunctions, you and a mismatched crew of specialists along for the ride find yourselves trapped and alone on the wrong side of the galaxy. Your first steps are to choose one of the space ships available, as well as what landing gear you want to use. Each has different stats and you can choose which style suits you most. Next, assemble your crew by choosing four members out of ten available options. Each crew member has their own abilities as well as flaws. The crew members you choose will determine what you will be able to perform, investigate and communicate during your trip, so pick and match carefully according to their abilities.
Along the journey, you will encounter various alien races and this can create options such as trading but also misunderstandings as problems. It will be of absolute importance to forge alliances with the aliens in order to trade and have permission to use the wormholes and other resources they guard. However, the clinch is that some of the alien races really don’t like each other. This means that if you improve your relationship with one of the races by completing quests for them, other races will stop talking to you or give you problems. If you need something they have, you will need to prove yourself and risk upsetting your earlier friends.
Along the journey, your fuel will run out and your ship will gradually fall apart. So, in order to keep traveling, you will need to gather resources. Planets are the best way to start, and you can explore their surfaces – beware to take care to land gently and not ruin your ship! – to see if anything can be harvested, extracted, or scavenged. You might find additional secrets and technologies hidden on these planets as well. During our playthrough, our chosen crew all expressed interest in the objects we found and we chose the technological enhancement, which turned an unknown device into some kind of receiver. We didn’t have all the answers yet, but we were a step further in making new discoveries!
Take care to note that the planet size might affect the gravitational force, which means that more fuel is needed to lift off from large planets. You can later save energy by using the orbit-loop around the planet in order to propel you along in the direction of your next destination without using additional fuel to speed up your ship.
Anything you gather can be used directly, or can be sold for cash at Service Stations. These choices create additional strategic depth. Sometimes it’s better to pay an expert to resolve something, rather than to try it yourself. Selling your resources in order to have enough money to pay that expert will be key in making that choice.
A lot of time will also be spent at the Science Lab. Out of all the items you obtain from the planets and through your quests, many will need to be investigated. You can use science skills, technical skills, archaeology and diplomacy, for example, on these items to either pull the object apart, try to enhance it, investigate its meaning or make deals with aliens who might have use for it. Sometimes your choices will result in moral decisions that change the universe, so act with care!
While playing we ran into one of the Wolphax ships, owned by an alien race who are like grasshoppers. They are very sensitive about their size, so they pretend that they are big in everything that they do. If you want or need their alliance, be sure not to offend them. But be wary, not every alien ship you encounter will be piloted by pleasant folk. There are pirates, psychopaths and other cosmic horrors lying in wait.
Once we helped the Wolphax, we ran into another alien race, the Meorcl, which gave us an excellent opportunity to use the game’s extensive communication system that the development team is quite proud of. The Meorcl race is quite interesting. They have psychic powers that overrule thoughts of the people they encounter, which means their orders will essentially always be obeyed. But the funny thing is, they don’t actually know that they possess these powers.
As a result, they believe that they are gods because everyone obeys all their orders. Naturally, the Meorcl don’t respond well to insults. We attempted this just for fun and were nearly ‘ordered into the nearest sun.’ Naturally, we would have obeyed. Instead, we were offered a chance for forgiveness. Where the normal ‘Yes/No’ boxes were, it now said ‘Yes/Yes.’ While this race is very influential, it’s important to try and keep a healthy distance from them, before you end up performing quests at their merest request (not really a request at all, of course).
All in all, this game offers a really wide variety of options and no playthroughs will end up the same. This will result in endless exploration, complex choices and crazy adventures. You only have one destination, but you have no idea yet where your journey will take you.
The Long Journey Home is expected to be released in Q4 of this year for PC, Mac, Linux and consoles.Related: daedalic entertainment, Gamescom, RPG, Showcase, the long journey home