Mars colonization game Surviving Mars has started what it calls big plans for 2021 today with the release of the Below and Beyond DLC. This DLC brings us below the surface of Mars as well as up to nearby asteroids.
Underground you can build domes, mine, and just about anything else you can already do on the surface of Mars, just with the added danger of cave-ins and a lack of stars.
As asteroids fly past Mars you’ll be able to send missions up to mine them temporarily where you can get an all-new resource, Exotic Minerals.
At the same time, the game has received a free update that includes a new building for inside domes, Amphitheaters. These amphitheaters will bring your colonists comfort and increase tourist’s satisfaction.
The update has also brought with it some UI improvements and balance changes to help make the game even more fun to play.
Finally, you now have more control over colonies. You can prevent domes from allowing births if there is no housing space. You can also change the name of your colony, which is a first. And when selecting colonists for a trip to Mars you can filter them so that they must include a certain trait or specialization. But be warned, this will also pick those who have undesirable traits. So be sure to look at each colonist carefully before you pick them for this monumental mission.
There are unfortunately a few bugs popping up now that the game has launched that were unexpected. For instance, some people have found that if you’re playing on an old save you can’t bring any new passengers to Mars. But, your best chance of not encountering bugs is by starting a new game. I played for nearly an hour and a half earlier today and I never encountered a single bug.
If you’d like to see footage of my gameplay you can see the video below. I’ve got most of the video at x10 speed so you can see how much work it took me to get underground without actually having to sit through the whole and a bit. There is a chapter marker around the 7-minute mark that marks the beginning of the adventure underground. This part is in real-time as I look around the small section of underground Mars that is available where I set up my elevator. You can expect a full review of the DLC in the coming days as I get more time to play with it. I’ve not had the pleasure of mining an asteroid yet and I’ve not really done anything underground.
Surviving Mars has come a long way since its rough launch in 2018. Despite significant changes to the game though it seemed like development on it had come to an end. Thankfully, development has picked the game back up as Paradox has transitioned from working with Haemimont (the creators of Tropico) to Abstraction Games. Just a year after Surviving Mars launched Haemimont announced that they had signed on with Frontier Developments, which seemed like the last nail in Surviving Mars’ coffin. But, here we are with a brand new DLC to play!
Keep an eye out for deals on the base game on Steam if you don’t already have it. There have been some hints on the subreddit that there will be a little something. Though as of writing this what it is hasn’t been made clear yet. You can get Surviving Mars Below and Beyond in the Steam store as well as directly from Paradox on their website.