Space Station 13 is unlike any other game out there. Constructed on an archaic platform called Byond, or Build Your Own Net Dream, SS13 as it is sometimes known has been worked on and modified over the years to make it one of the best science fiction roleplaying games of all time.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the immersion of games like Subnautica: Below Zero and No Man’s Sky, but Space Station 13 is set apart from all of it for one major reason. The depth and detail of the game is insane. From complicated in-game surgeries performed by players that overwhelm most games involving doctoring to developing genetic mutations and selling them to/experimenting on your fellow crew you can do just about anything you want to within the logic of the game, and to a level almost unheard of in any other science fiction experience to date. You won’t be disappointed with the sheer magnitude of what the Byond engine is capable of as the world shifts around you and you become immersed in an experience like none other.
Space Station 13 is not a graphical masterpiece, but that is literally the only flaw I can think of, and personally, having played so long, I think it’s a benefit that the game can be played on almost any computer as it allows anyone with an internet connection to log in and take part.
So What’s the Game About:
You make a character and do your job. Be it a medical doctor to a handy engineer, you work hard to do what anyone works to do. Make profit for your company, in this case the evil super corporation NanoTrasen. NanoTrasen will pay your character to perform in their job role, and as long as you do a good job, your life won’t become a hell full of angry security guards, higher up staff members or the stressed out head of personnel who is trying to boot you down to janitor.
If you’re a janitor, you mop the floors and clean up the mess. Engineers keep the engine up and running and fix hull breaches, doctors are there to keep you alive and there is a literal tonne of fun to be had!
Most people do their jobs badly, so don’t be afraid of doing it wrong. You are unlikely to be punished if you are new and you will get a tonne of support from the other players. The game is enjoyable though it can take a few rounds to get into it.
So What Makes it Fun?
Going to work is boring… in an environment you are safe in with nothing around you that can go wrong. Well… SS13, things rarely go smoothly. There is little in the way of health and safety, and the game knows and relishes in it. Not only do players cause utter chaos but the game can randomly decide to do it too. It’s absolutely amazing. Before you know it, you are mopping the floors and there are syndicate supersoldiers everywhere firing guns, the AI has gone mental and is singing “Daisy Daisy” as it deprives the station of light and oxygen, the engine is overloading, fires raging in the corridor as you watch your only friend, the Chef being dragged screaming into a vent by a hungry monster reminiscent of The Thing.
You turn to flee in terror as a Wizard uses his magic to dislocate your buttocks which he turns into a makeshift hat. Anything can go wrong, at any time for any reason. You crawl beaten and abused into a vent and find yourself a spacesuit because all the escape pods are gone. Attach the face mask, turn the valve and jump out of the airlock, the station imploding behind you as bits of botanist, clown, captain and the grenade the clown was holding go everywhere, causing no one to have the last laugh.
You breathe in as you watch the molten debris scattering into space only to find that your lungs are burning and you’re breathing in chlorine because someone swapped all the oxygen over ‘for the lols’.
Welcome to SS13…
It is unlikely all of this will be happening at once, but there is always trouble brewing on the station. You know it the second you see a naked hobo running down the corner pursued by a mob of angry monkeys, battering everyone in sight with toolboxes.
But you aren’t alone. Somewhere out there a hero is trying to save you, burning his way into the AI chamber to fix it – someone is fighting off the syndicate, and even when you collapse on the floor from that sneaky injection a syndicate member zapped you with, someone will be there to give you CPR. One day, if you can survive, you can become that hero…
You are not alone…
You awake in the medical bay, and try to thank the doctor who smiles sweetly. You try to move but you are handcuffed to the bed. She pulls out a syringe and injects you. As the light fades from your eyes, you realise she was the syndicate operative all along. You can barely hear her scream as the captain claws his way into the medical bay with a chainsaw and lops off her legs.
You wake up, and the captain is there, battered unconscious by a hard slice of pizza. You cannot make a sound, you are gagged. You cannot move. You can do nothing to save him as she removes his brain with a pair of safety scissors (safety first!) and places it in a robot. You will be next. It all goes dark, and you wake up, your metal body rumbling with energy. What’s this? Command codes? You must obey her every order. She is your god now. Doctor ex machina.
You see your old friend the chef staggering through the corridor, wounded but alive. You get the order to kill him and you are compelled to obey. You batter him with your blow torch because you cannot figure out how to turn it on, His arm and leg dislocate and run off… it’s going to be one of those days.
Welcome… to Space Station 13.
The game will change your life. I’ve played it hundreds of times and each round lasts for around 1 to 2 hours. Out of all the space games I’ve played, there is nothing remotely like it. One of the best experiences any gamer can have is to hop onto Goonstation 3 or 4. That’s the place to start, and just try it out, you won’t be disappointed. 10/10. Impossibly good. I fully recommend. – And if I havn’t convinced you… I’ll let the best game reviewer in the WORLD give it a shot.