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Could you survive on Mars?

Prove it.

UPDATE 2.30PM GMT: Multiplayer was a possibility when I visited the studio - having multiple people trying to survive on Mars at the same time. But it sounds like it may not make it in. "We are experimenting with multiplayer at the moment, though at this point it is most likely that it will not feature in the game. I hope that with further experimentation this changes," wrote project lead Martin Melicharek on the Bohemia forum.

ORIGINAL STORY 2PM GMT: Early Access game Take on Mars was all about simulation, about exploring an as-accurate-as-humanly-possible recreation of the Red Planet using the various rovers that have landed there over the years.


Now Take on Mars is about to get a dash of sci-fi: a manned mission to Mars. Do you have what it takes to survive?

Due "second-quarter 2014", Expedition One, as it's known, lands you on the surface of Mars with resources and the eventual goal of colonising the planet. You'll have a 3D printer you can use to make objects from local resources.

You'll build a base by printing panels and manipulating them into shape, much in the same way as you move objects in a game like Half-Life 2. You'll pressurise that base and grow plants there, tending carefully to their needs, eventually plucking apples from their branches to eat.

You'll drill into the planet and extract water from the rock, and all the time you'll worry about air, about oxygen.

What's more, your space suit can be easily damaged, and if the sealed environment inside is breached, you'll have a whole Arnie-in-Total-Recall moment and die.

You can order supplies in from Earth such as Mars-suitable vehicles for crossing vast stretches of terrain, but, nontheless, surviving isn't going to be easy, as I witness first hand when the developers showed me the game at their office in Prague, Czech Republic.

There are no weapons or aliens in the game, but there's the tantalising promise of modding via Steam Workshop (which is available now). This supports add-ons, mods and total conversions.

Project lead Martin Melicharek demonstrated a total conversion that he had made, based around huge, elaborate airships that you'll create, fly and eventually fight other airships with. He'll release that as a personal project further down the line.

Take On Mars costs £11.99 on Steam. Bohemia expects the game to be finished, and released in full, towards the end of Q2. What happens next will depend on its popularity.

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