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Factorio review | PC Gamer


Need to know

What is it? Complex and absorbing factory management game.
Expect to pay $30/£21
Developer Wube Software
Publisher Wube Software
Reviewed on Nvidia GeForce 2080 Super, AMD Ryzen 5 3600, 32 GB Ram
Multiplayer? Competitive and cooperative modes.
Link Official site

Let’s skip the preamble, shall we? Factorio is brilliant. If you’re remotely interested in games about management, construction, and above all production chains, then hop aboard the nearest conveyor belt and grab yourself a copy of Factorio this instant. Then pick up another copy for the most important person in your life, because they won’t be seeing you for a while, and at least this way they’ll understand why.

Factorio starts out as all great works of fiction do, with a huge explosion. That would be your spaceship crashing onto a remote alien planet, and the only way off that far-flung rock is to build yourself a whole new rocket. Oops. Luckily, you happen to be the handiest person in the entire universe, able to fashion almost anything with little more than spit and elbow grease. Whether it’s a stone furnace, a steam engine, or an oil refinery, give your little protagonist the ingredients, and they’ll slap it together like a two-piece jigsaw.

Yet while your character can craft most in-game objects themselves, the quantities they require makes this approach prohibitive. It’s not just the rocket you need to build. Everything you need to design, manufacture, calibrate and fuel the rocket needs constructing as well. As a simple example (by Factorio’s standards) you’re going to need to produce electronics. This means you need the capability to mine and smelt metals, specifically iron and copper. In turn, this requires equipment for mining and smelting metals. You need to smelt copper ore into copper plate, turn copper plate into copper wire, and combine copper wire with iron plates to create basic electronic circuits.

(Image credit: Wube Software LTD.)

Every object in Factorio’s world needs similar treatment, each more complex and involved than the last. The solution to this gargantuan problem is automation, and that is the crux of Factorio’s play. Rather than building tools and structures yourself, you instead build processes, establishing production chains and assembly lines so all the hard work is done for you.

Rather than building tools and structures yourself, you instead build processes.

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