Space Punks First Impressions [Early Access]

What The STRUCK is Space Punks?

(if Borderlands & Alien Shooter had a threesome with Path of Exile, Space Punks will be the kid)

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Space Punks is an isometric shooter looter action RPG that takes inspiration from and adapts elements of various genres: shooter looter (i.e. Borderlands), twin stick-shooter (i.e. Alien Shooter) and even isometric hack and slash aRPGs (Path of Exile, Chaosbane, Last Epoch). I’ve mentioned those specific games as similar for a reason. The equipment is where i see similarities Borderlands especially the shield items. The passive skill tree reminds me of games like PoE, Chaosbane, Last Epoch, and Wolcen, while the aesthetics of the game give off Alien Shooter vibes. And for better or for worse the game is created by some of the minds behind the RuneScape games. This, unfortunately, is evident by the completely unnecessary and out-of-place MMO design that some of the game’s features such as the daily & weekly rewards (Contracts). The game is still in Early Access so it’s not too late to make a 180 and get rid of the FOMO login zombie DNA and replace it for something more suitable for a co-op looter instead of an MMORPG.

Video Version:

The Story:

Without spoiling or revealing too much, I’d say that we take on the role of pathfinders tasked with the missions to eradicate robots, and other enemies, escort payloads, defend repair vehicles, and a bunch more while traversing between various locations on multiple planets.


The game’s adapts the isometric camera angle that we’re so used from iconic hack and slash aRPGs like Diablo and PoE, but it is also a shooter-looter with a wide arsenal of plasma guns, miniguns, shotguns, electro-beams and other weapons that can be used alongside a variety of melee weaponry (katanas, hamemrs, etc.)

Each hero also has 4 class-specific abilities that get unlocked at lvls 1, 4, 7, and 13. Two of those abilities can also be upgraded at levels 20 & 35 for the first one and 27 & 43 for the second one. There may not be any mixing and matching as all heroes can use all of their abilities once everything’s unlocked but combining 4 abilities with the various ranged and melee weapons will provide interesting combos and playstyles. Considering the various types of shields, trinkets, and shells (health & heal boosting items) the ways one can play their hero grow some more.

Heroes (Classes):

Currently, (at the start of Early Access) the game offers 4 playable Heroes each offering a different set of abilities and playstyle:

  • Duke: Duke flunked his military training too, so he now hops from planet to planet in search of another way to address his daddy issues, helping himself to whatever he happens to find on the way. What he lacks in purpose he makes up for in optimism and his faith in other people – even those that want to kill him.
  • Eris: When Eris got bored – which is something that happens a lot because omg everyone is so dull jeez – she cyborgised herself completely on a whim while stranded on a planet infected by a robot-eating nanobot plague. As you do. Eris is a self-proclaimed cyborg hacker who keeps herself to herself and likes to act before she thinks.
  • B.O.B. (Bob): Believing that the galaxy is a bottomless pit of scum and villainy does not make Bob a pessimist, he would argue. It just makes him a realist. And you’d be pretty grumpy too if all your friends were morons and you’d been shot in the ass in every sector of Hoardspace. Bob likes money. Bob dislikes his job, his crew, his life, the universe and everything in it. Bob’s main talent is surviving sh*t – he’s just really bad at giving a sh*t
  • Finn: Finn was destined to be one thing and one thing only – a warrior. He was born one and he’ll almost certainly die one. There was a time when Finn was bullied for his height, but it’s a brave smuggler who’d poke fun at the boisterous boar now. Oddly, despite being a tough as nails, emotionally-charged ball of grrrrrrrrrr, Finn actually prefers to think his way out of situations.

Gear & Gear Store:

currently, there are 5 types of equippable gear with a 6th one to come (work in progress)

Players can equip a ranged weapon, a melee weapon, a trinket, an HP & heal boosting item (“shell” or “skin”), and a shield. There will eventually be an additional 6th item that is currently teased as WIP (Work in Progress).

Some of the items of higher rarities get special mods on them. It appears that trinket don’t get mods and anything else does but I might be wrong here (so far even green and blue trinkets for me were modless). Those mods can give all sorts of things like: damage, lifesteal, crit chance, medkit heal boost, etc.

While players can obtain gear as drops from enemies, from loot chests in maps/missions, or from the reward chests after completing a a task or another quest, gear can also be purchased. There is a Gear Store that sells randomly stocked items close to the players current average gear power/score. Make sure to check the store often while leveling up as it might offer something juicy that fits your build.

the Gear Store

Materials & Crafting:

Players also loot various materials that are separated as follows: blueprints, components, software, hardware, & talent items. Some of those will be used, as the names suggest, for crafting purposes, while Talent Items can be put into Talent Item Slots on the Talents Tree. It works similar to PoE’s jewels that can be slotted in passive jewel sockets.

The crafting system is pretty straightforward: you get a blueprint consumable which can be used to craft an item while consuming the blueprint in the process. You’ll require certain materials to be able to finish the craft as well.

Skills & Talents (Passives):

The game offers 4 active skills/abilities that are different for every hero/class. At lvls 1, 4, 7, and 13 players can unlock those 4 abilities. The first ability can be upgraded at levels 20 & 35 while the second one is upgraded at levels 27 & 43. As en example, Bob’s turret can be upgraded to shoot mortars & later to also move and follow the player.

here is what Bob’s skills menu looks like (the others have the same layout just different skills)

Each class also has access to the Talent Tree which is universal for all heroes but offers a GREAT amount of DEPTH considering how many nodes are planned. Currently, there are a LOT of Work in Progress nodes but the potential is there as long as they don’t mess it up with boring, underpowered or overpowered nodes. It’s very easy to ruin a game with a badly designed and balanced passive tree. This game’s talent tree really reminds me of Chaosbane’s God Skills, of Wolcen’s passive trees, and of PoE’s passives and It’s the thing that had me most impressed. Here’s to hoping they nail it when it’s ready.

here is the Talents Tree which is the same for every hero, note the “Talent Item Slot”

Maps & Mission Types:

The world of Space Punks is called “Hoardspace”. Players will be able to travel to various planets and complete all sorts of missions in each of them: payload missions, elimination missions, point control, etc. Currently, there are two planets with 2 more in the works. Additionally, there are two more side activities – Heist & Shooting Stars.

the Hoardspace currently offers access to two planets + 2 side activities (Shooting Stars & the Heist) with 2 more planets being worked on
the first Planet & an example Mission screen, note the Hardcore difficulty changes
Shooting Stars side activity
the Heist side activity


the Heist side activity

Tasks are additional & optional objectives that players can accept as side quests. They can reward various resources as well gear.

Fame Road:

the Fame Road

This system offers the players various rewards strafe reaching certain Fame thresholds (similar to Torchlight 3’s Contracts). Players earn fame/glory by completing missions, quests, and other activities.


the Trophies menu

This system allows the players to earn cosmic dust by completing certain achievements. The dust is used to unlock cosmetics (still work in progress).

Cosmetics System (Premium Store):

While it’s still work in progress, it’s nice to know they will have a transmog/cosmetics system. I wonder if this will be a way to further monetize the game or just a way to earn cosmetics with trophy points (Cosmic Dust).


the Contracts menu

This is where the game becomes utterly disgusting with this FOMO (fear of missing out) design that is straight out of a grinder mmorpg. Such systems shouldn’t even exist in mmos let alone in a co-op shooter-looter. It’s bad, it’s boring, it’s lazy game design and it’s a system that serves one purpose: to zombify the playerbase and make them “login zombies” that must log in every day and week to avoid missing out on potential rewards. There are better way to reward players for their time spent without involving a FOMO system. It’s not too late to change this before launch with something more fun and reasonable.

I’d say a system like the Torchlight 3 Contracts (for example) is a tad bit better and offers the potential to add new contracts every season with new bonuses and cosmetics to unlock while giving the players 2-3 months to grab the good stuff + an infinitely repeatable part after all one-shots have been unlocked. And the Fame Road in a way is already such a system.

Pros & Cons:


  • beautiful skill effects, animations, art, environment, etc.
  • nice sound effects & befitting music
  • attractive loot system (needs some QoL)
  • passive tree with a lot of potential (still WIP tho)
  • a crafting system (needs some QoL)
  • a decent amount of activities and mission type diversity
  • gear shop


  • ATROCIOUS FOMO daily/weekly Contracts system
  • lack of QoL for the gear & crafting systems
  • no option to pay to restock the Gear Store
  • so far very small enemy diversity
  • only 4 abilities per hero – would like to see more added with the option to decide which ones you take and which ones you don’t OR items that completely change the animation and behavior of a certain skill

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This concludes my First Impressions of Space Punks. If you’re interested in the game below are links to the Epic Games Store where one can buy it & the game’s website (you can just click the links to open a new tab):

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