The year is 2392, and Earth is in its final days. We have not colonized the galaxy, we have not discovered any alien species, and we have not found a cure for our own wastefulness. Thanks to massive energy consumption and overpopulation, the planet is now a toxic environment where simply going outdoors can kill a man within minutes. Most species are extinct, and extreme weather smashes the planet's cities, but a sliver of hope remains. You, a resnowned and reclusive scientist, have invented a mighty robot that can save humanity from its own recklessness. But time is running out.
This single-player and multi-player game consists of two phases. In the design phase, you play as the scientist. You spend money, buy durable materials, install new features, and program your robot to survive and complete its mission, whatever that may be. In the action phase, you play as the robot. Using the creation you worked on in the design phase, you leave the workshop to set out across the wasteland and try to prevent humanity's total extinction. Along the way, you will encounter natural disasters, rabid mutants, and other hostile robots, each of which will demand different attributes from your customized robot.
Customizing your android is an integral part of the gameplay. Each time you enter the design phase, you will have a set budget. The relatively high budget will allow for quite a lot of options, but you will have to spend carefully. First, you will have to purchase your basic construction materials. These include titanium plates, AI hubs, copper wiring, and fuel tanks. Each of these parts are essential, but this will create a weak and nearly useless robot. You can enhance your creation by adding legs, wheels, motion sensors, claws, heat sensors, Kevlar armor, nuclear reactors, and many more. AI hubs increase your robot's intelligence and adaptability. You only need one AI hub to survive, but the more you add, the more functions your robot can perform.
You can also purchase weapons for your robot, ranging anywhere from sonic grenades to long-distance lasers. These weapons are not attached to your robot, so you can sheath them at any time, or discard them and purchase new ones. When you discard an item during the design phase, you might receive a partial refund, but you are not getting all your money back, so you will not want to spend excessively. Also, during each design phase you will get a glimpse of the next mission, which might offer hints about what kind of robot to build. For example, a mission that requires you to descend into a volcano would require heat-resistant armor, while a mission that directs you to repair a space station would require advanced space flight.
Your robot can take on any shape or appearance. It can be an eight-legged tarantula with night vision, an armored tank with an anti-aircraft turret, or an amphibious machine that can shoot streams of sulfuric acid. Most robots will end up having two primary hand-like appendages, which can be used to pick up items and weapons, climb, throw, manipulate machinery, or just pack a punch. As you add features onto your robot, you can customize how your controller corresponds to each of its functions.
At first, your robot will run on petroleum, using a standard combustion engine that must be protected by armor so that it doesn't explode in combat. But once you buy advanced features, you can change your robot's mode of energy. Solar power requires you to sunbathe for long periods of time, but can last a good while. Nuclear power gives you an almost unlimited supply of energy, but your engine decomposes over time and can hurt your robot's health. Finally, you can use special batteries to power your robot for a short period of time, but these run out very quickly and should only be used in emergencies.
Before you finalize your design, you can pay extra money to paint your robot, adding your corporate logo or just some terrifying flaming skull. You can also stock up on fuel before leaving the workshop. Finally, you can repair any damage done to your robot during the previous mission. Although your robot is difficult to completely destroy, repairs can be extremely expensive and can restrict your ability to buy new gear. And now, duty calls. It's time to roll out.
During the action phase, the gameplay will divide into two modes: combat and infiltration. During combat, you can use as many as five weapons at a time, as long as your robot's design can accomodate it. But each weapon you use drains your energy slightly. You will face all sorts of enemies, including other robots, humans, and mutated animals. Most combat will occur outside, so you have the entire environment at your disposal. You can launch yourself into the air and swoop down on your opponent, or do a suspersonic charge and knock him backward. There will be boss fights, where you confront a single robot several times larger than yourself. There will also be hordes of giant insects and reptiles that you will have to take down.
After each fight, you will have a chance to salvage parts from your enemies. Salvaging sometimes requires hacking skills. If you find weapons, you can equip them immediately. If you find scrap metal or other useful parts, you can carry them arround, but you cannot install them until the next design phase. There will be an inventory with a maximum carrying capacity, but you can increase this capacity by adding features during the design phase. The more you carry, the faster you burn through fuel.
The other side of the action phase is infiltration. Almost every mission will require some kind of stealth mission, but you will often have the chance to avoid a fight by equipping your invisibility shield, noise cancellation, or gamma-ray vision. These skills will all require expensive equipment, but they can get you past the most formidable enemies. If you get detected, you may find yourself in a tight corner, surrounded by superior robots. Infiltration missions also involve frequent hacking, which is a skill as essential as weaponry. Not only will hacking unlock doors, but it can override entire AI systems, shutting off armies of robots without engaging in combat. The bigger the system, the more difficult the hack will be. Time does not pause while you hack a system, so you might get attacked from behind. Also, if a hack fails, it will make a loud noise, causing you to be detected. It may even give off a small explosion that will damage your health.