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Jcb: Pioneer Mars - Early Access Review

I came to gasping for air. In a daze, I looked around. My vision was still blurry, but it was still plain to see that my landing pod did not make...
By NeroTheHero, Sep 22, 2017 | |
  1. NeroTheHero

    I came to gasping for air. In a daze, I looked around. My vision was still blurry, but it was still plain to see that my landing pod did not make it to it’s intended target. A quick scan revealed a potential life support system near by in the form of a vehicle… despite the rough landing it was quite the stroke of luck.


    My luck quickly took yet another turn, as I was notified of impending meteor impact between me and the vehicle. With no time to waste I headed for the vehicle. Explosions erupted from all angles, as I finally approached the vehicle, life support systems were fully functional and operating… yes…

    Another area scan showed that the habitat was not too far off, however… it was located on the other side of a fierce electrical storm. Time to do some driving.

    JCB: Pioneer Mars is an open world survival game which pits you, the pioneer against the unforgiving hostile environment that is Mars. The mission objective is simple enough, prepare an area of the red planet for colonization without dying in the process.


    JCB: Pioneer Mars is a player vs environment game in every sense of the word. Unlike survival games like The Forest or Subnautica, the local wildlife isn’t going to be your biggest adversary (mostly because there is none). Electric storms, corrosive gasses, radiation, and molten rock are just a few of the hazards you’ll face while exploring Mars. At times I often found myself maneuvering my vehicle along a thin invisible path between corrosive gases and radiation, all the while weaving in between impact zones from an incoming meteor shower.


    As the name may suggest JCB: Pioneer Mars is largely centered around vehicles, for both traversing the environment as well as excavation of precious materials in order to attain your overall goal.Not to mention providing precious life support. Vehicles are able to be upgraded to do different tasks over time as research points.

    The beginning objectives have you explore nearby rock formations and cave systems for equipment in order to repair and expand your habitat. I found the caves most interesting because they were such a stark contrast to the familiar rust colored atmosphere as the above ground. I’m looking forward to seeing more locations, and unlocking further vehicle upgrades.


    From a technical standpoint JCB: Pioneer Mars ran very well for me. My gaming rig includes 2 GTX 960 GPUs in SLI so I usually test compatibility with it as well. I found that while both GPUs weren’t always equally utilized it didn’t drastically affect performance one way or another. I did notice a distinct “shaking” while playing the game that persisted with both SLI as well as single card. I tried various setting combinations but it never went away.

    I give JCB: Pioneer Mars a 7/10. It’s a good survival game with a solid foundation, but it also had only a few technical challenges from what I encountered. From a design aspect, the game takes place on a barren planet so eye candy isn’t exactly in abundance. While the game doesn’t look bad by any stretch of the imagination, it has a look and feel that not all players may gravitate towards.

    Because this is an open world survival game, it will be fairly repetitive, in addition to that I can see the environments (or at least above ground) can possibly get repetitive, and also make it difficult to get your bearings at times.

    If you like open world survival games, that are heavily based on exploration, excavating, and would rather take on a hostile environment than dangerous creatures, then you’ll definitely like JCB Pioneer Mars.

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