Hardwar itself is an open ended game inheriting something from Elite (showing my age i know but i played that game when it was new), but bringing it kicking and screaming into this century like no other game I have found.
You fly a solar powered moth (earth bound "spacecraft"). Which
you can upgrade with various weapons, cargo pods, salvages drone &
engines, power cells & more.
Fit a cargo pod to trade goods throughout the moons craters. Adding a drone lets you scavenge for cargo dropped by other moths, normally when they have been killed by pirates (you can be that pirate, for a quick profit & a price on your head).
Carrying valuable cargo can draw hostile attention to yourself. You can choose to stay and fight or "try" to run and sell your cargo. That will depend on your skills, how fast & well equiped your moth is, how much damage you've taken, how much power you have left in your cells to fire your laser weapons or do you have a couple of missiles up your slieve to turn the tide of battle. Sometimes it's better to live to fight another day, than let the blood rush of battle rule your fate.
Unlike most of the space trade games I've played in the past "including elite" the trade action is fast. No more flying for 15 dull minutes before you get to somewhere to sell your cargo. There is a point to all this trading, money really does make the world go round. You can upgrade your moth to faster more robust moths and fit them out with high tech weapons & countermeasures. Also you can buy hangers which let you repair damage to you moth for free & offer that service to other pilots for a fee. If your a new pilot I recommend you get a hanger early in the game, even before you buy a better moth.
Quoting the Intro from Hardwar In-Flight Manual
"Titan, A freezing moon within our own solar system. A neglected mining outpost, established centuries ago within a series of craters. Once, it proved to be a profitable enterprise, but the corporations backed out, leaving the staff and colonists to fend for themselves. This is the bleak city of Misplaced Optimism.
Factions have formed in the intervening years. A political and military stalemate has evolved, where organisations hoard and grudgingly trade the scare resources in an attempt to survive. All the time, they watch for a break that may tilt the balance of power in their favour.
The factions themselves are not the wholesome corporations they once were. Their distrust has led to the use of some extremely unorthodox methods, always keeping the power and control among a select few. Centuries of interbreeding, mass cloning, genocidal class cleansing, sterilisation and other spiteful operations have all contributed to shape a race that can only tenuously be labelled "Human". After two hundred years of isolation, the inhabitants have become both morally and genetically corrupt. Little will motivate these souls, but there is one common desire: To leave this cold, harsh rock.
Those who earn their wings can make a good living, whether they work as traders, or become entwined in the ferocious power struggle that has emerged from the ever growing social tension. Information, thoughts, feelings and rumours are echoed around the city by the neutral, but informative Hardwarp FM. For many, it's a way of holding onto sanity, but for others? It's an opportunity..."
Above and beyond flying and trading and bounty hunting (killing a pirate for a police reward), there is an underlying plot to this game that adds atmosphere and a sense of being part of a bigger picture. Your ultimate aim if you chose to follow the plot is to escape the gravity of this world and leave for good. Thanks at times to the walkthrough at zedo's I managed that myself a few weeks ago. Despite having this game for years I was so caught up in the action flying and trading and killing I'd never explored that very far before... It's well worth doing so at least once as it explains a lot about the game and gives you a great insight into what all the families and gangs are fueding over.
Hardwar has a loyal following and a growing community of online
players despite the sometimes poor online performance.
Check out the forum & online game links on my nav bar to join us.
After a while you'll develop the skills to kill the computer AI pilots without giving them much chance to fight back, that's when online play really comes into it's own, there's nothing to beat flying against a skilled human pilot.
It's pretty much a matter of luck if you can find it for sale
at this time
-- I've seen it listed on ebay in the usa www.ebay.com as hardwar 3 -- there is one version
With the demise of the Hardwar development team at Software Refinery the chances of Hardwar being re-released for widespread sale have pretty much gone.
Recently a new influx of players have got their hands on the game by alternative means, the vast majority of these new players are crying out to be able to buy it officially but that's out of their hands.
In the mean time here are some options for those not able to find a copy on sale.
Download the Demo .........hardwar.info
I guarantee you once you get hooked on this game you'll stay hooked
I've recently added a downloads section, for the last patch
released by SR and other programs writen by others to enhance/edit/ or plain
Unfortunately Software Refinery have shut down (thanks & good luck to all the team). So the long awaited U3 patch was never completed but !! the incomplete beta version has been unofficially released by the few who where testing the beta's. You can download each of the 5 beta3 release's from my downloads section. After some extensive testing 3.4 & 3.5 are the most viable.. 3.4 being more stable without tweaks. But 3.5 has more features, further patches have been made for it to make it playable. All this and more can be found in the downloads section...
Wez logging out.