A cold open greeted me for my preview, starting in a landing pod with a contextual note about why you have returned to Earth. Leaving the pod, you step out into the ruins of a skyscraper that feels tall as it sticks out of the ‘Dust’, the barrier between the changing world below and the dilapidated skyscrapers that mark the sky as far as you can see. The mood of Forever Skies is set immediately, with a sense of scale and isolation that instantly drew me into the demo.
Moving through the skyscraper, you uncover the hints of story in the logs among the wreckage of people that had clearly tried to survive in the post-apocalypse before you had. Their decomposing bodies are still there to further set the mood. Their notes indicate that one of their numbers went mad and was imprisoned but evidently escaped and stole the virus sample they were studying. Moving about this space was interesting and introduced you to some of the survival systems. There is dirty water sitting in satellite dishes, as well as, thankfully, some surviving fruit and first aids kits to begin your journey. And, of course, the classic: materials to be turned into something else down the line.
As I continue to move through the skyscraper, there’s some light puzzling: locating a battery to power up a computer and the door to the next level; along the way, picking up a scanner that lets you scan much of the environment for some more lore details as well as what to do with some of these items that you cannot yet affect.
About now was when the survival mechanics came more into play — finding an airship that sticks out from the rest of the decaying building as a shiny opportunity and finding a Fabricator nearby to be the first pieces added to your airship. This is where those materials come in handy as I turn them into more useful items and then use them to craft an Extractor – an item that my scanner has been teasing me about as a way to collect materials from walls and other bigger items. The Extractor is placed on the side of my ship and is essentially a beam cannon. Point it at an object and watch it disintegrate as the materials are beamed to your backpack. This was a ton of fun to use, and I spent a good few minutes just beaming up as much as possible — including the supporting beam of a nearby skyscraper, which resulted in the building collapsing more into itself.