Abiotic Factor's first major update adds alien cheese and corpse bags, as the Half-Life inspired survival sim sells 250,000 copies

abiotic factor
(Image credit: Deep Field Games)

Do you ever think about how a game smells? I'm not talking about, say, the smell of the manual (back in the days when games had manuals). I mean what the game world might smell like if you could inhale its atmosphere. A few of the more putrid areas of FromSoft games, like Dark Souls' Blighttown, have got me wondering about how badly it might whiff. But it isn't something I consider especially often.

After reading through the patch notes of Abiotic Factor's first update, however, I can think of little else other than how much the GATE Cascade Research Facility must reek like Beelzebub's socks. This is mainly thanks to two additions the update makes to Deep Field Games' Half-Life inspired survival sim, namely alien cheese and corpse bags.

Fittingly titled the 'First Week' update, the headline feature is actually rather scentless, craftable walkie-talkies. As detailed in the patch's announcement, Abiotic Factor has a realistic proximity chat system, but no global chat. The walkie talkie fills this role, letting any player who makes one chat with any other player who makes one, regardless of how far away they are.

"We kept the recipe pretty light so you can communicate early and often," Deep Field writes. "For now, Walkie-Talkies will allow players to hear you all over the Facility—and even beyond. The trade-off is of course, you have to be holding your Walkie to respond to others." Deep Field Games also mentions that it has "more plans" for its walkie talkies, and may add some "more sensible restrictions". But for now, feel free to chat with your fellow boffins unimpeded.

The next feature listed is a minor tweak that lets tamed pets follow you around, which is shown off in a GIF of a hedgehog-like alien snuffling at the player's feet. Those alien Sonics probably smell weird, but it wasn't them that got my olfactory orifices twitching.

(Image credit: Deep Field Games)

No, that would be the alien cheese Deep Field has added to Abiotic Factor. This lets you cook an array of freaky fromages for personal consumption, provided you can keep this queasy queso down. Indeed, the process of making Anteverse cheese sounds disgusting from the off. "Surely to no surprise to our scientific cheese-smiths out there, cheese is made initially as a soup," Deep Field says. The resulting curd then needs to be pulled from the pot and allowed to "ripen" before you can use it to make various other recipes. These include an "Antecheese Toastie", "Pekkie Brekkie Hash" and the delicious-sounding "Carbuncle Casserole." Yum.

As if the stench of alien cheese isn't enough to turn your stomach, the odour of corpses rotting inside satchels surely will. Yes, Deep Field has replaced Abiotic Factor's free range scientist corpses with what it dubs "corpse-bags". This, it turns out, is a temporary change made "in preparation for player ragdolls". Obviously, the intent is that the bag contains your former body's loot rather than its rotting flesh and bones. Nonetheless, there's something about the idea of a "corpse bag" that is so much more disgusting than a regular, unbagged corpse.

Other additions made by the update include the ability to plant potatoes, craftable item stands, and proper first-person visor representation for scientists wearing hazmat suits. All told, it's a fairly hefty update, and it looks like Abiotic Factor is guaranteed to receive a lot more. Since launch, the game has sold 250,000 copies, which, while not Manor Lords big, is still pretty darned impressive. "We are so excited to continue this journey with you", the Deep Field team wrote in a separate post. "And we can't wait to show you what we have in store this year alone."