Offworld Trading Company's new expansion tells "interactive stories" about life on Mars

The interplanetary economics simulator Offworld Trading Company got a big expansion today in the form of new DLC called The Patron and the Patriot. It adds two new CEOs to the game, each with their own bonuses and perks, as well as additional colony classes with individual needs, selectable campaign lengths, and new story-driven campaigns told through "six interactive short stories about life on Mars." 

"Offworld Trading Company puts the player in the position of a CEO of a company on Mars. Your opponents are other companies and your weapons are the resources and market forces," Soren Johnson, CEO of developer Mohawk Games, said. "With The Patron and the Patriot, we wanted to further develop the immersion of the game's setting on Mars." 

The six stories that make up the new campaigns are set during a time of "colonial expansion and economic diversification" on Mars, caused by the arrival of a fleet of colony ships sent from Earth during the optimum travel window. "The stories are driven in part by the player's choices. Interactivity is indirect: you will not face forks in the road where you choose the direct outcome of a story," publisher Stardock explained. "Instead, the subplots and details of each story will mold themselves around the games that you play: your level selections, opponents faced, staffing perks, and victory or defeat in your games. You will journey with your character through playing the games, immersing yourself in life on Mars as you apply your strategies and struggle to obtain victory." 

The DLC adds a total of 17 new colony classes, providing a "wide field of localized market conditions," while the new Wholesale Orders mode promises a "much more dynamic challenge" by forcing players to deal with the pressures of colony commodity orders. And yes, that sounds more like a lift from a sleep-inducing economics textbook than the basis for a game, but Offworld Trading Company is actually really good: "Ruthless, immediate, and thoroughly rewarding," as we said in our review.   

The Patron and the Patriot DLC is available now on Steam, and will set you back $5/£4.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.