Quite a while back I had my eye on this game, I thought it would be interesting, a more action oriented Space MMO ! Then I sort of forgot about it, until I saw a good looking ad on YouTube. Yes I know about ad blocker, but I keep the ads on on some channels to support those who provide great free content. I tried it out over the past few days and will share my first impressions here. I am not going to call this a review as I think you need a lot more game time than the first few levels.
You get a fairly lengthy intro into the lore behind the game, including you taking a seat in a gun turret. This felt a bit Star Warsy for some reason. Also it took a little too long or I didn’t understand the objectives correctly. Whatever the case, eventually you get to fly an escape pod of sorts and that is your first ship. In this game as opposed to Eve you always have only one ship. As you level up and gain experience and skill levels you can pimp out your ship with various weapons, shields and wings. The cockpit determines your speed, mass etc.. You can change your look a little by using paint. One of the first missions shows you how to create paint, you can then apply it to your wings.
To get a general impression of the gameplay I put up a video on youtube.
The missions consists of ones you can pick up at a docking station at a terminal (these are repeatable) and there are ‘story line missions’ that you get from characters in the game (an Admiral and your Commander for example). They have fairly long intros that are actually voice acted. How long this will last I don’t know though, but I thought that was impressive for a Free To Play game. The missions are usually a go here and check this out and / or meetup with this person. Then suddenly enemies appear etc. It reminded me a bit of Star Trek online.
Your spaceship handles pretty well. It uses the wasd keys for thrust and turning left and right, Q and E are for rolling left or right. Left mouse for shooting. In combat there are some abilities that come into play. There is adrenaline which comes into play when doing special maneuvers. Also there is concentration, you can read up on the website what it does, at the lower levels it doesn’t seem to play a big role.
The graphics are very nice. Even in crowded areas my machine help up pretty well. The space areas do look nice. The interface is at times a bit cumbersome. For example I had to switch to mouse mode (by pressing space) to identify some items in space in order to grab them for a mission. This stopped my thrust and other movement. Maybe I am doing it wrong, but in that case it should be more obvious what you’re supposed to do. The docking interface is a standard affair. There is a dealer where you can buy guns and cockpits and the like, a hangar where you can change your ship layout, and a crafting window where you can for example modify your weapons or craft the before mentioned paint.
All in all the game made quite a good impression on me and I will definitely keep playing it every now and then. The difficulty level is also pretty good, it’s not a straight walker even at the lower levels. I haven’t tried the pvp yet, as I felt I was a bit low level for that. There are pvp missions as well, so it’s not just for shits and giggles. You can also choose sides at level 5 or 6 I think, but it wasn’t quite clear to me at the moment what the point was of either side (I even forgot their names as I write this).
Since it’s free to play, I hear you thinking ‘Can I buy my way to victory ?’. From what I have seen so far, I don’t think so. What is in the store at the moment is mainly stuff that makes you level faster, xp boosts and stuff like that. Also some vanity items, like various paint colors etc..
So besides the somewhat lengthy download (5 Gb for the initial client) there is nothing holding you back trying out the game. It’s not the sandbox game as Eve is (or at least it didn’t look like it from the little I have seen so far), but the space combat is very entertaining and getting better skills and gear is always nice.
You can read the future plans for the game in ‘a letter to the comminuty’ including Walking In Stations !
Brighthub.com Beginners Guide.