A great top-down space game with good combat, OK story and a decent amount of replayability.
The ship customisation is key to the game, and while it isn't as free and expansive as some other space games, the amount of variety is significant and creating that ultimate ship (or fleet of ships) that mows down everything in its/their path is very satisfying.
Unlocking every blueprint and reaching the highest tech levels can take a long time, so focus is generally what will be needed.
The standard missions in the game, to earn reputation with the factions, currency and experience are fairly varied but eventually you'll have seen them all; however each time will have different ships which can alter the difficulty and reward you with new parts.
Sometimes the random generation of the map is extremely unfair - there was a point where I had access to systems up to level 50, and the connection to systems above that (including the story objective at the time) were linked by just one system, which was level 68. It took a awhile of grinding on the lower level systems before I managed to force my way through the gate. This is a game where going up against ships 5 levels higher can be brutal, but can also be fine, depending on what the ships are given in the area by the random generation.
The addition of bounty hunters gives another edge to the game, with their special challenges (which involve a specifically designed ship and not yours) based on skill, not your current progress.
The game mixes it up when you reach act 3 by introducing the zombie faction, which plays against the other two factions (Civs and UTA, or 'police'). While the first two can be befriended, the zombies are always aggressive. When a zombie ship is killed, it explodes into spores and zombies, which can corrupt your ships into zombie ships. This can be devastating if they get your best ship.
In the final act, act 4, the game again changes it up my adding a system control element because (story spoilers:) the zombies are now a much larger threat so the UTA and Civs now work together with you as allies
. This bit feels a bit weird, but these systems now gather resources for you (rez (main currency), goons (crewmen, secondary currency) and data (experience)), which can help in the endgame area, where your ships cost significantly more, your levels take a lot of data, and you chew through goons and rez upgrading systems.
In summary, good fun game, great combat, eh story, can get grindy at times and the ship customisation is great.
Posted: February 24th, 2014