This game suffers of death by a thousand cuts
At first, i was very much taken in. There aren't many space games anymore so it was nice to have one. The presentation of the game was nice, with voice acting for important characters, and the combat was decent (even though the controls are extremely clunky).
However, after a few hours of fun, you start noticing the many problems this game has :
- Dogfighting is almost inexistant. It's so hard to aim, you're better off using homing missiles to blast small ships.
- Since small ships are not much more than flies, you keep encountering middle-sized or big ships to make it an actual game, but the number of different ships is very limited, so the game soon gets very repetitive, blasting one big ship after another one.
- Also, the arcade gameplay means you can crash into a space station of a big ship, and you will only your shield, which soon regenerates. I don't ask for a strict simulation, but this is too much on the arcade side. You have no fear of big ship or close fly by, because the worst that can happen to you is losing your shield temporarily
- The HUD is a complete mess. All enemies icons are the exact same red. A big ships can have 10 or even 20 icons on her, because there is one icon per gun. So unless you get way too close, you usually are never sure what the heck you're actually shooting at. You can't even make out the difference between a fighter and a gun of a capital ship.
- The sound effects are highly annoyings. Low health ? You get a constant beeping sound. Being targetted by missile ? another slightly different beeping sound. You locking-in on another target ? ANOTHER beeping. And you have to listen to theses constant beeps very closely because you have to notice the "being targetted by a missile" sound (you have to use your EMP at the right moment to avoid it). That constant beeping is driving me nuts.
- And finally, the checkpoints. Born Read Games said they wanted the game to be difficult. Well, spacing out checkpoints, while reloading all ammo (making it easy to choose the low ammo, high damage weapons), and refilling all health wasn't the way to go. Especially when all checkpoints are in the "dead" moments of the gameplay. Usually reloading a checkpoint means you have to suffer through 2-5 min of nothing much happening, before finally getting to the part that is actually giving you problem. More checkpoints, but no health/ammo reloads would have made the game much more enjoyable, and maybe even more difficult.
I will stop that list here. There are other smaller issues, but i don't want to flog the dead horse again and again. Especially since i wanted to like this game, and actually enjoyed the first few hours on it.
On the whole, Born Ready Games had good intentions, and i know they had a limited budget, so they probably couldn't do everything they wanted with the game. However, there are way too many small things that make the game annoying, repetitive, and just a chore to finish on any difficulty except easy (which is way too easy).