EDIT; if you are curious about the comparisons between starbound and its predecessor, terraria, I've made a notepad document you can read comparing the two. Read this only after the review, and only if you are ok with spoilers for both games. I reccomend copy and pasting the text to notepad or word to read it more easily.https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/134599654/Starbounds%20problems%20-%20An%20explanation%20by%20Skyblade799%20in%20response%20to%20Jelly%20Slug.txt
I once had faith in this game, but that faith died, and it died hard.
A little history first;
This game's development started in about february of 2012, after Andrew Spinks temporarily left terraria to take care of his family. It had appeared referenced in his leaving post, which also seemed to indicate he was leaving terraria and that he may not comeback, but as we know now he came back about year and a half later, and came back better, with a team too. People jumped to starbound in hopes of finding a game to take the place of terraria at the time, knowing that the game may not return with updates. And so, the wait commenced...
One must for a moment note, that terraria's development started in January 2011, and 1.0 was released early due to a beta leak in june. And note that that initial 1.0 version, and even the beta, was more polished then starbound is now. One must also note that terraria only had a coder, artist (who now is starbounds director), and a composer (plus a fantastic community manager who is no longer around due to complications behind the scenes). Only in the last year does terraria now have a larger team.
Wait passed, and in december 2013, an entire two years later, starbound's beta came out....
The game had, and still has almost no content. Barely anything that the devs said they wanted to do with the game has been done. The game has been in development only one year less then terraria, yet it is lacking in every way in comparison. The community was confused. The tier system refered to was a mess, throwing around broken data values, and requiring a full fix to get it to even remote functionality. The combat is mainly click to kill, with almost no interesting or unique weapons. The enemies, weapons, worlds, and dungeons all scream of quanity over quality. There are many of each, but none of them have anything of real note, making each mostly a reskin of the other.
So of course, Tiy, the director, decides the best option is to.... stop development and move all of the developers over to europe, which took about 4 months, and was barely talked about. The move finished in may...
A few Months later, we are here. Nothing has changed.
The game has no content in comparison to terraria. It has no interesting/well made combat mechanics to speak of. The planets are reskins as well as the underground biomes, which only have slight differences (one is cold, one is not, one has brown mushrooms, etc). The cave generation is empty and disjointed, requiring minutes of digging only to find another empty cave... even if the cave is in sight. The villages in game are soulless, and purposeless, having no useful purposes, and thus become only another thing to click to kill. The random weapons aren't even remotely as interesting as the borderlands style weapons they are trying to build on. The unique items the game does have are too few, and aren't even that interesting. The tiers consist of; mine tier ore, fight simple boss, mine tier ore plus coal, fight simple boss; and repeat, exactly. Until about halfway through where they don't have anymore bosses at all.
An example of a design decision that makes this game worse then terraria. The dungeon system only allows the order of the dungeon rooms to change, and the chest contents, nothing else. That means, unlike in terraria, in starbound the dungeon will not have procedural/randoml; enemy placement, trap placement, chest placement, room layout, corridors between rooms, furniture placement, tileset placement, and so on. Thats right, the enemy placement is always the same as well. Not even the dungeon chest items are unique, with only some crappy dungeon enemy items being unique (and those enemies are mostly reskins, again).
Even the small underground building rooms are the same every time you find a type. One underground graveyard room look the same as every other. This is in stark contrast to terrarias underground wooden houses, which have bizzare procedural layouts, interesting randomly placed furniture (that is often unique to said area), useful and interesting items in a chest which is placed somewhere randomly in the room, and sometimes even traps.
There is only one single positive; building things is easier then in terraria..... but only slightly. Since the building has no purpose in starbound, even that is a moot point.
The game hasn't had a full update in months; the only updates are in a completely unplayable nightly build for dev use. Even then, not much has been done.
The game is bad..... but that isn't all. The developers and forums are also in bad shape.
A recent example involves adding a horse with boobs as a ship AI for a robot race. Over half the community was bothered by this. Many of the developers have gone out of their way to mock the playerbase for stating their displeasure with this choice, with troll posts saying they would replace all AI with animals with boobs, and even the dev characters wearing horse hats. They then made a poll for it.... and it turned out they were mocking the playerbase the entire time, and were never going to use that AI. Many people got banned for even stating their displeasure in a kind matter, and for months even. Anyone acting rudely/offensively in chucklefishes favor did not get banned, and was instead left perfectly fine. Shortly after, forum white knights started saying it was rediculous to think that it would be the AI.
The critics on the other hand, pointed out that the developers have done equally rediculous things in the past. They have added bouncing poop monsters, countless idiotic jokes and many a pop culture references. This all combined into a game where they have an avian race whom cuts eachothers limbs off eachother in the name of a broken religion, a human race lacking a homeworld, and a race of apes which have lore jacked from George Orwell's "1984". Thats right, they took a book about the horrors of a dystopian world crafted off the experiences Orwell had in spain during WWII, and slapped incomprehensibly stupid jokes, items, and enemies into the game. Awful.
Most of the admins on the forums do a questionable job, with specific mention to an Eonwe, who is particularly awful. I personally have not been banned, but I have seen many taken by the banhammer for almost no reason.
The community manager mollygos is also bad at her job. She barely does any sort of community management, mostly promoting games they are publishing, and when she does manage the forums, the same awful results can be found.
The developers have been blaming their community for problems caused, and won't treat their community with respect in most cases, not to mention the unprofessionalism on their twitter accounts.
I cannot say enough now; do not get this game. Get terraria. Heck, if you have that, there are other options. Want early access; you have edge of space and crea.
Want 3d? You have the highly moddable minecraft.
Still not content? If you look only for the procedural gameplay, look into roguelikes/roguish games, like spelunky, dungeons of dredmor, magicite, don't starve, tower of guns, diehard dungeon, sword of the stars the pit, the binding of isaac, full mojo rampage, AND SO ON. Don't have much money? Free roguelikes like doom the roguelike, ADOM (ancient domains of mystery), ELONA (eternal league of nefia), and dwarf fortress will make you far happier then starbound will.
DO NOT BUY NOW, NOT RECCOMENDED. AVOID.