Having bought this in early access a while back, I saw a great potential in Kinetic Void that I hoped would someday be realised. Sadly, with it reaching its milestone v1.0 just a few days ago, I cannot in good faith recommend this game, for reasons I'll outline below.
First and foremost, this game still feels very, very unfinished. Going purely on the surface aesthetics, the visuals (which I remain a fan of) may be reasonable, but the interface remains a chore to interact with and there's something distinctly offputting about the cumbersome text windows used to introduce you to the game's mechanics. Overall, it's adequate. But that's all.
In terms of gameplay, Kinetic Void has changed in a few subtle but relatively significant steps since the early access builds of a month or two ago. The economy system seems to be in full drive, and the updates you receive regarding loss of cargo et cetera definitely maintain the connection between you and the big wide galaxy. In terms of the ship-to-ship combat, however, I find that even in its supposedly finished state the controls are unintuitive, with a host of keyboard bindings to memorise which, while I could get to grips with, might not be everyone's cup of tea. There's also nothing particularly inspiring about the combat- you lock on to a ship, then let your guns auto-fire on them until either you or they explode. You can try and manually fire your guns with the handy target-leading reticule now implemented, but it's still painfully monotonous and generally a wasted effort. That, and with the drastic reduction in flight speed that was implemented a while back, the game still plays very slowly and dogfights, which used to be relatively intense, are now relatively lacklustre.
Regarding other aspects of the game: the music remains the same as it's been since I first bought it, and is for the most part adequate. It's occasionally repetetive, and the game possesses no facility for contextual change, so combat will sound basically identical to drifting aimlessly through space. Of storyline there is essentially no sign, but then this was never supposed to be a story-driven game, so there's no discredit meant by that. What could have been a well thought out and richly populated universe, however, has been sacrificed for the sake of customisation.
This is indeed my problem with this game. Yes, you read that right. My main problem with Kinetic Void is the degree of customisation. Normally, I love games that include vast and excessively complex levels of customisation. What Kinetic Void offers, however, is a deceptively shallow amount of purely aesthetic customisation. Sure, you can build whatever shape ship you want and put whatever guns you want on it. But essentially, what do all those guns do? They're essentially reskins of the same gun, with different 'on-paper' stats. There's no distinct feel to it. As a game intended to be played more than once, Kinetic Void has little to involve the player and prompt different playthroughs. That lack of distinction is where I feel the game really falls down, and it's a problem I've seen with several games offering the same degree of customisation as Kinetic Void. The developers have clearly made a conscious effort to give the player a unique experience with plenty of options, and I respect that. But that breadth comes at the expense of depth. The universe of Kinetic Void is as harsh and barren as space itself, populated with empty, identical ships that maintain a visual pretense of being different. It's a very specific issue I have with the game, and I realise that many people might not feel the same way about it, but as someone whose expectations were built up significantly by the early-access hype, I cannot help but feel disappointed with how Kinetic Void has progressed.
On a positive note, the developers intend to continue adding features, meaning that there may be a little light at the end of the tunnel for us early-access buyers. For the most part, however, I feel that with significant overhaul now a recently dead prospect, Kinetic Void is and will always be simply an 'adequate' iteration of a dream that could have been great.