Planetary Annihilation is a giant, half baked, cluster♥♥♥♥ that fails to deliver on the promise of its predecessors and is a slap in the face to all the people who funded it through Kickstarter.
Uber entertainment seems to be run by the marketing department, asking itself the question, "How do I make a game go viral?" instead of asking, "How do I make a good game that will go viral?" There's livestreaming integration via Twitch along with ample controls to shoutcast and record matches, and the ability to add extensions and mods, but the core parts of game are severely under developed.
Planetary Annihilation has failed the basics. For instance, rebinding a key shows a developer error message. Commanders will spawn sometimes extremely close to each other. Pathfinding is poor. There's no option to save Multiplayer games, and practically speaking, there's no instructions. The only "tutorial" is an old YouTube video that's sounds like an advertisement and is so basic it won't be of use to anyone. It is so bad even the dwindling community has expressed creating an extension themselves to add tips into the game.
Speaking of the community, less than three weeks after its release there are only a handful of multiplayer matches and PA's price has dropped significantly on steam, both of which are indicators that this is a failure of a game. Outside of the game Uber hasn't even provided things like stats, or tech trees, and the poor suckers who bought the game for full price are expected to add that knowledge to the Internet themselves.
This ties into the biggest problem: usability. PA takes place in a solar system where you can hop planets, but the planets are tiny King Kai planets, so you can only see half of your planet at a time like a ♥♥♥♥ty fog of war. There is a picture-in-picture mode, but not dual monitor support. The lack of tips means that after several games, many of us people didn't even know what planet they were on, much less how to get off it and launch an invasion. When you run into an army, the name of the person to whom it belongs isn't even shown. I couldn't figure out how teleporters worked until someone told me several matches later, and figuring out how nukes works is an exercise in random clicking. I landed on a planet, I think it was a gas planet, which means I can mine it? I don't know.
This is coming from someone who has played both Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander/2 and was willing to buy Planetary Annihilation on pedigree alone.
Usability is super important when there is a lot going on and there is more going on in PA than ever. PA builds on its predecessors main tech trees of Vehicle, Naval, Bots, and Air with a third (fifth?) dimension of Orbital and the inclusion of different planets on which to wage war. A (real, not space) Navy seems kind of useless on tiny King Kai planets, and the purpose of bots still overlaps with vehicles. Not that I was expecting a TA/SupCom/2/PA game to get rid of bots, but that Kickstarter stretch goal to include Naval units? Bad idea and worse implementation.
Games are enormous and sprawling, with hundreds of units and structures. Zooming out reduces the units to icons, which are another failed attempt to fix the problem. They glitchly overlap, and look the same. If you were designing an UI to move icons around, you'd probably at least make them different colors.
While most of the time you're watching little icons come into, and blink out of existence, it's not like you'd actually enjoy the graphics anyway. There's only one faction in PA, and all the units look like toys. And I mean the type of toys you give to toddlers; the designs are generic and strangely clean for weapons of war. I'm not expecting Warhammer 40k levels of grit, but the unit designs look like something a Freshman graphics student would turn in for solid B. The Supreme Commander 2 units looked more detailed and just... better.
To be fair, there are some innovative selection features: highlighting an area will only select combat units and not builder units, you can click and drag areas to have fabricators build a lot of things, and... well that's all I've discovered after reading up all I could on the Internet and playing.
When all this is tied to the underhanded fact that Uber sold this game in stores for full price while still in "Early Access" (which is ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ because if anybody can access it then it's not "early") and the fact that there's expensive DLC already, I can only feel sorry for the the people duped into Kickstarting Uber's salaries.