You can see i am playing this game for quiet some time now; why do i have so many hours into the game? it's because i am working on cars and ships in the ISO editor most of the time, then go into build or story mode (where i mined enough items and build a colony that works pretty well) and test those creations. At the moment PE is a great construction platform where you can test your creations inside the game environment.
That said i am missing alot of tools to be able to make better shapes then you can create right now, or only in very difficult and complicated/timeconsuming ways. While i have alot of time and patience myself, i can see why many players don't really try to make nice looking creations, but only stuff 'to get the job done'. Physics are off too in the game, so that makes it even more complicated, for example leveling a ship so it doesn't tilt, or a car getting stuck on every little bump in-world ect. pp.
I get more to the physics later on.
The Storymode is fun, because it shows you the mechanics of the game, and introduces you to the basics (and more). At first it can be a little bit confusing when you start in the ship over the planet, but with a little patience you can overcome that.
I didn't play multiplayer very long, because it crashed all the time with memory overflow errors. guess i bought it at a time where they just updated the game from 0.86 to 0.87 and a major bug or bugs kept the game crashing for me. I don't want to get too much into detail what it was, but they fixed that pretty fast in 0.871 so it was playable again. That said, you will run out of memory in adventure mode fast when you travel around alot because the game is still 32-bit, which means that you only have about 3 GB of memory for the game, which is not enough for a long playtime, specially when traveling around alot. (The Textures don't seem to be updated, they just get added until you crash when you run out of memory space.) I can play story mode in nearly best quality for a long time before things go wrong though.
The developers are working on a version they call 0.9 which has 64-bit and the new Unity 5 engine, which hopefully solves that memory problem.
Gameplay: (i am talking about story mode now, because that is what i usually play:)
Although it is alot of fun to play the story, you can see and feel that there is still a lot of work to be done to get the game into more then an alpha stage. i don't really need perfect combat animations, ( they promise to change the combat in 0.9, we'll see), but the world, as pretty as it looks at first glance, becomes pretty uninteresting after a couple hours of gameplay. it just lacks a certain... detail here and there. I think i can explain that to myself reading from others that it's a small team programming the game. How much more detail there will be later on nobody can predict at this point. I also have to put in the fact that the game came out 2 years ago, but they are still working on it, so i see that actually as a positive aspect, keeping a small team in mind.
However, there are huge differences in graphics quality that i cannot explain: The animals look GREAT, i mean GREAT GREAT... the area around them for now is more like average compared to them. The animations could be better, but for my taste are more then good enough to make them feel very much alive. The plants, trees and so on on the other hand don't move at all, they are like statues, and if you hit a smaller tree with your ride, it gets damaged and that small tree doesnt move at all getting hit by a 50 t 4x4 tank ;-) .
Physics are still lacking here big time, and that is only one example of the physics not really working right atm. I hope they fixe those things later on.
The currency in story mode is 'meat', which is... something getting used to. I suggested 'protein' for a supplement, and i got a response they consider it. We'll see :-) (this is another indicator they take your input seriously)
From what i hear they use cash or credit for multiplayer, which is something people just are more accustomed to in games... why just not keep it that way? I never played a game before that uses 2 different currencys in different game modes, and it just complicates things...
I understand they want to make the story mode more like a survival game mode, but just using a currency that sort of suggests that isn't enough imho. Don't make currency you can eat... no other food at home? just eat some dollar bills! :-)
That gets me to the fact that i never really feel it being a struggle to survive. At all. You must be pretty dumb or very unlucky to die in story mode. (Running into animals you don't know if they attack or not for example... You can avoid those animals quiet easily.) You cannot starve to death, you just run out of stamina and you get slower. That's it. You cannot dehydrate, you don't need to drink. For me those are basics for a survival game, aren't they?
I don't really see that myself as a big disatvantage, because i like to play in easy mode(s), so it's more of a relaxed gameplay rather then hectic fighting. Getting old.... ;-) But i am sure it will bother other people. Games like "7 days to die" do a better job on that: you take damage if you run out of food and/or water plus you run out of stamina while using tools, even more so when you are out of food.
talking about 7 days: On the flipside i don't like those zombies in 7 days (again personal preference), i would prefer dangerous animals that prey on you and that you cannot avoid as easily as in Planet Explorers. But that's another game and another story. I just hope that someday they make a game where the good parts of both games will come together the way i like to play a survival game... :-)
back to PE:
Spoiler alert: The whole mode shows you how to build a colony at some point, and you can build a monorail later on, which keeps you busy for a while. But survival? Not really at this point. The colony system with planing / harvesting food seems unbalanced and not really needed at all atm, because you cannot die of starvation, you just run out of stamina, and you get slower, that's it. I have a pretty fast computer (i7 3.5 ghz with GTX 770 Nvidia), and my colony is down to about 25 - 30 frames now because of the farming simulation, That really shows it needs alot of optimisation.
I would prefer they start optimizing things (balancing, physics better framerates) and make the planet look more alive then filing on combat moves. But that is just a personal preference...
I got this game for 50% only a little while ago for 12,50 dollars. (daily deal), otherwise i would have waited longer to buy it. I am happy i got it, i enjoy it alot, even with the shortcomings it still has right now, and as you could see i use it mostly to create stuff. Love that part to death. For 24.99 dollars it's still a good value if you enjoy the story part, which takes you about 20-25 hours to finish (rough guess, depends on many things how long you need for it), and i played that one 2 times alone, because you have the freedom to do it in many ways. Use your imagination.
Oh and one important tip: finish the missions one by one, that keeps you out of trouble with bugs. I don't want to go into detail because of spoiler alert and too long of a story :-)
I hope you find my pov helpful, thx for reading!