This is probably the most enjoyable Early Access Beta I've participated in.
The Dev support for this game has been stellar, with all my submitted bug reports and support tickets being responded to within a day at most, and the bugs themselves fixed within a few days. As of the Thanksgiving Patch, I have had no crashes or freezes, but there is also an in-game save option for those of us who get paranoid about beta crashes.
There's a lot of systems testing and bug-hunting going on at the present stage of development, but there is enough content to really have a blast.
The mobs at present are not pushovers, and can really tear you apart if you aren't careful. Personally, I like that the mob danger factor is so high, as it adds a real tension to the exploration aspect of the game. There is a mechanism in place for craftable respawns, which takes out some of the sting from dying.
I've gone on some intense-to-the-point-of-adrenaline-rush missions descending down through the biomes to find and unlock tech upgrades, while mobs and missiles chased my tail. I love the descent into danger mechanism of this game, where there is always an element of risk involved, and skill with manoeuvring and shooting is rewarded.
The gameplay is a combination of resource gathering, mob killing, building, crafting, and exploration.
There are quest/mission equivalents, in the form of finding Tech Waypoints, where the reward for success is unlocking boosted statistics and/or new craftables, such as better weapons and armour.
There are also wormhole events - at present these are time-constrained events where you have a specific timeframe to explore and loot what you can before your time runs out and the wormhole collapses. (Word from the Devs is that there will be a number of different kinds of wormhole events, including boss battles, which I am looking forward to)
At present time, there are only two complete Biomes in the Beta, and a limited number of tech upgrades and crafting options. That being said, I haven't exhausted that limited content in the 30 hours I've played thus far, which isn't bad at all for a beta. Furthermore, from the official forums and chats with the devs, it looks like what is presently in game is but a small fraction of the content planned for launch and post-launch.
I've found myself losing hours to this game, and do not regret spending money on it at all. As of 30/11, Multiplayer is still disabled, but word from the Devs indicates that this is only temporary while they finetune the coding. So at present, and likely for a few more weeks to come given the time of year, the game does only have single player mode.
That hasn't stopped me from having a damn good time with the game though. I definitely recommend it if Terraria or Metroidvania-styled gameplay tickles your fancy.
Posted: November 29th, 2013