Where I am coming from:
I played about 360 hours from the time that I bought the game to the time that I write this review. I bought the game right after multiplayer was released in January 2014. This was before survival was introduced. At the time I was very disheartened by a few bad early access titles that were just disappointing.
I looked into the Miner Wars history of Keen Software House, and decided that - even though that was a kind of flop - this game was worth a look into. Maybe a bit of fun with friends. My dream was always to play a game that let you walk around on small planetoids, building your own stuff. After playing games like Cargo Commander I kinda got into the genre. I played a lot of creative at first with my friends and we built huge ships and had fun gunfights.
After a while, when they got bored and survival got introduced, I found a very nice multiplayer RP server with different factions set up and had the time of my life as a Drone Engineer.
My opinion of the development and further notes to the multiplayer:
Let me mention a few things about the development of the game (which after all is very important if you read this).
I don't know if it was from the point on that I bought the game or shortly after that, but the devs (KSH) promised not to promise any features or announce set dates for certain features and introduced weekly updates. Yeah, that's right, one update to the game every single week
. That is features, bugfixes and in addition to that hotfixes for big bugs between updates. For me, this shows dedication. This is the game that let me put trust into early access games again. Simply for that fact I adore it. I have never been as hyped about any game as this, and I played a lot
of games. The devs react to feedback very fast, and the community really makes a difference.
Almost all of the features the game has were suggested at some point by us. Planets, scenarios (with set objectives) and multiplayer improvements are already in the works at the time of this post (you can read that up at Marek Rosas Dev Blog
). At this point I have to mention that multiplayer is playable, but you might want to avoid certain things like landing gears, pistons and rotors on ships for now (perfectly fine on stations) as the netcode can't quite handle the synchronization between clients.
My opinion of the game / features / options:
The game has a very thought through, realistic (Newtonic) look at the Space Survival genre, which I would put this into.
One of the things that often get overlooked is the amount of options available. Not only does this game have all the necessary sliders (seperate audio volumes, FOV, maximized borderless window option, ... ), you can completely customize almost every feature ingame. A few of those options are mods (which there are thousands of, from blocks over skyboxes, character models, animations, ship blueprints to custom asteroids and scripts) with full workshop support, but also things like the amount of inventory space, production speed, world size (which by the way is currently able to generate worlds that take about 150 realtime years
from the center to traverse at standard speed - which if you don't want can be modified, yay - with randomized asteroids and soon planets).
You can customize view distance, which makes this playable on pretty old machines, even without the beta optimizations that are about to come in still. (Remember, this is in alpha stage)
Also tons of other options that en- or disable all kinds of ingame features, should you want / not want them.
- If you play creative you can build whatever you want (from cubes of death to star destroyers, your favourite space station or a small fighter) instantly without needing any resources
- There is a mirror mode that allows you to build quickly and efficiently with symmetry
- You can copy paste small parts of a creation (onto other parts if you want) which allows you quick builds with forms and structures you like, which helps a lot if you don't think you are creative enough for a whole big ship
- You are able to spawn in any ingame object, be it resources, weapons or even whole asteroids
- Talking about asteroids, there is also a voxel tool which lets you deform asteroids to any shape you want (it also lets you replace materials)
- There is a blueprint system in place, which lets you transfer projections of the ships you built in creative to survival, which makes rebuilding the thing only a matter of resources and time
- This game is a sandbox game, meaning there is no set objective (yet) to "finishing" the game
- "Exploration" mode offers almost infinite world generation (as mentioned in the features section) with random encounters which range from small ships, to cruisers or large battleships to stations (most of them created by the community)
- Survival has a lot of facettes to it that require planning (energy generation, oxygen, storage and production facilities) that may initally seem very complex, but the community is always there to help
- It is possible to use programming blocks to display things via LCD panels, control stations or ship behaviour (really, almost anything you can imagine, if you get into it, someone for example made an autopilot ship and a customizable interface for pilots that let you see every room status and interact with all the different subsystems, just imagine, you get an enemy player alert in your ship, which then leads to depressurization of rooms, so that your enemies can't breathe there or get sucked out into space)
- You can create gravity weapons (like a huge space shotgun that shoots out projectiles), gravity drives with artificial mass blocks, which, if correctly done, can get even the biggest and bulkiest ships to maximum speed in a matter of a few seconds
- But even relatively simple things like building your own mining ship or fighter are highly enjoyable and feel rewarding
Final thoughts / prospects:
For me personally it is enough to gather resources, take over enemy weaponized cargo ships that are floating by and creating awesome stations and battleships, aswell as designing them. But man, this game already offers so much more than that. I have never seen a more polished early access game. From RP mining to dogfights in space or replicating your favourite scene from Star Wars, this game has it all!
Community links:The reddit
with very important tips in the sidebar, like controlsThe wikiThe official forums