It's all dead in space. I bought this a while ago, being excited about the idea of an MMO in spaceships. Graphics in the vids looked cool and a flat-rate buy-in with no subscription in the future to play!
Now I see there is no future. The game seems pretty much dead. I don't think I've seen any updates since last October, but you don't have to quote me on that because I don't know... it's such an uninteresting game that I quite caring.
The biggest thing right off the start was the "2D Navigation Map" yep... 2D. And you won't find it Highlighted in ANY of the screenshots on the StorePage. But you know that one bright picture, of the Orange Sun, asteroids, and ships flying in; well you see that ONE picture ALL THE TIME as the loadscreen. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=376160681
So you spend 80% of your time on this 2D map, loading in and out of EVERY little thing. So you get that picture all the time as you engage any enemy, mine, change sectors (which you have to do constaly), enter a Station's Space (instance), enter a station, leave a station, leave the space, 2Dmap, fly around in this little retro feeling cutesy version of the game you thought you were going to play.
Combat, well that was disappointing to during my short and uneventful tries playing. Any time you want to engage in combat (or mining) you have to load in to the instance from the 2D map, and the space is Small. The Space Box looked real pretty, but the ships felt like logs in space and almost always (at the time) the Ai would just fly in circles. Literally Circles, you'ld get close fire and it would turn into the most disappointing space combat you can imagine. The kind where you constantly excellerate past each other, firing wildly, just missing ships, then you both flip around and pass each other in the other direction. If it's too much, you just fly away; either to the edge of that rendered space (before loading out to the 2D nav map,) and turn around, or just fly off to "warp away"... lame. After a bit you really just get irritated and so you stop moving, which seemed to confuse the AI for a bit. Then you basically play space turret and just spin around shooting at the AI. kill them get some items and return to the 2D navmap... real uneventful. Even the mining was tedious and consisted of no more thanmoving near some asteroids and hitting them with a colored laser. Area's with Enemy AI could be avoided, or you could eneter and simply avoid the circling AI at the center of the instanced-space.
I could go on and on. Basically, there is NOT as much bad*ss space fighting as you'ld like. It's a heavily "instanced" game, meaning it loads into EVERYTHING> it is NOT SEEMLESS. The one apparently fully functioning mechanic is trade, but AI trade. You basically run around chasing automated but "random" shiftes in the AI market buying goods at low prices and trying to make it back in time to sell somewhere else. If you are a SUPER cash/trade managment player you may enjoy it. But really you'll hop on that 2D map too and immediately feel like you just wasted 20$, even if it is "perminet access". 'Cause you will spend ALL that running around time on that damned 2D map. It really does feel like a classic "bait and switch". You pay for the game shown in the vids and screens, but you get to play this "other" game of 2D map flight about 80-90% of the time. There are better games to play if trade is really your thing. SO MANY OTHERS!
SAVE YOU CASH, LOOK ANYWAY ELSE. Buy Kerbal Space Program on sale, or Any of the New Gen Space Games, or Nexus, Sins of a Solar Empire, AYTHING other than this. PLay Star Trek Online for FREE!!!!! I swear you'll get tons more hours of better, although sometimes clunky, gameplay out of that than you will on this.
Also... it appears the online comminity is really dead. There was barely anyone on when I tried and almost no one now. Seriously you can get on and play an MMO alone.
My last minute advice if you still feel like you want to buy this: DON'T.
Watch videos of the 2D nav map, then consider that's about 80% of your gameplay right there.