UPDATE for the 1.3.1 release. This review initially covered the 1.2.9 official release and the 1.3.1.x beta. the 1.3.1.x beta has been rolled into an official 1.3.1 release set with no current active beta as of 12/26/2014
Warning, long read but I tried to touch as many major points as I could yet still be "brief".Reviewing the 1.3.1 patched version of this game.
This is important to know because the game, while "officially released" is only complete through phase 1 of 4 as of patch 1.3.1. This game is a fully functional sandbox game from an exploration/building standpoint, but is only partially complete from a story line perspective as well as feature implementation.
So, with that said. Would I recommend this game? As the game stands today, in general, yes I would recommend this game under the following circumstances:
- you get it on sale.
- you don't mind that you may need to enable beta patches to get new content and bug fixes temporarily until the betas go full release.
- you don't mind waiting for story line content as the developers continue to code away and some things may very well get dropped from their "complete" game when all is said and done.
- you can live without multiplayer, at least for now.
If those don't apply to you, I would suggest you wait until the game is more complete, if it ever is as there is some indication that development may stop before this hits 100% completion on all 4 phases.
With that set of caveats out of the way and if you are still interested here are my thoughts on the game:
I really like this game and I really like the unrealized potential this game has. While it could end up being a real stinker long term, I am happy with my money investment (got it on sale for like 75% off) and won't feel ripped off if this is not developed any further. Some of the bugs are a bit annoying without the beta patch to fix them and there is not a lot of guideance in the game so you have to piece things together from game play and what little info you can gleen from the wiki and forums. The building mechanics are pretty decent and I never really felt the game to be TERRIBLY grindy, although it does have some grindy elements as most sand box games do.
Here are some pros (what I love) and cons that I personally feel the game has at this stage:
What I love about the game
- The developers are still involved in the game and add features based on feedback in the forums.
- The developers have been releasing new beta fixes and release level patches every few months.
- The Sci Fi theme as I have been a SciFi fan for a very long time (nearly 40 years)
- The devs are involved with the community and respond to suggestions and bugs if you join the forums.
- The graphics and music are engaging. Just check the vids and pics for the game to get an idea of what I am talking about.
- The concept of light as a strategic game element is used in a rather cool way that I have not been exposed to before.
- The game offers a pretty decent challenge to newly created characters in normal mode.
- The game has a story line that is intriguing to me, although it is incomplete at this time so it is more of an intro to the story line than a fully realized story line at this point.
Current cons, which hopefully will go away as this is developed
- No mapping system. There are tools to work around this a little bit (gps and radar), but if you like Terraria's mini map (I do) then this will be a dissappointment for you as well.
- Incomplete story line as mentioned before. You basically get an intro story line and then it just abruptly stops as the content is not complete.
- some minor placement bugs with wiring and devices. with 22.214.171.124 I have not run into anything game ending, but prior to that patch level, there were some that would cause game crashes.
- NO MULTIPLAYER. While I love the single player experience. I have corrupted my daughter into being a gamer and she cannot enjoy this game with me like she can Terraria so that is a big disappointment for both of us at this time.
In summary, overall I have enjoyed roughly 200 hours of play time in this game with 3 different characters. With the final character I have exhausted the story line as well as all of the extra "diary" entries you can find that give you a view into happenings for the lives of others who came before your character. I am happy with my money investment and would recommend this for casual single player enjoyment.