UPDATE 3: A developer has been kind enough to respond to this review, to which I've attempted to reply as honestly as possible. Please read the comments.
UPDATE 2: Patch is out, I'm neck deep in school but I'll replay the game whenever I get a few free hours.
UPDATE: The Consortium devs have released an acknowledgement of the more game-breaking elements of the game and are aiming for a patch on January 31.
I fully intend to edit this review once it gets a few patches, but I would recommend holding off on this game for now. (video footage of the main, game-breaking bug I encountered that I'll be talking about (warning - it shows part of a late sequence of the game) : http://www.twitch.tv/breadcrew/c/3517241
First of all, this is a really interesting concept to me and on the whole the crew interactions and relationship with the ship are interesting and well thought out, especially for an indie game. It definitely feels like a solid, inspired labor of love.
I'm torn on the meta plot; apparently the developers either haven't played the Assassins Creed series or took from it exactly the wrong lessons. I find it forced and a little full of itself. This will be a divisive point for many, but that's no reason to skip the game as the in-world plot has a lot of potential.
At the moment however, and I'm not sure how many people will encounter this, I stumbled upon a major bug that stopped me from completing the game, actually overwriting my autosave with an incorrect and bugged map that will force me to start from the beginning. (i had quicksaved after the bug occurred before I realized I was stuck)
At what I believe is the end of the game or at least very close to it, Consortium does the thing that tons of games do, flashing you back to earlier, familiar events. Unfortunately, during the third of these events, an AI didn't trigger and nothing happened; I was sat stuck in a room with several mercenaries pointing their guns at me, not shooting. I decided to try punching them since that seemed like the only option. They all began firing, but the game seemed to have flagged me with god mode for the purposes of that little interlude.
I reloaded the autosave, thinking maybe that was a fluke, but again the game didn't trigger whatever it needed to trigger. I started exploring, mercenaries pointing their guns at me wherever I went but never firing. All of the doors out of the room I was in were locked, but the elevator wasn't, so I traveled around the ship as much as I could and found bugged and missing textures and models.
Honestly I was giving it the benefit of the doubt, that maybe the game breaking like that was intended, considering the meta plot, then I found that the VR training terminal on the ship was working. It loaded the first VR training scenario from the beginning of the game. I exited back out, and it loaded an early map of the game where you first get your earpiece communicator, but the woman meant to hand it to me wasn't sitting where she used to be, and while the prompt to take the earpiece appeared, the game wouldn't let me take it.
My trying to mentally resolve the game in this way exacerbated the problem - when you design bugs and signal degradation into your game, to actually have the game break completely ruins the illusion.
I pasted a link to my encounter with the bug above.
When I exited the game, a 3.8 megabyte patch downloaded but I can find no patch notes, so maybe (hopefully) the issue is already fixed. I'll update when I get around to trying again.
Posted: January 8th, 2014