I bought this game on a whim, because of the description. I rearranged the review for easy viewing. Please note, this review will not be updated for a few more patches (because I'm tired of the crashes). Latest Update 3/18/2104
tl;dr- at end
I have had an immense amount of fun with this game. After another 15 hours of play, I've crashed 4 times, and have pulled hair over the building system. This game still has tons of bugs (see the bottom portion for a list of frequently encountered issues). Also, see tl;dr for why I now recommend this game, when in the past this review was a "do not recommend."
My new rec hinges completely on being able to save and actually play the game, without which I can't recommend. PEOPLE STILL HAVE SAVE CORRUPTION ISSUES, but I've been lucky. Be warned, if you decide to purchase.
Things I like:
1. Audio- I really like the audio. The audio is superb. The music is okay, atmospheric at the least. Weapons and mining sound great, instead of hollow like some other games in this genre. I usually turn off the audio in games, but I found myself leaving it on.
2. Combat- Combat, is by far, my favorite part of this game. The enemy AI sucks, and ship animations are lackluster, but it is pretty cool to build your ship full of turrets. Then fly around like a baddass at what feels like 10x the speed of sound. You can now shoot turrets without moving from the control panel. This has improved combat dynamics immensely. While it was fun to cat and mouse before, now you can really beatdown and pulverize your enemies.
3. Graphics- I really like the graphics. I know there isn't a lot to look at, in terms of vegetation, and scenery, but I just like the style. It's much more interesting than some of the other games like (personally, Starbound). It feels... steampunk.
New Update 15/3/2014
New update hit and, I am glad to say, in the four-five hours I played I didn't have a single crash or save corruption (even though I died a few dozen times). This was my biggest concern, by far and hopefully, my luck holds out. However, the rest of my list is still, personally, an issue. My list is still quite large, but honestly, having been able to play for an extended period of time (without any crashes, being able to save, and not having to start over), this game is really growing on me.
1. This game is still buggy mess. Player models now glitch like mad whenever you crouch. It's almost impossible to drop down the hatches, and they are completely pointless. Instadeaths still happen at the strangest times, but usually when in a mine or building while trying to jump through those silly little hatches. It must be a collision detection problem.
2. Building in this game is almost impossible. It is so finicky to the point of madness. At first I thought, wow, the perspective of the blocks is a great change from the traditional sidescroller, however, it doesn't work properly.
Suggestion to the devs, there needs to be a special buildmode. The game should display a wiregrid around your ship when building. As of now, the grid only shows when things on your ship are destroyed. Also, allow players to build from either the front grid or the back grid.
3. It's annoyingly finicky to pick up blocks. Blocks don't have a magnet field, and they don't automatically go into your inventory, yet, sometimes they do. It's completely random, but some blocks will just fall to the floor and if you don't want them to sit there forever, you have to use the terrible crosshair finder, hover over them, and press 'e.' Now imagine you are mining a precious mineral and the game decided that they just won't "fall" onto your or go into your inventory? You now have to mash your e button a million times and hope the game registers that you want to pick up a block. This is a problem with the game's perspective system. The blocks sit in an almost "third layer" hidden between the foreground and background.
The first few times I played, the game allowed the player to mine blocks from temples or from the villages. That feature is gone, and you can no longer mine the colored tiles from temples and the interesting blocks from towns. At first I thought this was a bug, but devs posted on the forums saying there is a possesion system. You can only mine/dissasemble when the owner is dead or gone.
Suggestion to devs: If you can craft anything in the game, please allow players to mine it all. It will save players a lot of time crafting. Empty abandoned buildings and temples can't be mined, who owns those?
4. The menu is complete and utter rubbish. The hotkeys that are used as a default in the game are not very intuitive. Tab opens your menu and opens your quests. There is no "I" for inventory, "m" for "map." This might be an error on my side because I have a keyboard that I use macro's on, and I sometimes I use outside software to rebind my keys. The menu also glitches. Drag and drop to your hotbar sometimes also drags the scroll bar for your inventory, causing you to scroll back up to your previous place.
The item stash is not sortable. Your inventory is alphabetical, but the order you put your stuff in the stash... is the order it is in when you have to find something.
Suggestion to devs: Please, oh please, switch to a grid system. I realize this might conflict with your inventory size. At the very least, allow for sorting by quality and item types within your inventory. So, in building items, I should be able to sort by wall, accessory, material (glass, metal, etc), or quality tier.
5. After the patch I didn't notice a change in enemy AI. It is quite terrible. How to destroy your enemies? Build a couple platforms somewhere in the room with an enemy, and they go berserk. They'll just run back and forth because they can't figure out what to do. Another option is to use the enemy marker and get close to an enemy, and just shoot in their direction. Sometimes they won't aggro. Strange, when sometimes enemies with no marker will aggro.
However, friendlies no longer run off the platform when it rains, which is really nice. Enemies still respawn way too frequently. Sometimes the enemy you are fighting will respawn before he even dies, which just makes the player completely avoid all enemies.
6. Hitboxes (or something like it). Are atrocious. Bullets will pass right through enemies. They are ridiculously slow. Bullets still pass through enemy ships completely, as well as enemies. This hitbox problem might be an issue with some sort of dodge mechanic. I've noticed that When shooting at an enemy if any blocks are in the way (even background tiles like trees and such) there is a chance you will hit those instead of your target.
I really, really, hate shooting trees in the background.
7. Crafting- Crafting is so laborious. Crafting no longer causes crashes, at least in my last few hours of play. It would be much easier if there was some sort of separate inventory screen that you could view while trying to craft. As it is set up now, you can't view both. You don't know how many items you have.
Suggestions to devs: Crafting by number instead of having to click fifty times to craft fifty of the same item. I'd like to have something that allows me to type in a certain number.
tl;dr- I recommend this game (if only barely, and because it's unique), because I can ingore the bugs and wait for the devs to patch. If that's not your thing and you are worried about bugs, wait a bit longer. To be honest, it shows promise, and combat plays well, but the bugs are a glaring issue. The graphics, music, story, and other good things about this will not make you enjoy it.
I feel that even with the bugs, I've got my monies worth. The game provides a unique experience I won't find elsewhere.