So, currently writing this review after a whopping 500+ hours of gameplay. This game is both great and horrendous so I am just going to lay out some things I found to be important that may help peopel to decide to play or skip this title. This is my honest review and probably the msot down the middle you will see.
1. This game has a lot of potential. It could easily be expanded, improved, keep enough players happy as long as it is maintained properly and a good community.
2. It is different from anything I ever played before so it was a breath of fresh air.
3. You can play as any combination of several roles in the game: Spy, Mercenary, Hacker, Thief, Terrorist, Murderer, Military, Police, Economic, Crafting, RP, lone wolf, and probably several other ones I couldnt think of. There is potentially something for everyone.
4. Game uses a faction system. Its not perfect, but it does what its intended to do in the end. Factions are the equivilent of a guild or clan or w/e.
5. Content is mostly player based. This can be good and bad, but I find it interesting that people decide how the game is going to go instead of something that is pre-programmed or decided by developers (of course the devs are rolling out patches and new items that players can't really control, but as far as what is actually going on at any time, completely player made.)
6. Potential a lot of freedom to do what you want. It's a sandbox social experiement as I like to call it.
7. The "Galaxy" is interesting and fun to explore (although you WILL get lost at times.)
8. Factions can own pieces of the map called "territories.". You can set up turrets to protect it and so on to protect your holdings. When someone walks into your territory, your faction logo and name and says "we are insert name here and we own this!" It also gives you something to fight over and additional objectives.
1. Population of the game has dropped drastically in this game for two reasons. Horrible community, stale gameplay (depends largely on the faction your in or community itself), and poor management. I will elaborate on these later on.
2. Stale combat. The combat system feels clunky. It is definitely old and could use some fine tuning. This is comming form a guy thats been an FPS player for over a decade. I've played crappy shooters, and this IMO is worse.
3. There were instances of GM abuse and favoritism, but this was brought to light and resolved. Thank you AoC, TNFF and a handfull of people from FDC.
4. There are three types of factions. Infiltration (hackers), Economic (crafters) and Military (fighters). Military by far has the best perks and so most factions are military which is kind of a shame. They should balance out the faction types fo infiltration and economic get more useful faction perks. Perks are bonouses your faction type gets.
5. Combat is 50% equipment, 30% "skill" and 20% your connection. If you dont have the gear you will have almost no chance. Of course this game tends to lag for many even which will ruin combat for them completely.
6. Politics in this game works like this. Your a female and you can wrap male faction members/leaders around your finger (yay lonely nerds on the net), you dump lots of money in the game on the cash shop to get rich and buy all the military factions (not hard to do because they do anything for cash), or you get a large enough faction to throw your weight around and occassionally hire merc factions to help you out. It isn't all that complex or intelligent, but whatever. Not necessairly a game breaker. I just found it disappointing, but life goes on.
7. Troll mentality is strong with this game. It attracts the "I want to go kill everyone" kind of people. That coupled with players that got bored of farming aliens or crafting to make monet that decide, I'm just going to commit mass murder and take people's stuff. So they kill the ecoers off and guess what. No items in stores anymore, real genious... Its very inbalanced and taht inbalance really throws a wrench into the game mechanics. Also, lets say a faction decides like you or your faction, they will just sit at all spawn points and continuously kill you or your faction untill you quit the game or disband or pay some rediculous ammount of money. I find this hilarious because the game lost most of its population and people do these things and make it worse. It litterally happens all the time. (Yay community.)
8. Almost no penalty for playing the bad guy. Normally there is a penalty for killing people or robbing players in a game, and this game has a system in place to deal with this. However, it is so bad people laugh at it. It is downright pointless to be honest. The penalty point system is a complete joke and so is the arrest system that rides on top of the penalty point system. Kill 20 people and spend 5 minutes in jail, leave, and do it again.
9. Unless you like politics (most people don't) or you just want to be a troll there isn't a lot to keep people's interest at the end of the day. Most of the gameplay and maps get stale after a while and you find yourself crafting or farming for hours to make money. Because of this, most players quit or give into the troll culture which has taken over the game and slowly destroying it. (I say destroying in terms of lower player population and it's affect on the rest of the other aspects of gameplay.)
10. Small factions can't really do much in the game. Unless you grow and get enough of the few regular players your faction won't go anywhere and just crash and burn after some troll faction KOSs you into submission. Also it is hard to recruit pepople. Most players don't log back in after the first few days and regular players are leaving every week.
My final thoughts.
This game is definitely unique to me. I like the potential it has and the idea. Unfortunately, poor management and a poor community simplified this into a run and kill everyone because you can 5th rate shooter. This has ruined it for others so they quit. Now, don't get me wrong. Not everyone in game is like that, but it's enough of a problem it makes the community shrink, and these players don't care. If you got thick skin and don't mind getting killed mercelesly, don't mind having ot struggle, loosing your gear and want to try your hand in creating a government, law, or just join the trolls go for it. It was worth playing for me. I personally don't hate the game and still play it, but it isn't for everyone and unless the community grows again I do not know long it will be around. If you got questions for me about my review or experience feel free to shoot me a message. At 500+ hours and after doing everything several times, its safe to say I know what I am talking about. This concludes my honest review and perhaps most accurat review you will see. I give it 7/10. It's free so why not give it a try, right?