In a small corner of a ship graveyard, my ship hums quietly. 3.5km away, there are three targets: an enemy scout, a mid-range madcap interceptor, and a support drone. The support drone will go down in a single shot. The scout, however, will probably close the distance quickly and require a few, fully charged shells. The madcap is the biggest threat, but is much too sturdy to eliminate before its allies can get to me . My time would be better spent thinning the herd. The humming stops, and my railgun begins to whine. There is a crack, and 3.5km away the scout flashes gold and blue as its energy shield is dispersed by the impact of a heavy metal slug.. All three ships turn to face me, and as they do a second shot punctures the scout’s cockpit, instantly obliterating it.
Man, I’m perplexed by this game, or maybe the reception of it.
It just feels like a slightly more modern and polished version of Darkstar One. It doesn’t have the depth of X3 games and it doesn’t have the personality or charm (or the nostalgia kick) of Rebel Galaxy Outlaw. I was playing on Game Pass and I understand it’s not the most up-to-date version, but it’s full of bugs and broken questlines, economy and reward structure is wack, crafting system is worthless (at least in the first 10~15 hours of the game I’ve seen so far). I’ve never seen a space shooter that doesn’t have a local map or a radar, and the HUD icons for objectives and loot are unreadable, which leads to many wasted minutes spinning around looking for pickups and objectives.
Combat-wise, it’s serviceable… the RPG looter-shooter nature of it doesn’t sit well with me though because the game feels balanced around grinding those same/boring procedurally generated missions until you have better gear (and you do have to engage with side missions otherwise you’ll be like 5 levels below the enemies in main missions and they’ll blast you out of the sky in 2 shots). It just feels unfair and unsatisfying - in terms of pure combat, this is no Freespace 2 or even Squadrons.
So yeah, I’m still having decent time with it, but my expectations were pretty high after listening to Waypoint Radio, but I’m finding it to be pretty run of the mill. I hope the story ends up being good because at the moment that’s my primary motivator of finishing this game.