Posté le : 18 mai
This game. I ALMOST spent a lot of money on this in early-access, but I (fortunately) missed the big funding launch, and by the time I caught wind again, players were already very publicly upset with the game. With the community's outspokenness about not getting fixes from the devs, I decided to let it get out of development and check back on it.
Then, the game officially released, which got my attention again. Sadly, it didn't seem like anything had really changed. In fact, many features had been stripped completely, and the things being complained about long ago were still being complained about. I avoided purchasing again, opting to give it more time and maybe catch it on a sale (despite my desperate urge to buy it and love it right then and there).
That great sale came along (fairly quickly...), so I caved and picked up the game. I wasn't sure if the fundamental issues had been addressed, but people weren't complaining as much anymore, so why not.
Sadly, a fantastic concept, a wonderful style, and a great Steam sale don't fix a fundamentally broken experience.
It turns out the complaints quieted down simply because the people who were trying so hard to LOVE this game finally just gave up and left. And that was the first sign of this game's demise. Well, that, and the crazy blowout sale on an otherwise "newly released" title.
So how did such a great legacy and game concept go wrong? Why did so many, who spent so much money and time on this series, give up and leave?
It's just a broken game.
Path-finding is almost non-existent. If there is ANY kind of obstacle between a unit and it's destination, you run the risk of that unit getting stuck, spinning circles, or just giving up and becoming idle. What's both funny and sad about this, is I am a new player, and I was facing these issues at the very beginning of my experience with the game (under 20 buildings, brand new planet, etc.). I can't imagine how tedious it must become once you actually get a planet covered in buildings, units, defense, satellites, etc.
As an extension of the path-finding issues, I also encountered a bug where the "reclaim" action would get stuck. The unit doing the "reclaiming" would start the action, but it had no effect on the unit being reclaimed. It would sit like this until I noticed, moved both units a bit, and tried again. It worked on the second try most of the time.
The UI is crowded, hard to navigate, and generally a bit clunky. I'm not sure the RTS genre needed another new UI invented - we've gotten pretty good at showing what we need to see in accessible and convenient ways. However, this game does sport an original UI, and it has it's own learning curve to even look at effectively. This is somewhat understandable, as this isn't a typical RTS in most respects, but I'm not sure the effort was ultimately successful.
There's not really a good starting place for new players. The "player's guide" is a cruel joke told at the new player's expense. It does outline some basics, but it doesn't really tell you how to do anything, nor does it explain all of the features of each element. For example, the camera system alone is pretty complicated, but all the "guide" tells you is that the mouse-wheel zooms in and out, and you can hold the middle button to pan around. Well, it's not wrong in that respect, but that's about 10% of the camera system (there are many views, along with ways to manipulate those views, and even camera "anchors" you can place for late recalling, but you'd never know that as a new player without external research).
You don't get a breakdown of what units and building really do. Most you can figure out yourself, but some are more ambiguous. The "Unit Cannon" was a bit of a mystery to me until I discovered the attack commands off to the side of the screen (thanks UI...). Turns out it literally shoots the units (as the name aptly suggests), but you have to build the units at the cannon, and when it "shoots" them, it's actually deploying them, not shooting them as ammo. So it's more of a transport, and less of a cannon.
Anyway, that's my experience so far. It really is too bad.
I wish - I wish so hard - for a giant patch that includes a path-finding overhaul, a real tutorial/player's guide, and a UI redesign. But that almost sounds like building an entire new game, and I'm not sure we'll ever get it. Maybe we'll get lucky and in a few years the Mod community will correct what the devs left wanting.