10
Products
reviewed
174
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Recent reviews by Admiral Bosch

Showing 1-10 of 10 entries
62 people found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
147.4 hrs on record (145.5 hrs at review time)
There were a number of bugs with the game in Early Access that kept me from enjoying it. The worst offender was a crash-to-desktop that occurred when a gnome died in the middle of moving items.

This bug was found years ago.

This bug is still present in the current, full release (version 1.0).

This is unacceptable. This is unplayable.

I would recommend avoiding this title.
Posted May 3, 2016.
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1 person found this review helpful
11.6 hrs on record
This is an unpolished mess of (a few) ideas that were thrown together. It comes off more as an amateur's first serious attempt at a game rather than a finished product.

(Minor rant: If your story is going to be less than a thousand words long, the very least you can do is spend five minutes to proofread it.)

It's certainly not worth the asking price.
Posted May 24, 2014.
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4 people found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
This was made by a sadist.

The controls and handling are terrible. The binding customizer doesn't work, or sometimes does but then doesn't admit that it did (Rolling to the right and accelerating are bound to the same key now? Nifty!).

Everything at the start is set up to drive you insane. Docking bays all face the opposite direction of each station. The stations you need to go to first are furthest away and facing away from where you're likely to explore (thirty minutes to make a complete circuit).

Voice audio is scrambled and muffled (on purpose), but there are no subtitles. It's practically impossible to distinguish numbers or other specific information.

Just.... Don't bother.
Posted November 16, 2013. Last edited November 25, 2013.
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92 people found this review helpful
24.0 hrs on record (18.1 hrs at review time)
I do not recommend this game.

I want to like this game, but I can't. The more I play it, the worse I feel about it.

The fundamental design of it is something to be admired. The orders-based system of control and having actual crew as both a resource and means of interacting with the system is a powerful combination that is only enhanced when various subsystems are disabled.

But that isn't enough on its own. And the game breaks down and becomes bad because of two simple flaws: Its reliance on randomization and its lack of disclosure.

The difficulty options on this game are 'easy' and 'normal', and neither of those have anything to do with how difficult the game actually is (they determine how many resource units you receive). There are times when I'll have a clean, smooth run with no hiccups, and there are times when I'll have no end of trouble. E.g., one run, the very first jump I made into a system put me up against a ship with two missile launchers (which go through shields), and another put me up against a ship with two beam weapons (which at level-one, don't go through shields). Both were on the same difficulty, but the former encounter was an order-of-magnitude higher in terms of sheer difficulty. This randomization also determines the number, strength, and quality of the weapons you can potentially get, which becomes a problem for the boss-fight.

The over-reliance on randomization regarding 'story' is apparent as well. There are a number of events that can occur in the game, but usually don't. I've played through the game a great many times by this point, and more often than not my playthroughs experience little in the way of deviation. The events are either too rare for you to run into them with any certainty, or too common for them to be considered unique events. Quite frankly, this game could do with a little more in the way of linear design.

As for the lack of disclosure: There are a number of non-combat encounters in the game, where you'll be given a choice, usually amounting to a choice between 'intervene' and 'don't intervene'. The problem is that there's no way to determine (unless you have a 'blue' choice, which is an automatic success (and ruins the choice aspect)) what your chances of being successful are. The same encounter ends one of two ways, and if you fail you usually end up losing valuable crew.

It has also been my experience that low level weapons have a smaller chance of hitting their target than higher level ones, which is mentioned neither on the weapons nor in the tutorial. This is a problem because the chances of actually finding good weapons is randomized.

Finally, the end-game boss fight is stupid. It renders a number of previously-viable strategies completely worthless, and makes the entire game a pass-fail experience. When you take the length of the game into account, this can end very badly. In my experience, I either win by such a landslide that it should just say 'You Win!' and be done with it, or I lose so completely that I never had a chance, and everything that I had done up to that point was a complete waste of time.
Posted February 2, 2013. Last edited December 4, 2013.
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No one has rated this review as helpful yet
14.8 hrs on record (8.7 hrs at review time)
I recommend this game.

The only real flaw is that there's nothing to really do after you get your uber-machine / complete the story. This is a game that could have really been strengthened with a multiplayer component.
Posted January 19, 2013. Last edited November 25, 2013.
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1 person found this review helpful
53.2 hrs on record
I recommend this game.

---------------
Gameplay: Decent enough.

It melds the varying approaches without compromising level design (for the most part), and it's pretty solid on audio/visual grounds (with the exception of takedowns).

That being said, it fails on a number of issues which prevent me from recommending it based solely on its gameplay. E.g., its stealth and cover mechanics pressure the player into save-scumming, rather obscenely; the hacking mini-game, while not bad in and of itself, leads the player into abusing the line-of-sight mechanics inherent to NPCs (not to mention how there are very few instances where you can hack something while a patrolman is not neutralized); and a great deal of the weapons you can use are absolutely worthless.

I should also mention that the game is both stupidly difficult (enemies deal too much damage in too short a time) and far too easy (enemies are very, very stupid).

Boss Fights: They play as a deliberate attempt to annoy the player. They are terrible, and I won't go into any more detail than that.

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Visual:

A lot of time and effort was spent into populating the world with mundane objects, giving the game an extraordinary (compared to its competition) atmosphere. The setting also lends itself well to differing colour schemes for the majority of the game.

However, the animations are incredibly silly. Some of them actually become very tiresome well before the end-game section. And the game seems to be poorly optimized for what it does show you.

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Audio:

The game makes good use of classic tracks, and some new ones. And the sound effects are quite pleasing.

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Narrative:

----Plot:

The overall plot is interesting, as is the context surrounding it. With the exception being what drives the protagonist forward and the reasons surrounding decisions and goals (see: plot points, below).

--Characters:

Many of the characters are interesting, and well fleshed-out. Even if a few of them were obviously based on real-world figures.

It felt like I was listening / talking to actual people who were all different from each other. I never ran into a situation where any two characters could swap-places and no-one would be the wiser.

--Dialogue:

With the exception of cutscenes and key plot points, the dialogue is very nice. The voice actors did a tremendous job on this.

--Plot Points / Cutscenes:

Note: This is for the main plot / quests, not the side-quests

Picture this: You're having a good time sneaking around, and then all of the sudden someone is grabbing you by the throat and throwing you through a reinforced window (this happens more than once, I kid you not).

Now picture this: You confront one of the big baddies, and you turn your back on them for some reason. Guess what happens? Oh well, I guess it's ridiculous to assume that the player isn't a complete moron.

Those are how the boss-fight cutscenes work. All of them.

As for the plot regarding specific points, rather than the overarching motivations behind the factions at play, well....

The only time anything relating to your motivation for the next task makes sense is when Prichard (the security expert) traces something (for the Nth time), so you know where to go to continue your current task. EVERY single time that it isn't him, the reasoning is (if you're lucky) non-existent or (if you AREN'T lucky) head-deskingly wrong.

--Ending:

Note: I played the base game, without any expansions.

There wasn't an ending (at least, not in the choice I made on the Ending-O-Tron 9000). It had the main character talking about idealism, fatalism, and the uncertainty surrounding them. NOTHING WAS RESOLVED THAT DIRECTLY RELATED TO ANY OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS.
Posted January 9, 2013. Last edited November 25, 2013.
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No one has rated this review as helpful yet
9.9 hrs on record (8.6 hrs at review time)
I recommend this game.

The narrative holds up right until the very end, where it falls apart completely (Obvious-Moral-Choice && Ending-Otron-9001, progression screeches to a halt right before the climax, etc.). But the preceeding sections make it worth it.

The gameplay is pretty decent.

The soundtrack is excellent.

Definitely play through the whole thing in one sitting for the best results (6+ hours).
Posted September 4, 2012.
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9 people found this review helpful
38.1 hrs on record
I do not recommend this game.

Gameplay: Way too repetitive. At the end, you're just holding down the mouse button while your turrets do the work. And the game likes to start throwing 'attacks' against you after the first few levels, keeping you from warping out unless you hit one of the menu keys quickly enough.

Story: Garbage. It also impacts the gameplay too heavily (prevents you from researching / building / etc. until you get past certain story missions), killing replay value. Also, way too long on the default settings.

Audio: S'alright.
Posted September 1, 2012. Last edited November 25, 2013.
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3 people found this review helpful
28.0 hrs on record
This game is an overly simplistic single-player version of an MMORPG, with a choppy story that will routinely annoy you by forcing you to do stupid things for the sake of the plot.

The voice acting is pretty decent, though. And the graphics aren't too shabby, considering the scale of the studio at the time of development, though they're more resource intensive than the detail accounts for.

Still not fun, though.
Posted July 17, 2012. Last edited November 25, 2013.
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2 people found this review helpful
23.5 hrs on record
I recommend this game.

Before I continue, note: Do not play this game on Easy mode, as any other difficulty is better in every measure. The lower the difficulty level, the more health everyone has. On Easy difficulty, you can use entire clips of ammunition against a single opponent while several others surround you. On Ranger Hardcore mode, the same enemy may go down in a single shot.

The game’s atmosphere is very well done, especially with regard to the opening. Visually the game manages to make a wasteland look good, and in certain areas that break up said wasteland, the game is gorgeous.

The level design, unfortunately, is rather poor. It is very much in the vein of “You took a wrong turn, and have been eaten by a grue… idiot.” When you have the layout and patterns down, then the game flows nicely. When you don’t, it can be an exercise in frustration.

Audio handling also has a few issues, with left/right channels getting confused in certain areas and distances being horribly misjudged. Something that should be as loud as a cricket can be as loud as a lion, and vice-versa.

The economy doesn’t really work well, though it’s much better on the “harder” difficulty settings than on the “easier” ones. You’ll generally end up with plenty of currency, yet there is rarely the opportunity to spend it on air filters (a much more valuable resource for those who like to take their time).

The characters in this game are forgettable. This is not due to their lack of characterization. A number of characters have very distinct (and likeable) personality traits. The reason that they are forgettable is that you meet roughly a dozen or so of them, and yet they only stay with you for very short periods of time. They’re never given a chance to grow on you and so you forget them by the end of the next level when the next one is introduced.

The story is serviceable. It isn’t anything to write home about. I’ve heard that the novels are much better, but can’t attest to that.
Posted November 17, 2011. Last edited December 4, 2013.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 entries