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I purchased Space Engineers over the weekend, and I have got to say that I am impressed. I wasn’t sure when I watched videos of people playing it what I would think playing it myself but in the end I’m glad I made the purchase.
I know Space Engineers has been out for awhile, but with the planetary teasers and the new content, I thought it would be worth checking out. From my first impressions watching videos of those playing the game the number 1 thing that didn’t really appeal to me was the fact that it looks like your flying around a wooden plank in a space suit with a jetpack. As far as I could tell it looked like the character held perfectly still while flying, and my first thought was “Yeah right…like an astronaut is going to be that still while they are flying” and I realize this is probably temporary because the game is still in Alpha, or maybe because it is a waste of processing power and graphics capabilities to animate the character more. Now that I have spent over 8 hours playing the game I can say the character looking like this has no effect on the gameplay.
Here are a few things I liked about the game first: I liked the idea of building my own spaceship that is entirely my design, and then on top of that, having the ability to fly it was just awesome. I like being able to build a large space station for a home, then having large ships for mining operations, small ships for scouting out potential ores, and other ships dedicated to building the space station. The things that went through my mind and that are still going through my mind for ideas makes me realize how endless the possibilities are, especially in an endless world! Before I get off track, the ideas I have at the moment I’ll list at the end of the post. Right now its additional things I like. I really like the procedural asteroids and the way mining works. I have always thought of mining in a game as a chore that had to be done to continue in the game. Space Engineers made that chore so much fun! I love tearing into an asteroid and getting the ore I need, then backing away to see the sheer devastation I left behind while attaining the ore. Then there is the automation processes for unloading and refining the ore so that I can quickly return to mining. I’m referring to the conveyors and tubes here, they are great mechanics. And finally the number one thing I love about the game as small as it is, is landing my ship. I like that I have full control of where to put my ship and if I hit something there is damage. I enjoy turning off the Inertial Stabilizers and seeing how well I can park my ship.
Now on to the dislikes: Biggest thing that drives me absolutely crazy is that the game lags or jitters for a couple seconds whenever the autosave takes place. I think this needs to be worked on ASAP it is really annoying when you are trying to get something done and have a limited amount of time to do it in. Another dislike is the collision meshes for the characters…getting through doors or small spaces can be a true chore when using the jetpack at times…I think the character’s collision mesh should be just a little bit smaller so I don’t have to be 100% exact when trying to fly through a door in zero gravity. Real people can bend…why cant the characters? Ore generation could also stand to be tweaked in my opinion because I had to search for hours just to find nickel, I found ample amounts of every other resource in the process, but not a single vein of nickel. I will be getting back in the game tonight to continue my quest for nickel.
That being out of the way, I’m sure I’ll be posting more in the future about Space Engineers, because I want to eventually setup a dedicated server for myself and friends to play on. Currently my goal after getting a functional and awesome looking space-station going for my home base, will be to build a giant ship that I can park smaller mining ships in for going on mining trips a long distance away. I want to have tons of cargo space, the ability to refine all of my ore I find, and a good supply of oxygen. The mining ships will be able to dock to it to unload ore and it will automatically be processed. After I finish my mining adventure I’ll have the ship dock to my station and unload all my new stuff. Hopefully when I get my server going I’ll have several people to help me with this goal.
Overall I think Space Engineers is a great game already, it has tons of potential, and I can’t wait for planets! Definitely worth the $25 I spent on it, and I have already gotten numerous hours of enjoyment out of it. I think anyone who like space games or sandbox games should check this one out. Best part is that if you don’t love it, it is in active development so something could always change that would make you like the game even more. I hope I convinced at least a few people to check it out.
You can buy Space Engineers from Steam at: http://store.steampowered.com/app/244850/
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