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Re: Empyrion

I have played Empyrion over the weekend (in singleplayer mode), and I must say: its one of the best games I have played in quite some time.
I have not played Space Engineers, so I cant say if the ideas are novel, but for me, they where really enjoyable.

The world (there ar several planet types) is randomly generated. The results felt atmospheric, and by using classic handcrafted models, it did not feel "artsy", but like a classic openworld game with realistic graphics. The goal is obviously to have a mix between a randomness of WHERE things are, and a human artist deciding HOW those things LOOK.

The game offers a pretty tense survival atmosphere at the start of the game (when running at night around, having no craft yet). The night is dark (really dark) and full of terrors!
I actually got scared! This is also linked to the way saving works. Saving is meant as backup when quitting the game, it will continue where the player is leaving of.
This also makes the player accept failure (not not just hit quickload...). I have once lost an expensive craft and equipment due to a poorly planned attack. But what do you know,
I did not reaload (partly because that would involve messing with the savegames, as the game saves when exiting to the main menu, where you can do a load), but accepted the loss, and took it as learning experience. Any other game I would just hit reload when not placing a headshot properly ...

Death is not final, but similar to other games, it will let you respawn and pick up your lost belongings.

Later, the more one assembles experience (unlock tech) and materials, the more it moves to base-building, creating the first proper hover craft, and exploring the planet.
The planets have a nice size, between large enough to feel huge, but not rediculus, so the player can actually travel in a reasonable amount of time.

There are several neutral and enemy bases looking to be explored and attacked. The base defenses can be very tough, but the game is always fair.
(If you see one thing, its just that, and not something scripted. ) If you want to infiltrate a base by digging a tunnel to it, you can! Even if this would take super long.

Best part: you can at one point leave the planet in you ship. I did reach orbit, but forgot to fill up on oxygen and sausages, so I just did a little peek.

All the ships and bases are completely moddable. (I fact they are build out of blocks, but the results can look as if they came out of a propper 3D polygon editor. Have a look at examples online)
So from small fast hop-in crafts, to large capitals with an interior.
And they all fly just as you build them. (Or use some prefab versions and change some details, if block building is not your concept of fun)

Bottom line: great little game, with nice graphics. You can feel its not a big budget AAA game, but it ran stable and surprisingly issue-free.
Recommendable to both single players and multi players..

Re: Empyrion

My main issue with Empyrion is that it throws things at you regardless of whether you've had any chance to prepare for it, and often destroys many hours of work in the process without any sort of warning. The first time I got to one of the nearby moons, I got shot down by a tower I didn't even know was there. The second time, I cleverly parked my lander by a hillside and went to investigate. After about two hours of dying on foot due to being killed by the tower (and then being forced to respawn in the tower's immediate line of sight (which would inevitably get me killed a few seconds later, and yes, this went on for multiple hours), I got back to my ship to discover it had been obliterated by drones. Not a pleasant experience - it essentially turns it into a roguelike, which was not what I was wanting or expecting. I haven't picked up the game since.
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Re: Empyrion

Ok, I dont know if there where any changes to the current version from back then. But for the scenario as you describe it: The player has a choice to spawn near the location of death, OR at a safe location (own base when you have a clone device or at a neutral station).
So you would loose your lander and equipment, but you can work your way back to the resources again. When I lost my tier-1 ship, it took maybe an hour of mining and construction to replace it.

Its a different mentality of gameplay, wich is not linear progression (eg an easy reload), but a list of failiours and learing from it.
But you still have the option to make a backup save that you could revert back to. It just discourages to use a quicksafe/quickload cycle.

Some enemies being quite tough is probably due to necessary balancing (due to quite simple AI, and the need to offer higher barrier opponents for the late game)

The game could certainly have more explanation when first engaging at a new game mechanic (for example, when you go into space, the body cools down,
there could be a warning popping up the first time it is occurring, that cold can kill you).
But its still in active development...

Re: Empyrion

I don't recall there being a backup save, no. I do remember that it let me spawn back at home, but this was a fairly advanced ship that had taken a number of hours to build, and I wasn't keen on trying to rebuild it. :P I kept trying to get away from the tower, and by the time I managed, my ship was gone. I could've just spawned back at home, I guess, and considered the ship lost, but... after all the time I'd put into it, I didn't want to lose it. A save/load system would eliminate these problems, but at the time, you were only allowed one save. I don't like that they forcibly turn it into a roguelike whenever you leave home. Saves are important.
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Re: Empyrion

Another point to the construction part: you can save your creation as blueprint (using left-alt and o key, pointing at it).
The base or ship is then saved as a blueprint with the material requirements in a library for later recreation.

Re: Empyrion

Empyrion just had a major experimental update today (Alpha 9)
They have finally added proper pathfinding. This makes the game so much more engaging. (before that the NPCs where pretty dumb).

Its slowly getting to be a substantial space-sandbox experience.

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