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Empyrion is exactly what I want in a space survival / sandbox game.
Posted: Posted February 2nd by Xhin
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It is however really really rough around the edges. Somewhat buggy, but a bigger problem is the lack of polish, unhelpful quest hints, AI that loves camping your corpse, building is unituitive as hell, you can literally get stuck mining early in the game, factions appear out of nowhere and are hostile to you for no goddamn reason, crafting menus are wonky, keeping a food stock early game is pretty much impossible because of how quick meat spoils and how rare plant protein is, and I'm not even that far into the game yet.

Despite all the problems, the gameplay is really really good:

  • Resource gathering is generous, even early game you shouldn't have to mine more than a few minutes every hour. Mining rocks is satisfying, while mining underground deposits deforms the landscape in a neat way. Not that this matters because you'll be doing so little of it. Chopping down one tree basically gives you an hour of fuel on your hovercraft.

  • Very early in the game you get access to a portable motorcycle. Not only is this fun to drive around the open world but it gives you a tremendous boost in speed and it's basically free too.

  • Combat is really fun -- you have a variety of guns to choose from with different strengths and weaknesses. At the moment I'm using a shotgun to hunt / kill planet enemies, a sniper gun to take down faction members and an assault rifle to take down drones. There a lot of guns I haven't tried yet as well.

  • Planets are varied. There are different types of planets, but they each have different types of biomes as well. Some of this is randomized as well. On planets there are a variety of points of interest, which appear to be procedurally generated or user-created or something (there's a lot of variety, is my point). You can salvage any of the blocks of these procedurally generated structures, which if you do it right might topple the whole thing over for good resource gain.

  • Base building is a thing obviously, but way way cooler is the ability to build your own vehicles, which follow actual physical rules and can be wired in a variety of ways. People have made some really crazy custom vehicles, like one that has two drivers seats facing opposite directions and can either mine or fight depending on who's in control (yes, multiplayer is a thing apparently). Capital ships are basically giant mobile bases that you can store other ships inside and then fly through the cosmos. There are no limits to any of this -- you can build as many bases or ships as you want. You could probably make a mobile ground base out of a hovercraft if you could get it to balance right.

  • I've been watching let's plays and apparently there's good air-to-ground, air-to-air and space combat as well.

  • In space you can get out of the cockpit chair, go to the hangar, get in a smaller faster ship to kill some stuff, get out of your smaller ship and salvage it. You can bounce around asteroids with your jetpack. It's a small thing, but that kind of immersion in space games is something I really like.

  • There's a decent amount of guided missions. Not sure how many but hey content is always nice.

  • This game is still in early access alpha somehow (well, okay, it does need polishing).

    I'll probably make more posts as I play the game more.

    I mentioned a while back that I decided to give no man's sky another go after all the updates in the last two years. They have definitely done a lot but the gameplay and content still suck -- you're still endlessly grinding on planets with random palette swaps that look the same all the way around. Finding the same ruins over and over. Going to the same space station over and over. Meanwhile in empyrion I've:

  • Chased down dinosaur packs with my shotgun, trying to one-shot them while they're moving.

  • Used a crashed freighter for cover while shooting down a drone that flies erratically and likes to shoot rockets at you.

  • Sniped some zirax soldiers and their fucking minigunner from afar, went to collect their loot and got ambushed by giant spiders.

  • Drove my hovercraft to the north pole because it's there and nearly died from hypothermia

  • Salvaged metal plates from one of the early wrecks and then suddenly the whole thing collapsed and I got 270x metal plates at once

  • drove halfway across the world with my motorcycle for a quest objective only to flee immediately as a zombie or something in a tall red tower started shooting.

  • (in creative) docked one spaceship inside the tiny hangar of another one with newtonian physics and high speed.

    Well worth 20$, imo

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