Wish there was a ‘kind of’ recommendation.
It’s fun and interesting, but it also needs work. Bought the game before it was on Steam, and I’ve played on and off through development. Having heard the game was nearing completion, I thought I’d give it a go. Leaving out heavy customization and modding, the basic vanilla experience feels off.
The vast majority of the game’s difficultly comes from RNG. The AI storytellers throw seemingly random events at you just for the thrill of it– which is fine, but it doesn’t make for a very compelling story. It’s just a string of randomly good or bad events with no rhyme or reason behind them. Outside of some interesting but vague background lore, the planet itself has that dead, impersonal feeling that goes along with procedural generation. If you’re looking for any kind of depth in worldbuilding, there is none beyond that first layer of faction versus faction and some randomly generated names.
The story is largely derived from the events the storyteller throws at you, and the interaction of the colonists you pick up along the way. But, the colonists are more irritating than interesting, and not in a good anti-hero kind of way. The pacing of their mental states feels off, especially in the beginning, making them appear less hardened and roguish and more like drama queens. Outside of that, I never really got attached to them or cared what happened to them, but I did grow very quickly to hate most of them. Also, I personally never felt like I could just sit back for a while and watch a story unfold. I found myself having to constantly babysit and juggle work priorities and prepare for the next random disaster.
The story is very much a ‘go out and make your own’ approach, but, to me, it feels a bit cold when you lay that on the backdrop of procedural generation. The world could use a little more of a personal touch.
If you want a good base builder to micromanage and get lost in, this is a great game. If you’re looking for a compelling story, you really have to reach to find one, and you should wait for a sale.
TL;DR– like building bases, don’t much care about the people in them.