Eve Online is pretty much as close as I can get to thinking I’m Malcolm Reynolds.
The attempt to speak with a southern drawl in a colorful language failed miserably. Operation Wear Suspenders and Trenchcoat led to humiliation. As for getting my hands on a pistol and learning to quick draw, well, I don’t even want to go there…
For this reason, I was almost delirious with joy with the first moments of this joyous space-romp. A small, worn, cheap ship out by some asteroids with enemy raiders nearby? A virtually non-existent supply of credits and equipment that would need several upgrades to be considered scrap?
I was home.
Most of Eve Online is nothing short of fantastic. The graphics are good, even on my Duct Tape Processor of a computer, and on my friend’s absurdly overpowered one they were nothing short of breathtaking. The game is surprisingly lag-free, for an MMO, and although even basic combat can take some getting used to, (optimal orbit ranges, target locks, and all that,) it can get surprisingly simple. With gatling guns, lasers, attack drones and missiles available, you can become a pretty dangerous rogue if you have deep enough pockets.
There are an ungodly number of solar systems, each of which are huge, (you get around with Hyperdrive, which causes you to go really, really, REALLY fast when you choose a target,) and instancing, (i.e. personal levels for missions,) don’t need a loading screen. Your ship just zips to a really out-of-the way sector of the solar system, and there you engage in epic battle. With the Orbit function, your ship will fly around the battle zone, guns blazing, until either you or your enemies have been reduced to powder. If your ship is destroyed, you have to get your escape pod over to a station to buy a new model, unless you have insurance.
“Sorry, sir, we don’t cover…” (scraping sound) “…depleted uranium shell damage.”
“I bought Platinum cover!”
“That’s only valid for damage suffered in the Mutara sector, sir.”
There are, however, two factors that would keep this game from being considered a ‘WoW-breaking-game’ (although, at this point, I suspect nothing short of congress with the Devil’d bring such a thing about.)
First, the game is actually really complicated, if you want to get the full experience. The taskbar is daunting, and the options you get when docked within a station can make the pupils expand and the eyes glaze over; as much as we enjoy a game with depth, at the same time most gamers would also enjoy a game that could be played more casually.
Second… well, space is big.
This should be obvious, but the reason there seems to be so little lag is probably because, short of being around a station or Stargate, (inter-system transport,) the odds of you running into anyone else by accident are about one in seventy eight billion, give or take a few million. That was from my experience, anyway, as aside from the aforementioned stations, there’s not really anywhere to go for a public mixer. While, in World of Warcraft, you couldn’t swing your arms without hitting someone, (bringing on ‘noob’ comments galore,) in this game you might be forced to actively hunt for someone to fight alongside you, particularly difficult since you generally can’t tell at a glance what strength level a player is at, relative to you.
As a result, the relative lack of easy sociability might hurt this game in the longrun, although the supposed plan to allow you to have human avatars in stations might fix this problem.
Still, this game is worth a try; you can find the free trial easily enough, a roughly two week affair that should give you plenty of time to decide if it’s worth buying or not.