I couldn’t find the appropriate forum section for this.
I did leave a thumbup for the game on Steam review but I thought it best if I left a review on CCP’s own official forum.
This is my review for EVE Online. It is my personal opinion of the game.
I would also like to read your opinions/reviews of the game, hence the title of the thread.
The tutorial is ‘okay’. I give it 7/10 knowing that it isn’t finished. It could use some optimization though. It is choppy, near-freeze, stuttering and the mouse gets unresponsive for more than half of the action. Mixing cinematics with user imput is a good idea, it just needs to be better implemented with regards to graphics problems, performance and so on… Although the mix of cinematics and player input is confusing at first. I tried to click when I wasn’t supposed to and didn’t click when I was supposed to so much the two are seamless.
The little mission right after is entertaining and kept me wanting to know more about what was going on.
One suggestion: maybe have some kind of exposé right after the intro film and before the tutorial proper to explain what New Eden is, what the factions are all about, what kind of universe it is… maybe a voice over cinematics of important NPCs engaging in diplomacy, war, espionage… just to get the player immersed in the universe of EVE so we can get some understanding of what is going on in New Eden and what this game is all about besides being a sandbox.
After the Tutorial, Aura is the only connection we have to the politics, intrigues and wars of New Eden. She introduced us to Vesper Calytrix who hired us to dig out an encrypted box and then - to be continued - but I was disappointed to see that after the tutorial Aura becomes only a voice tied to two ship functions → Warp and Dock.
Suggestion: Aura’s abilities should be extended to more than “Warp Drive: active” and “Docking permission requested”. She could give status report on ammo, turrets… She could say the information we can read on the screen like the boosts we get in systems, she could voice out the ships that are in range of the turrets, she could point out interesting anomalies and generally say when something cannot be done, like trying to open a Custom Office that isn’t finished ( I tried to open one such office and didn’t look like it was under construction) Things like that would immerse the players in the universe. Aura should be a helper, not just the visual representation of a couple of functions.
Once the tutorial is over, we are invited to meet the Career Agents to do missions for the empires whose flags we fly under. I find it very peculiar that a game that boasts itself as a Sanbox should lead the player straight into missions, right into pre-packaged scenarios as a way to extend the tutorial without so much extending it since by the first mission the player still has a thousand unanswered questions and is lead by the hand to fulfill said missions in exchange for isk, ships and modules rewards while still being in the dark about the all the possibilities of the sandbox.
I found myself having two choices: Do the missions and hope for some consequent answers or go online and read and watch videos about what I can do in the sandbox.
Neither of those two choices satified me in an immersion and development sense. The game itself should provide answers to the players - in whatever way possible besides the Rookie channel - instead of pushing them out online to find the information on their own.
The game has an Information window but the info on there is very cursory and brief. To fully understand the info panel the player - once again - has to go online and find info on his own. In my opinion, that is a game failure.
Suggestion: Aura should be equipped to explain and show just about everything that the player could want to know about the game and about New Eden. Aura could take the player along for activities that the player would want to do and is interested in and could show how to handle NPCs and other players in combat, even if it means a trip to a PvP loss. Instead of agent missions we could have missions that Aura has in her database, she could be some sort of encyclopedia, she could have - as an artificial intelligence - all data pertaining to everything in EVE from ammo velocity to the Sisters of EVE.
The User Interface
This is, in my opinion, the weakest point. Whether it is the new UI or the old one, it is clunky, unresponsive, it just doesn’t work as one would expect. The new UI does try to be intuitive but again, it seems like it is a separate layer on top of the game and just simply doesn’t do the job well at all.
Also, there are many windows to work through, too many. So many that organizing them all in a way that can be readily useful isn’t conductive to a good experience.
I suggest one window for fitting and another for all the other ones, arranged like the pages of a book or, better, to look like a mobile device, some interactive screen from which everything could be done except the fitting.
I will not linger on the UI performance as I’d like to keep a positive spin on this OP. It’s very playable but has some major flaws that need to be worked out
Suggestion: keep working on it and try to have it be more responsive. I shouldn’t have to wonder if my click registered or not.
The Ship Functions.
Again, here Aura can have a role to play. A new player shouldn’t have to play a month before finding out about Rack Overload on modules and other tricks I don’t even know after playing a few months. That info should be ready to go for the player to use on day one, even if he doesn’t have the skills to use it yet.
Same thing for the double-click in space. It took me three weeks before knowing I could just double-click to maneuver in space. I could have found out about it online but if I don’t know it exists how am I supposed to look for it online?
Also, we should be able to break out of warp at any time. This warp carousel all the way to destination point is fine but is restrictive and breaks the immersion. It says I can only have control of my ship when CCP gives me control. Not very nice for a Sandbox.
And again, the UI doesn’t help here either, especially in combat where clicking isn’t the best thing. The items in the Overview aren’t easy to click on when they move up/down everytime something changes like a new ship in system. The keyboard shortcuts help a lot so that’s a consolation but even when the keyboard is used, clicking is necessary and for someone used to making things happen with the mouse, getting used to keyboard shortcuts gets confusing: sometimes my reflex is to click when the faster choice is to use the keyboard.
The gfx are very nice, even though half the game is in 2D. All the items, the portraits, the ships in Hangar… almost everything, except when we undock and the ship in the fitting window, is in 2D. Would be awesome if everything was in 3D, it would make EVE that much more enticing.
But the 3D gfx are beyond reproach. Big thumb up to the devs on that and big shout out to the artists from another artist.
Some of the space skyboxes are way too bright though, blindingly bright. Some fine tuning is necessary in that area.
( I’ve run out of things to point out but 7 is my lucky number so here goes ) The Price.
EVE is Free to Play as an Alpha Clone and a lot can be done within the 5mil skill points allowed and I can only congratulate and thank CCP for the idea to let players in EVE for free. They say businesses aren’t charities but the Alpha Clone scheme comes close.
The Omega subscription, on the other hand, is - how should I put it - crazy? At the least, it is very unreasonable to charge that much per month, for any game, I don’t care which. I can see myself paying for Omega once in a while but not all year long, not even if the year-long subscription gives some percentage of the price off. Personally, I’m not that well off to be able spend 200€ right off the bat.
Suggestion: Bring the price back down and see more players willing to take up monthly subscription. My grandpa used to say: “Price your bread high and make no more profits as the one who sells more bread for less”.
Sorry, there is no TL;DR on this one as it is a review.
Thank you for reading. Have a nice day.