A lot of work was clearly put into this, seeing how it even has voice-acting for the campaign, so I really wanted to like it, but it's just plagued by too many issues:
- Some typos in the dialogue and occasionally different lines spoken in the voice-acting than the shown script (like a word skipped/added).
- There doesn't appear to be any sort of quick-jump key like C&C's "H" ("Home") to quickly select the capital ship; I have to use up a number assignment like 1 on it.
- The voice-acted scenes immediately jumping into the battlefield view as soon as the last line finishes with no warning was abrupt; I also thought the "Chapter #" headers would fade themselves out over time, so I wasted time waiting for nothing since there was no "Click/Press Space to continue" prompt.
- One of the biggest discouragers was how there was no indicator that research cannot be steadily gathered in the campaign. I went back to the tutorial twice in my confusion until I finally came to the comments page here to learn this.
- Another major factor hurting the game is the overlapping graphics, which make it very difficult to tell what's what in densely populated areas. If they don't already, maybe idle ships whose graphics overlap could move to empty space so that their graphics aren't on top of any others'.
- There was also a lot of space debris in general that was overwhelming to see and try to differentiate in terms of what is what. I think having an option to have the outer graphics of whatever-is-moused-over auto-highlight would be super-helpful. For example, I couldn't even tell if an object that was outside of my ships' firing ranges was hostile or not without clicking on it to see if its corresponding circle was red or yellow; if that could be shown in advance with just a mouse-over, that could solve considerable UI confusion.
- More contrast in the build icons would be appreciated, or simply enlarging them, because they're hard to figure out if you're unfamiliar with their order and can't utilize the keyboard shortcuts accordingly. In fact, maybe that menu bar could be twice as large, and just retract in a quick animation when a builder is not currently selected.
- Somehow my capital ship randomly disappeared in one campaign level, so I had to quit and restart since I lost all of my production capacity/resource ceilings.
- My artillery guns keep moving forward even after they've fired, so they end up going into a suboptimal range and exposing themselves to shorter-ranged enemies; I had to keep micromanaging them every time they fired.
- The unit-guarding was a bit odd; when I told some units to guard another, they just seemed to point at it and keep following it as closely as possible (as in, with the sprites even touching), and, in the chaos of conflict, I couldn't really tell how quickly they reacted to enemies attacking their guard target. To make up for this, I was hoping I could put them on patrol routes, but I don't think there is that capability in this game.
- I can't tell how many people remain on space stations; sometimes it seems inefficient to keep a mobile habitat at a space station if one is continually near or at the crew ceiling, since it effectively wastes the station's resources because you can already create new crew on your own. Maybe the best fix for this (other than showing the remaining station count) would be to have habitats only begin harvesting from stations at a fixed, maybe player-specified % (like once you're under 60% of your total crew capacity or something, until you hit 60%; then it would stop and resort to the habitats' on-board crew reproduction, to save the stations' crew for more urgent times).
Apart from these matters:
- I thought it was very cool how almost one's entire base other than turrets is mobile.
- It was nice to see the RTS style of control (with number assignment, unit double-clicking, and attack-moving) perfectly executed here. Fewer RTSs get this right than it would seem.
- The auto-harvesting by the miners, etc. was great, too.
- It was refreshing seeing the LUA DLL lol.
- The game loads insanely fast, which definitely can't be said of many RTSs out there!
- Lastly, it was cool to see how even the campaign levels' maps are randomized, which is super-rare in the RTS genre (although of course there are no walls in space, lol, which makes it quite a bit easier to render this).