Empyrion – Galactic Survival is a space open world survival game with randomly generated planets and with heavy crafting and building elements. When I say open world, I really mean it, in the sense that if you have some sort of spacecraft you can fly across space and land on any planet you choose.

The game offers you two different game modes at the moment, creative and survival. Creative is what you’d expect, build and do whatever you like, your imagination is your limit. As for the survival mode, you’re able to choose different seeds to create your worlds and you can also choose where you’d like to begin your adventure, in a more friendly planet with a breathable atmosphere or in a more deadly desert planet that is perfect for hardcore players. Since I’m not really someone who is very creative or that enjoys building, survival is always what I go for in these types of games.

 

The core:

On survival mode, you’ll find yourself looking for oxygen, food and other resources. The game provides a pretty in-depth tutorial covering survival, base, and shipbuilding. Food can be acquired by hunting, gathering or farming and it can get spoiled. This can be prevented by either cooking or by storing food in a fridge. The oxygen can be obtained by placing an O2 generator on water, which then will begin producing bottles of oxygen. Resource gathering is pretty simple since you start with the tools needed, simply aim and click with the right tool to the place you want to mine. Still, every tool requires a certain type of charges to use so be careful not to waste all your charges before you’ve gathered the resources needed to craft more. One thing I really like about the game is the fact that when you discover an ore deposit, it will be marked on your map which is a 3D representation of the planet you’re in. If you check the map, you can also see how many, and what type of deposits you still haven’t found on the planet.

 

Empyrion also has some other mechanics which make it somewhat more challenging and engaging, such as stamina, a jetpack, and blueprint “trees”. You use stamina while sprinting so you have to keep an eye out in case you’re being followed by some mobs and run out of stamina. Nonetheless, you still have your jetpack which, despite making you unable to run, allows you to escape tricky situations including when you get trapped while mining downwards (never dig downwards). By performing simple actions such as gathering resources or crafting you’ll gain experience points, these will allow you to level up and gain points which you can use to unlock certain blueprints/recipes on some sort of “skill tree” menu.

Assuming you have the required blueprints and materials, crafting is pretty straight simple since the game tells you what a certain item needs in order to be crafted. The building is likewise pretty straight forward, you just select on your hot bar the block you want to place and click where you want it, and you can also fly a drone to help you build in more tricky spots where your character can’t properly reach. If farming is an option in a survival game, I tend to go that route, thus I must say I quite enjoy how farming plays out in Empyrion. Basically, you place “growing plot” blocks, place whatever seed you want and then you have to make sure that a light source is 2 blocks above it. The plant won’t grow immediately of course so you can go on another errand while you wait for your crops to be ready to harvest.

One minor complaint I have with the game is the fact that there are no reload animations. Still, I’m sure this is due to the Early Access nature of the title and that is something that will be implemented soon. That said, combat is serviceable at best, you just aim and shoot, the weapons have pretty much no recoil or authentic feel to them and I believe this is something that should be worked on. Despite the dynamic day and night cycle (where if you look at the sky you can see the other planets far off), I didn’t notice any change in mobs behavior which kind of disappointed me.

Verdict:
  • Huge amount of things to craft
  • Space and planetary exploration
  • Overall decent performance – except a few slowdowns when visiting new areas
  • Well done ambient and background sound effects + pretty great main menu theme
  • Detailed tutorial, which welcomes newcomers
  • Dated visuals – as far as I care, the game looks somewhat dated

Empyrion – Galactic Survival is the closest thing to what I want from a game that combines space and planetary exploration. Even if you’re like me and don’t like building, you can just import creations from other players from the Workshop, in the form of blueprints, and get them in your world. I highly recommend you check this one out if you’re into space exploration and survival! I’m looking forward to seeing how this one develops.

 

Edited for Spelling and Posted by Matt

Review sent in by Collin Polk from Dallas

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