Space Engineers is another one of those niche games where you get to build your own space ship out of blocks like in Star Made. Space Engineers was released in early access on October 23, 2013. However it just recently left EA and was released under Beta on December 15, 2016. With that release, players enjoyed a host of new visual improvements. But for many players, this was a repeat of Miner Wars, a previously failed title for Keen Software House, the producers of Space Engineers, where the developers released the game in a state in which it was so terribly buggy and unoptimized that it is simply — unplayable.
When Space Engineers first released back in 2013, it wasn’t really that bad. However, since that day, many things have been added, in which caused a significant tax of bugs, and instead of trying to nail down these bugs like most developers do, they continued to release updates every week with more and more features. It was almost a year later before Keen Software House decided it was time to sit down and do some bug hunting and they did. But that one swoop of fixes only covered a very minute fraction of the bugs that existed, and most of the fixes were on bugs that weren’t even critical or high severity bugs. At the time the famous landing-gear bug existed which would cause your ship(s) to randomly explode when you locked your landing gear to a mothership which, by consequence would put a really big hole in the side of that mothership. Locking your landing gear was necessary to ensure that you could bring your smaller mining ships with your motherships when you were hunting resources. But in the iteration of updates that came while this bug existed for a year, was fixes to the UI, glass texture changes (more than 4 times), and other various bug fixes that were very low in severity. But this was, by far, not the only critical bug that persisted, rotors, pistons, wheels, there were many upon many critical bugs that could cause a player to lose the entirety of their assets and make the game unplayable for them, to the point they would have to either reset the save or find another server/game to play.
When Space Engineers released in December of 2016, it was said by KSH that the rotors and pistons were fixed and optimized. They were right — sort of — they were disabled. That is the way in which this development studio approaches critical bugs: It is an at-will fiasco and if they don’t feel like working on it, they simply do not. The problem is, after three years of compounding bugs and net code issues, even by entirely replacing the net code there is still a host of problems, desyncs, and issues that cause a save to become unplayable to 100% of a server’s audience.
But since it all began, the one thing this title’s community has become very comfortable with is neglect. That is to say neglect from the developers to both the game and the community. Up until Xocliw was hired by KSH, there were no community relations, in fact, the one attempt the producers tried was creating a forum on their website where they would update the community every week on their progress and future plans. This forum, today still has ONE TOPIC. In fact, the community is so used to the neglect, they’ll even argue there is none, even though the head of KSH has abandoned the project over and over again in the past three years.
In summary, as a fan of the SciFi and Voxel genres, Space Engineers remains today as an unplayable mess, with a development team in a severe state of disarray, and where many of the features that made this title desirable over other games, like Empyrion: Galactic Survival, has been stripped and neutered from the game. It is my opinion that this game is barely worthy of a review, and that review score should reflect my honest opinion of it.
- Gameplay - 84%84%
- Graphics - 72%72%
- Sound - 85%85%
- Longevity - 91%91%
- Value - 83%83%