State Of The Game – Kinetic Void 0.04

headerKinetic Void
Version: Alpha Update 0.04 (25/10/13)
Badlands Studio
http://badlandstudio.com/kinetic-void/

For the uninitiated: Kinetic Void pitches itself as a 3D space adventure with an emphasis on ship building and space simulation. After constructing your ship piece by piece, you set off to explore a procedurally generated galaxy map. The choice of what to do is up to you. You want to destroy everything in sight. Try it, but the factions will remember and get you back. However, if you just want to float around the galaxy and trade, then its all shiny (Obligatory Firefly reference done). Badland Studio seem content to leave the choices up to you.

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Current Playability: Kinetic Void was fully backed on Kickstarter in May 2012 so has been in development for  17 months. It arrived on Steam Early Access back in June and at the time it was very bare bones. There was a shipyard to make your ships and that was about it. Now though, you can build almost any type of ship that you wanted or head to the Steam Workshop to download Star Destroyers, X-Wings or Firefly class ships . Once you finally got out into space, the game becomes very boring as there is virtually nothing to do. In the latest version, there are the beginnings of a mission system but my experiences with it so far have been far from great. In one game, I was requested to check out a sighting. When I got there, something took off very quickly. I say something as I just saw 2 little red triangles disappear before I could click on them. Finally the mission giver came up with a message saying he would give me anything to get them off him, but nothing could be seen for (space) miles around and nothing could be selected.

One thing that seems missing (in my opinion) is a tutorial. The game boasts Toggleable Newtonian Flight, Kinetic Fields and Micro Warp Drives, but doesn’t take the time to tell you what they do or how to use them. You can assign weapons to groups but its up to you to figure that out. A simple tutorial at the beginning with a pre-built ship that covers flying, shooting and warping would not only help new players learn the game, but perhaps give the game a sense of cohesion that it currently is missing.

Worth Purchasing? While the game has been polished somewhat with a UI and texture overhaul, the game-play experience has not really increased past a ship building exercise . In its current state its hard to justify paying $19.99 (£14.99) for what is essentially just  a ship builder. Maybe once the mission and faction system is fleshed out, but there is no date currently for that.

Next Game Update: Badlands Studio do seem to update the game at least once a month with an update and small tweaks and hot-fixes shortly after.

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