EVE Online Player Reviews
"You have to admire the impudence of Icelandic software company CCP. Not may
companies would attempt to construct, with their first release, the Holy Grail
of gaming – Elite Online.
The question is, did they manage it?
One of the first things to be said about EVE is its sheer scope. With 5000 systems in the game (and the option of more being added in the future), many of them with a large supporting entourage of orbiting planets, moons, Space stations, Factories, Asteroid Belts, NPC ships, sentry guns and all sorts of other space paraphernalia. You get to see all these beautifully rendered in stunning DX9 Graphics.
Character generation is also a deeply involved process. You get to choose from 4 races. The Armarr, The Gallente, The Caldari and The Minmatar. (Notable and important players in the game may be invited to join the mysterious fifth race, The Jove, at some point in the future). You can choose your characters sex, your bloodline and the combination of skills your character will start with. One of the most enjoyable features of the character generation screen is the way you decide exactly you characters looks. CCP gives you the option to edit almost any feature, from the shape of the jaw line to the tattoos or implants your character has. You can even decide on the type of light illuminating your character. While you can of course select the first face your offered, its worth spending a little bit of time to create a face which is suitably sexy/ugly/evil looking.
You should be clear that your character in EVE is not like characters in other MMORPG such as Earth and Beyond. There is no such thing as experience points in EVE, and no levelling up. You character improves his skills by purchasing and using a skill pack. The skill pack takes a particular amount of real world time to be “learned” but you continues to learn the skill regardless of if you are in game or not at the time. This means that while power gamers will have some advantages, casual players will not be too badly screwed.
One of the first things you will notice when you get out in space, is the way there is no standard cockpit view. Your ship, like everything else in the game is rendered in 3D and you have control of a camera controlled by the mouse which is used to pan around the ship allowing you to view it from any distance and angle. This does take a bit of getting used to at first, but is does give you the opportunity to view your ship in all its splendour. A quick tutorial then takes you through the basics of flying, navigation, trading, mining and combat. Then you are left to do your own thing. Well not quite, You can fly off and do your own thing if you like or you could choose to take on NPC missions, normally through your NPC agent who lives on your starting station. While these missions start off stupidly easy, “fly this package to that station”, They do become more difficult as you become more experienced. Of course the rewards also get better. You may well be contacted with more important agents from time to time who can offer you more important, and valuable missions.
A lot of people are looking at EVE for the P V P combat element. As with everything else in the game, this looks stunning. The Bright beams from laser cannons arc between the combating ships. Artillery cruisers quiver and shake as they launch their enormous broadsides. Missiles streak across the blackness of space. Of course noobies don’t get given the best weapons and ships to begin with, nor do they start with the kind of targeting skills required to hit the side of a barn from inside the barn. Both the weapons and the skill packs needed have to be earned. This does leads to the potential problems of Griefers getting a half decent ship and just laying waste to noobies minding their own business. CCP have attempted to circumvent this problem by having sectors with high security status which noobies can fly about in safety. If anyone attacks anyone else in these sectors, they in turn get jumped on by the NPC space police (confusingly known as CONCORD). Its too early to tell if this method of control is going to work but so far I haven’t seen any incidents of Griefing. The further away from the starting sectors you go the lower the security status and thereby there is a reduction in response and actions from CONCORD. Finally you get to zero sec space where anything goes. In zero sec space the potential risks are greater but so are the rewards, There are rich mining areas and lucrative trade possibilities. I should point out that EVE is not a twitch game. Combat is a deeper tactical experience with issues such as capacitor charge (basically your ships store of energy used to fire the guns and run systems) or shield and armour levels being critical. Your weapons are fitted to turrets on your ship and are automatically targeted at your enemy. There is of course a huge diversity of weapons and countermeasures on the market which players can buy.
What makes the game really take off, however, is the ability of groups of players to form themselves into Corporations. Working with a group of like minded people sharing a common goal makes the whole EVE experience far more rewarding. As a corporation you will have the ability to do things beyond the wildest dreams of people playing the game by themselves.
Just some of the things you can do are:
Get Blueprints for the next generation of weapons and ships and manufacture them yourself.
Buy your own stations, moons, planets or even systems
Form a large fleet and gang up on your enemies.
Buy and sell shares in your (and other peoples) Corporations.
Work together to build the largest ships in the game, Giant Battleships and Titans
Form a cartel and play the economy of the game to your advantage (The economy in EVE is very much player driven)
Work to get incredibly, unbelievably rich and powerful
And that’s just scratching the surface here.
As in any game there are a few downers of course. It would have been nice to be able to land on planets or walk around the space stations. It probably would have been a nightmare for CCP to implement but even so, I feel it takes something away from the games Universe. The Death system can be a bit harsh as well, you can very quickly loose the brand spanking new ship which you had been patiently saving up for weeks for. There as still some annoying bugs in the game, nothing too major (at least in my experience so far) but they are irritating.
I should also say the distribution of the game, especially in Europe by Crucial entertainment looks like it has been a complete disaster. Its probably best to try to buy the game online if your lucky. A system for paying with pre-paid cards will not be available for a while yet so you need to be able to get hold of a major Credit/Debit card to play it. I am reliably informed that the while the game does play well on a 56K modem, combat can be a bit iffy if you don’t have a broadband connection.
Absolutely, jaw droppingly, pants wettingly stunning. The ships look great, movement is smooth and the warping effects are superb. Combat is often a beautiful spectacle 10/10
The weapons (at least the big ones) all sound nice and meaty (ignoring the fact that there is no sound in space). CCP also gives you a large choice of in game music, with themes based on the different races. Personally I wasn’t partially impressed with these. They is played on an in game MP3 player. You can add your own MP3 to the file list but this takes a bit of
Can get a bit annoying if all you are doing is mining, which most noobies will have to do for a bit. Joining or making a corporation however creates a whole new dimension to the game and can be a highly enjoyable and rewarding experience.
This is absolutely a love it or hate it game. The game is set on a vast scale and you are literally free to do anything you want. Just so long as your willing to accept the consciences. This game is of course visually stunning and plays well despite some minor bugs, which should hopefully be ironed out soon. Basically you are either going addicted to EVE for life or you’ll hate it from the first second. No Prizes for guess which group I ’m in.
WOOOOOHOOOOOO - 93%" - Urban Mongral