by Preston Dozsa
reviewed on PC
No tutorial leads to reviewer anger
That said, the game is set in a relatively open, persistent online world, allowing everyone to avoid the story and go on missions as they please. You choose where you want to travel to, and whatever you do in those locations remains that way, whether you are playing by yourself or with others. Itís an interesting mechanic that could have helped the game to stand out. In practice, however, it amounts to nothing. What's the point of blowing up an asteroid or a generator if the fragments, more often than not, disappear? Great idea, poor implementation.
You control your ship in Miner Wars 2081 using six different buttons, four for steering and two for rotating your craft. Iíll admit, the controls are very fluid, and its easy to move and shoot at enemy vessels and targets. With few exceptions, everything worked as it was supposed to. That is, they worked, even if I had no clue what they were for. Which brings me to the game's core problem.
My biggest gripe with Miner Wars 2081 is not the story. Nor is it the poor use of persistent areas. In short, for the vast majority of the game, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. The game lacks any form of tutorial, and I still have trouble grasping the concepts of the game. Are the minerals I harvest supposed to be sold, or is there another use for them? Speaking of which, what do each of the different types of minerals do? And on that note, what is the difference between harvesting the minerals, and turning on the drill? The drill doesnít need to be turned on to harvest the minerals, so what is itís purpose? And does using the drill cost fuel, and if so, is it possible to buy fuel?
I can go on and on, but the one design element that Miner Wars 2081 needs to be successful is a tutorial. Anything would suffice, so long as it taught me something about the game. I donít know how trading works, nor do I know how to upgrade my ship. One could search online to find this, but itís an extremely poor design decision to not incorporate some way of teaching you these concepts in game.
And that's not all, not even close
So the gameplay and story arenít up to par. How about the rest of the game? Well, I donít normally complain about the graphics in the game unless they lack polish. Thankfully, Miner Wars 2081 gives me the rare occasion where I am able to. Every texture in the game is rough, and there are very few smooth edges. Round objects look better, but there is still a general lack of polish on every surface.
And the icing on the cake? I used a stopwatch to time how long the game takes to load. There is a disclaimer at the bottom of every loading screen that states ďLong load times are due to Miner Wars' unique persistent and fully destructible environments.Ē But when your game takes a full minute and a half to load fully, any reasoning is inexcusable.
Miner Wars 2081 had potential. It could have been a game that had the PC gaming community gushing about the possibilities that lie within. It could have been a cult hit whose community grew over time. Instead, Miner Wars 2081 offers one of the worst experiences I have yet to play on the PC this year. Letís hope that the developers can patch the game's problems soon, because I cannot see a future for it in the state its in.
Nice basic premise with lots of potential.
Uninteresting characters and story, No tutorial, unpolished graphics, long load times.