Well, some interesting experiences so far.... the biggest issue I have is that the game has some... problems... with explaining itself. Which is to say, it doesn't. Good luck firing out where to find Thaumium and Zinc, for instance (which you need to repair a couple of things at the start, not to mention that they also have to do with fuel). It's obvious that you have a mining laser, sure. It's NOT obvious that these two things come from FLOWERS. No mining involved. Then there's the Pulse Drive... once I got the damn ship to move, after my eternal search for bloody Thaumium ended, it said I could use the Pulse Drive to get around faster. Okay, makes sense. Couldn't figure out how to get it to STOP at the spot I was aiming at. Eventually bounced off the nearest asteroid and sorta ricocheted a bunch. Immediately found out I wasn't using it properly, of course, but the game doesn't tell you this. It just says "hit these two buttons to use pulse drive!".
Though, that's not THAT much of a complaint: I've never, EVER seen a game of this genre that actually explains itself. Never. Some of them sorta make a pretense of doing it, but many seriously don't bother. So I'm used to this aspect.
As for the gameplay... yep, this is a survival game. It's very exploration focused, but as in most survival games you're going to have a lot of things you need to do in order to keep yourself going. Your suit needs power, your mining thingie and gun need power, your ship needs power, there's temperature to worry about in some places,you need various resources to craft important gizmos.... and as is also typical you never have even close to enough inventory space. There's always resources and items to find, you always WANT them, but you sometimes just cant HAVE them. The usual, really. And it can be easy to get lost in certain types of areas... best to be careful when exploring caves in particular.
Much of my time so far was spent doing a few things:
1. Wandering around looking for stuff
3. Getting shot at, running from horrible laser thing; this happened more than a few times
4. More gathering resources as I headed to various waypoints, displayed as "?" marks, they are where you're likely to find abandoned buildings or other interesting things, there's usually rewards for doing this; the trouble is getting to them, of course
5. Trying to figure out what interaction with animals does
6. Trying to figure out why I was being bitten by a tiny crab made of leaves
7. Falling in holes
8. Got lost in a cave for quite awhile (after all the survival/sandbox games I've played, you'd think I'd know to be careful about that by now, but noooooo)
9. Eternal search for blasted flowers. It eventually turned out that.... yeah, I needed to look near the big obvious place stuffed with a million plants and things. I suppose maybe I should have thought that out a bit harder. I'm blaming the weather. Still, they're oddly hard to spot...
Interestingly, the planet I started on seemed barren at first, but some exploration revealed that this wasn't entirely the case. There were places to find with lots of animals and big plant/tree/something things, but the planet wasn't drowning in them. Desert world, actually.
The game's controls work quite nicely, though obviously I'm stuck on a damn console with it for the time being. But there's absolutely no issue with that part. The UI works nicely too. All of this both for being on the ground, and being in space. Flying the ship is fun, though you have "liftoff thrusters" that have their own fuel source... every time you start up the ship it'll take a big blob of that away, so you cant just be constantly leaping from one spot on the planet to the next. This is good, because if this wasn't the case there'd be no need to ever actually be on foot for any reason. Considering how huge the game is though, sometimes some distances are just... too far, so you're going to want to do that. At one point, after finding a huge beacon thing, it marked down a location for an "advanced life form" on my radar thing. A quick look at it determined that it was a 20 minute walk away. ......yep, used the ship for that! Found some alien's home there, couldn't understand a damn thing he said.
I mighta not taken quite as long to leave the planet if it wasn't for my usual obsessive need to investigate damn near everything. I do that in Minecraft and the others as well. Got specific things I need to do? No no, that's gotta wait, there's a huge rock here, gotta see what's on the other side of that first, it's imperative, the universe will clearly collapse if I don't... Honestly, easily distracted players will find themselves... well, frequently distracted.
Graphics are just lovely, the game is gorgeous really. They did a great job with color schemes and lighting to make different areas stand out from one another. Also space is apparently green now. No, I don't know why...
Overall, the damn flowers aside, this is pretty much just what I'd hoped it'd be. Is it perfect? Ye gods, no. Of course it isn't. But the devs seem very committed to dealing with what problems it has and adding to it, so that's good. Overall though, I'm loving the game so far. This sure isn't going to be for everyone.... particularly those that for whatever utterly baffling reason were expecting a big AAA game that's extremely story driven. There seem to be more than a few people out there that are angry that the game ISNT that. Seriously, I don't know where they get some of these misconceptions.
Currently I must go to bed, and have stopped and saved my game in a nearby space station. Later I'll continue and see what happens. Hopefully further travel will not require bouncing off more asteroids.