First Impressions

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  • Pix

    I had a long session on Alien Legacy yesterday and came away with mixed feelings. There is a real hurdle at the start to figuring out what to do and the interface. It’s quite slick when you know what you are doing but completely cryptic without a manual. Once I got over that, I started quite enjoying myself, exploring the planet, building my bases and the like.

    I ended up with bases on 3 planets a few hours later. I like the way the story slowly unfolds as you explore but the micro-management was getting too much. I was realising things I should have done differently from the start. Upgrading your research stations for instance seems to be a fools errand in hindsight as they aren’t much better but consume loads of resources. I’d also not really built up my planet bases as much as I should have done and should have built more of everything on each site before moving on.

    I really need to restart and try again and I’m not sure I can face going back to the beginning. The gameplay is very repetitive really, so many hours just exploring planets. I was finding it more compelling than I might have expected for a while but the novelty was wearing thin after 4 or 5 hours of the same activities.

    The game is very similar to Starflight in most aspects, a game I loved when we played it some years back. This isn’t grabbing me in the same way though. It’s too grindy. This sort of resource management isn’t a genre I tend to go for either. There looks to be a decent game there for people who enjoy it more than me but I think I’ve probably seen enough myself for now.


    I put in an hour or two yesterday, so it might be a bit premature to give my first impressions, but here they are anyway!
    First off, I’ve played a heap of Master of Orion (and a fair amount of MOO2), and one thing I always wanted was overworld maps of planets and the ability to lay out settlements, so I was pretty happy when I saw that AL has that!

    My copies of MOO and MOO2 were budget re-releases with no physical manual – just a pdf on the disc, so there was no way I was going to read that. (So annoying for the copy protection by the way!) Basically I had to figure out how to do everything in those games by trial and error.
    I think that experience must have prepared me for this game, because I’m not really finding it that hard to figure out how to do things or what everything means.
    I’m finding myself just asking my advisors for advice and then just clicking around until I figure out how to do it.

    The one thing I’m really enjoying so far about this game is the way it blends story with gameplay. For any other strategy game of the era I can think of, if there is any story at all (besides that which you make for yourself), it was always just crammed into text boxes between missions.
    It’s really cool that the story here is integrated organically with the gameplay itself.

    I also like that the science seems reasonably well researched. The star systems that are mentioned are all real, and a lot of the technologies, if not already real, are based on hypotheses by scientists.

    So yeah. I haven’t decided if I really like it yet or not – I still only have one settlement and haven’t really gotten to the grindy part yet, but there is a lot in here that I at least like in principle!

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