Eve online is the ultimate space exploration and space battle sandbox that is community driven. It is a highly competitive and unforgiving game that isn’t for everyone as your pretty much on your own in terms of learning how to survive.
But you have different options how you wish to play the game, you can pursue a life of space exploration, warfare where you take part in endless space battles with other ships or learn to mine, trade and make money.
The game has been in continuous development for over 15 years with 7000 star systems. The player community is so big the game is even in the Guinness Book of Records for the biggest ever game battle involving 6,142 players.
Game Play Video
Eve Online is the Most Engrossing and Visually Stunning Space game ever. Offering one hell of a space odyssey adventure this mulitplayer will grab your attention and keep it. Learning to do battle in the political arena as effectively as against other players will ensure your survival and growth. In Eve every action has a consequence so tread lightly until you learn the state of play.
With the rise of online gaming and eSports around the world, game developers over the years have eagerly picked up on the potential gold mine offered by pay to win models. Out of this mish-mash of different genres, there arose the Massive Multiplayer Online(MMO) format. In the beginning, the more traditional MMO were role playing games (MMORPG), with games such as Diablo 2, World of Warcraft (worldofwarcraft.com) (which is still popular today) and Guild Wars. As successful as these games were, it has left this particular genre bloated with fantasy style games associated with dungeons, dragons and wizards. Yet no longer, as Eve Online has proved to be a breath of fresh air to the stagnating state that the genre is in. To put it simply, the Eve Online game moves away from the traditional Dungeon and Dragons rules and far into the future, to the deep reaches of space.
Take a look at the video of the Eve Online game above, it offers a fascinating insight into the game play and spectacular graphics that await you.
Let us start off this review then with some background to the game play and what the game is actually about. Eve Online can be summed up in a basic sentence; a true space odyssey, featuring a player driven economy with your destiny laid bare at your feet. Set in the far reaches of the future, you control your space ship in a time that has tamed space travel and with an open ended game playing style, you are free to do what you want in this truly huge (and I mean huge) universe.
Upon first creating your account and logging into the game, you will be met with a character creation screen and a choice of four main factions to choose from. Bearing in mind, you progress through Eve online by building up various skills (mechanics, gunnery etc) your choice of faction will heavily influence your initial skill set. A rather nice touch is the added background stories to each of the factions, as you are greeted with a 30 second video clip on each of their general backgrounds with a more in depth coverage in text below.
Following on from this, you then get to select your bloodline and ancestry, two further back story options that will ultimately shape your character. Finally, you choose your gender, followed by a facial creation screen to create your character. Shockingly, Eve Online game has a fairly advanced facial creation system, compared to games like World of Warcraft, yet the character you create will rarely be shown, other than as your avatar.
The entirety of the game is spent in space ships, and other players will only see your character if they click your ship and try to find out more information about you. However, even though your character is barely seen, it is still a nice feature and adds a personable touch to your character. Ironically although not a key feature in the game Eve’s character editing tool is one of the most impressive for an MMO out performing other more superficially focused avatar creation tools.
Your initial features will rely heavily on the faction you choose as each faction has its own ethnic groups associated with it, but you are able to morph your physical features into unique shapes and then choose your hair, clothes, background etc; all the standard options you would associate with a feature like this.
The Game World
Upon the creation of your character, you are finally put out into space to begin your training. This is where you may find yourself slightly lost, simply because you are greeted with a fairly daunting user interface and the vastness of the game itself. However, even with such a complex UI, you start off in tutorial mode, where the game gives you the choice to start the tutorial that will cover the basics, such as moving around, fighting, scavenging, docking, warping etc.
From here on in though you’ve entered through the door to the Eve Online universe and the game is pretty much open ended allowing you to do whatever you want. For instance, as a big part of the game relies on economy matters, more specifically the amount of money you have for ship upgrades, you will be given paid missions to start you off with. The first few of these missions will introduce the game play to you a little more, but their main purpose is to get you earning money so you can start to upgrade your ship. For instance, your first mission may be to hunt down a saboteur, destroy him and bring back some documents he stole. At the end of this, you’ve had a practice with some of the techniques you learned in the tutorials, plus you’ve just earned about 10000 credits.
A rather neat little feature that Eve Online has is to allow you to create missions for other players which could include couriering items between places or even hunting various players in the game who may have annoyed whoever set up the bounty. Once you’ve completed the initial missions though, you will start finding you will want to explore more of the Eve Online universe, and start to gain a foothold in it. What you get up to is entirely your choice and depends on your game playing preferences as there is no one way to go about playing Eve. You may find you want to stick to the solo life, and pursue mining ventures, gathering resources, selling them and making money to upgrade your ship, or create products to sell to other players for a profit. Probably one of the greatest plus points to this game is you really can play it solo and not have to rely on other players. However if this is not you, then you’ll probably want to join one of the corporations.
If you are familiar with other games such as Guild Wars, then these corporations can be thought of as guilds, e.g. a group of players working together for the same common goal. In most cases this goal will be making a profit from mining ventures or pirating. Both create a team environment which is what really starts to make this game interesting. As you can join, or even create your own corporation, you will end up having turf wars with your rivals, which can lead to massive fire fights.
At this point, it is probably a good idea to talk about the fighting system a little. While fairly basic, it offers an extra dimension of excitement to Eve Online (eveonline.com). Unfortunately there are not hoards of space aliens to fight off in epic fleet battles; however this is not what the Eve game is about. As it is a player driven economy game, most of your fights will take place between pirates and other corporations trying to wrestle(or defend) various resources out of your current oppositions grip. This can lead to massive player v player (PvP) battles. Furthermore, as you gain more money, you can add new and more varied weapons to your ship, which inevitably makes the fights far more interesting.
Character Development and Skills
An important point to pick up though about Eve Online is its skills system. As mentioned earlier, your character development relies heavily on a skills based system where you can train current and new skills to new levels, such as your mining proficiency, or fighting ability. Unlike other games though, such as World of Warcraft which relies on an experience and level up system, Eve takes a far more friendly approach which allows you to develop skills over time. You can set a number of skills to train in, and then you can exit out and come back the next day to find you have just upgraded your characters abilities. The slightest drawback to this is it can take hours to days to train various skills, but it does mean that you can set your character training while you take a break from the game for a couple of days.
Finally, in terms of the game play, one of the biggest parts to the Eve game is getting around. Bearing in mind the Eve Online universe is huge there are various options for you to travel around. For instance, if your destination is very close, you can choose to approach, or orbit it, however on the other hand, you may find it’s a fair way away, in which case you can warp there. This really just involves you clicking warp, and watching your ship travel extremely fast through space to your destination. Yet, you will a lot of the time, find yourself travelling across multiple star systems, which are all connected via Stargates. These Stargates are fairly easy to use, as you simply locate one, and click jump to be transported to your destination. Travel time is fairly instantaneous although you will find yourself waiting for about a minute to reappear at your destination. Considering you have just travelled millions of light years though, the compared wait is almost literally nothing. However, if you are considering jumping from one side of the universe to the other, this will take a long time to do, and you will find yourself making a cup of tea while your ship makes the journey. Thankfully though, you do have an autopilot option which will let your ship make the minimum number of jumps necessary to reach the destination.
Visuals and Sound
The graphics in Eve are outstandingly good. As the game came out in 2003, there have been some minor graphical changes over the past few years, normally relating to anti aliasing and adding some cool bloom effects; however the resulting effort has produced the best space fairing graphics game to date. It is fairly obvious, that some of the inspiration for this game has come from other successful space games such as Homeworld, but with the added bloom and anti aliasing, there is a certain sleekness that makes this game leap out compared to some of the other top titles out there. However, it is not just the polygon models used to create the various ships and planets that really make the Eve Online game feel like an odyssey. The background graphics are astonishing, yet so simple. Being able to control the view point from around your ship, you are met with a landscape of sheer beauty with stars cascading nebulas and the blackness of space. Hues of purple, green and pale milky pink make up various gas clouds surrounding your ship. If you warp to various stars, the graphics for the stars turned suns are simply beautiful.
Yet, graphics alone do not effectively spell out the immiscible effect of the game. While important, it’s the background ambient sounds and music that is the key to loosing yourself within the game. Behind the graphical glossiness of the visuals, you will be accompanied by cool ambient sounds, with the discrete roaring of your space engines. The best way to describe it actually, is to compare it to that of an aquarium or sea life centre. An odd comparison you may think, but if you play the Eve game, you’ll understand what I mean.
It really is rare to get a game that can take a stagnant genre, and turn it around. Eve online game has managed to do this with amazing success. While Star Citizen (robertsspaceindustries.com) may eventually eclipse Eve, it will take some doing considering this game has 15 years development behind it and a huge loyal following. No longer are we forced to play MMO’s as an elf, dwarf or gnome, specialising in magic or the way of the sword. Eve has successfully cashed in on the abundance of space mad players and created a gaming environment that relies on a player driven economy. With the beautiful graphics, and excellent sound choices for the game, it really has become something special. The open ended nature of the Eve and the massive emphasis on corporations and economy driven success increases the playing life of Eve Online significantly. It would be a lie to say that the game comes without faults, but over the years the developers have picked up on these and have amended them suitably, adding bug fixes, tweaking the graphics, enhancing the game play. This just goes to show how dedicated the developers are, and shows good promise for further improvements in the future.