Empyrion – Galactic Survival (Updated Early Access) Review – Galaxy-Sized Fun

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Empyrion – Galactic Survival
Eleon Game Studios

I haven’t played Empyrion – Galactic Survival for a number of months now—or should I say, hadn’t. Although I thought it was an amazing game when I initially tried it out, I became distracted by other games in the ever growing (now very crowded) survival genre, especially games like Rust and Miscreated. I’ve even been given so many review copies of other games recently that my hard drive became a little too packed, and so unfortunately, Empyrion was one of the casualties of a few rounds of deletions.

I’d always meant to come back to Empyrion, and so I’m glad that one of my super-geek gaming buddies invited me to play it again, a week or so ago.

“Hey man, a big new update just dropped for Empyrion,” he giddily reported.

“Really? So what’s new about it?” I cautiously replied.

“Dude, they’ve added so much new stuff that it’s like playing a completely new game now.”

“Hmmm…okay, I’ll check it out with you.”

With that, I quickly reinstalled Empyrion and booted it up. My friend was impatiently awaiting my presence in one of the servers, urging me to hurry up and join (it’s all his fault…yeah), so I made the initial mistake of entering the game without first joining a faction. What that resulted in was me crash landing on a neutral planet far away from my friend. He then explained Empyrion’s new faction dynamic as I backed out of the server for another try.

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Empyrion’s latest update does indeed offer a veritable plethora of new content, not the least of which is to organize players into factions. The particular server that we were playing on had a high population count and a multitude of factions—everything from space cops, to bounty hunters, pirates, and even guardian-type do-gooders. As my friend is a pretty good-natured guy in real life, he’d joined the guardian-types, which were charged with protecting space traders and newbie players to the server, alike. Basically, anyone who needed protection that the space cops couldn’t help.

As a quick overview for those not in the know—Empyrion is a science fiction, sandbox style, survival game, where players begin on a home planet, harvest resources, craft stuff, and build up bases. It’s similar, at least mechanics-wise, to games of similar ilk, such as Rust, H1Z1, and Day Z. But while all of those more popular (at least for now) games share the same post-apocalyptic setting, Empyrion has it players reaching for the stars—literally.

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Unlike the aforementioned, more terrestrial-based survival games, in Empyrion, after you gather up enough resources and craft enough essential equipment, you can build your very own space craft. In this respect, Empyrion is everything that the super-disappointing No Man’s Sky should have been, and much more.

While No Man’s Sky gave us enormous universes with ga-zillions of more-or-less same-y stars, with similarly same-y planets orbiting around them, Germany-based indie developer Eleon Game Studios dialed Empyrion’s scale back a tad bit. On your typical Empyrion server, you have anywhere from the to twenty or so planetary bodies and one or two stars. But, the diversity that exists between each of them is much more pronounced. Each planet is also either occupied and overseen by one of the server’s factions, or is a contested PvP region between them.

This offers plenty of opportunities for faction vs faction warfare, alliances or other treaties, intrigue, and Machiavellian politics. If you’re not the type who wants to constantly be worrying about PvP happenings, you can always become a miner, goods dealer, or simply go about exploring alien bases and other AI controlled entities.

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One of the most exciting experiences that I had playing Empyrion wasn’t dogfighting enemy factions in space (although that was indeed a blast), it was investigating, and clearing out alien structures. Sometimes you can even be simply flying around in the skies and suddenly get attacked by alien drones, or the new (as of the latest update) troop transports. Empyrion is just bristling with so much to do that I would find it hard for someone to get bored, let alone complacent, since there is always a lot going on, wherever you are.

The more game time I’ve logged in with the new Empyrion update, the more I’ve come to realize just how much content has been added. The new faction system is very intriguing and it’s interesting to see the shifting alliances happen right before your eyes. Want to take part in large space battles? Go for it, just be sure that you’re not breaking any of your server’s fundamental rules in doing so. You can even raid enemy bases and perform strafing runs on them or invasions, granted you have the right type of ships packing the right kind of armaments.

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Visually, Empyrion probably isn’t going to be winning any awards, but its developers are improving them with every patch and upgrade. Indeed, it’s come a long ways from its heady, rather unglamorous days as a bright eyed, new-game-on-the-block, when it initially debuted back in mid-2015.

In all, Empyrion – Galactic Survival is the perfect gaming choice for fans of the science fiction genre who enjoy lots of content, without being overly complex. It has an excellent RPG-style progression system, ever-improving visuals, attentive developers, a solid, friendly (overall) community, and open-ended, fun gameplay. If you’re getting a little tired of the same ‘ol post-apocalyptic settings, or zombies (or both), you may want to try Empyrion out, it’s a blast to play.

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SCORE: 93%

Empyrion – Galactic Survival offers some great visuals that suit its far-future, science fiction theme. However, you have to have an equally fast gaming PC in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

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