Keen Software House tackled their leading title in popularity with a huge Update today. By teasing the Update in the past two months using footage from in-dev builds they sure succeeded to generate hype in their steadily growing playerbase. With the last teaser announcing the release date of the Update that adds Planets to the wasteland of asteroids Space Engineers has offered up to today. Space Engineers is a space engineering simulator slash space survival game. While survival is definetly not the focus of the current early access version of Space Engineers the weekly updates hint at survival like gameplay in future versions (e.g. an Oxygen level).
Now with the planet update hitting steam coming with a fully packed 1.7 gigabytes patch to download, it seems like it would add the missing touch to the (compared to the pre-update game scenarios) grey wasteland of asteroids.
But here are a few misunderstandings that led many hyped players to disappointment:
- The Planets are not randomly or procedurally generated. You can select one out of four pre built scenarios, which are always the same when you start them over again.
- The Voxel based Surfaces (destructible Surfaces) that you could really enjoy applied to the asteroids previously, seem pretty poorly optimized for the planets. In fact it feels like they just scaled up an asteroid and colored it (not in graphic means). The planets that are now in the world eat up enormous ammounts of ram (6 gigabytes already in the loading screen before the game started), bundled with a decently long loading screen.
- The performance of the game is critically affected by the now existing planets. It might be also an effect of poor optimization mentioned earlier, but Players who used to enjoy a constant framerate of 60 Fps on the highest graphic settings were greeted with inconsistent 30 fps, freezes, framedrops and crashes. The game didnt even run smoothly in the revealing live-stream (VOD here), which was brought to us by the developers themselves, and it even crashed while they attempted to preview it.
Now with such a big update coming up for an early access game there are bound to be bugs, gliches and unimprovements. Thats why the game is marked as early access since it is still, in fact, in development. Still players with enough dedication to turn a blind eye on a few graphic glitches and do own cutting edge hardware by sheer coincidence, might still enjoy this update alot.
The pre-crafted planets still look pretty stunning from many perspectives.
A wild swarm of flying bushes, in their natural habitat: Snowy Mountains
Some of the selectable scenarios.