One of the few science-fiction MMORPGs in a market overly saturated with fairies and wizards, Eve Online promised a breath of fresh air but ends up being little more than an exercise in monotony. It is the epitome of wasted potential, with beautiful graphics, rich sounds, and some good ideas, all of which come to nothing due to unfocused gameplay, a poor interface, and its tedious nature.
Character generation is probably the most fun you’ll have with Eve. There are many options available, including dozens of professions and 12 subraces. Your character’s look is also highly customizable, endearing the game to you early on.
Unfortunately, the fun factor crashes down like an avalanche once you start playing. The tutorial is bad, the manual is nearly worthless, and the clunky interface requires too many clicks and drags to accomplish anything. And once you figure out how things work, you begin mining. You spend an eternity shooting at big rocks with mining lasers before you can afford a decent ship or skill upgrade that allows you to survive encounters with anything tougher than training drones.
When you finally get into battles, you’ll find that the generic click-and-watch combat wasn’t worth the effort, and there’s no sense of accomplishment or purpose in anything you do. Eve has some good ideas, such as player-formed corporations, skill training when you aren’t logged on, dynamic economies, and a reputation and bounty system that regulates player killing. None of these makes up for its faults, but at least it doesn’t have more elves.
Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in GMR Magazine.