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New Evochron Mercenary

This downloads page now offers an updated version 2.288 of Evochron Mercenary, the space combat and exploration game from indie developer StarWraith 3D games. Here are the changes in the new version, which is also available as a trial version:

  • Improved rendering performance for most systems.
  • Mod placement options added for text chat/message log.
  • Improved activation performance for the dynamic cube mapping system for planetary water (eliminating the 0.5-1 second pause on planetary descents).
  • New loading mechanism applied to planet meshes and city meshes to better support systems with limited/restricted hard drive performance/functionality (ie file error 105).
  • Fix for loading issue causing stored custom weapons in hangars to have removed stats.
  • Updated collision system for planetary terrain to reduce overall memory use.
  • Training mode can now be completed using profiles saved in other systems.
  • Adjusted click ranges in configure controls menus.
  • Improved lens flare masking for capital ships.
  • Several minor bug fixes.

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13. Re: New Evochron Mercenary Jan 19, 2013, 00:59 jimnms
 
Although I bought it on sale last year, I didn't start playing it until recently. It does have a story and a goal, I guess ItBurn didn't pay attention to the message at the start of the game instructing you to go to a certain planet and accept a specific job to begin the story.

You can ignore the story and do your own thing, which is what I did at first. When I tried to use the jump drive and go to the planet, it said my jump drive wasn't capable of making the jump. I didn't realize you could set the auto pilot and it would plot a course making several jumps (or do it yourself manually), and there was a jump gate near by that took you closer.

I thought I needed to upgrade first, so I hung around the starting star system doing odd jobs to upgrade my ship. I finally started the story missions, which so far are basically tutorial type missions that I'd already done. I was having fun I got to the combat part of the story missions.

I guess the missions scale to your rank or something because I constantly get my ass kicked. I looked in the forums and found a link to some tutorial videos, and when the guy gets to the mission I'm on, he only has to take out two weak ass ships. When I get it, it will be either 3 or 4 tougher ships. The closest I got was when it was 3 ships. I managed to take out two, but had to use my jump drive go get out. My hull was damaged, and there happened to be a station nearby. I docked, repaired and went back to the location where the ships were, but the last ship was no where to be found.

I went in the game intending to play as a mercenary, doing whatever to make money, but not primarily a fighter.
 
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12. Re: New Evochron Mercenary Jan 18, 2013, 20:17 Aero
 
Overall I like it (largely because it doesn't have much in the way of competition these days), but it is definitely let down by the VERY clunky UI. As stated previously, that's very nearly a deal-breaker by itself. You get used to it, though, and it's functional once you learn all its idiosyncrasies, but it should be much, much better.

I also agree that the factions have no character to make you really care one way or the other about them.

My biggest gripe is with the combat AI. They never attempt to close the distance or press an advantage, so battles always end up the same: you thruster up to high speed, and then slowly maneuver to pick them off one by one at the extreme range of your weapons while trying to stay out of their gun range and picking off their missiles. It's much more like capital ship combat than fighter combat. Quite frankly, I think I'd like it to be a little more arcade-like in this regard. I like realism generally, but the Newtonian model kind of just presses home the fact that space "fighters" aren't really on as a realistic thing. Nonetheless, that's what I want. I'm willing to give up some realism for that...or, alternatively, more realism, and model g-force effects on the pilot, which would put severe limits on how the ships could change direction and accelerate. I'm not sure if this would work, but it might.

All that said, the real die-hard fans are mostly in it for the multi-player, which bypasses a lot of these issues.

 
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11. Re: New Evochron Mercenary Jan 18, 2013, 19:24 Porn-O-Matic
 
I've been playing Evochron Mercenary for the past week or so and it's "okay", but doesn't even compete with the X3 games in terms of overal scope and visual appeal. My biggest complaints with EM is the lame handling of the economy, and the fact that there's no way to see the prices of commodities in other systems without actually going there, which means if you're a trader, that's all you do... fly around looking for the best deal.

Supposedly the color coding of the map is supposed to tell you where you can buy low and sell high, but actual prices don't reflect that logic AT ALL. I constantly see prices that are completely reversed from what the map should indicate, making it impossible to accurately judge where you'll get the best price for whatever stuff you're trying to sell.

There are also graphics stupidities in the game, like "solar panels" that have no thickness and can be flown through by all AI ships, but not your own. When I say they have no thickness, what I mean is, that it's only a 2D sprite in space... if you align your view with the edge of the solar panel, it literally disappears from your view! That's just LAZY 3D modeling.

The collision boundary around ships and objects is over 100 "feet" thick, meaning you can't glide gracefully along the hull of a huge cruiser. You can't even get what I would call "close" to it without suddendly bouncing off of it. Same goes for small ships too. Space stations don't suffer from this stupidity, but even if you ram into them at high speed, you won't take a lick of damage. I guess everything in Evochron Mercenary is made out of Nerf foam.

And finally, the AI bad guys... pirates, feuding factions, I don't know who they are... the guys that show up RED on your radar... they ONLY attack YOU! There are dozens of other ships flying around, friendlies, neutrals, but they NEVER get attacked by rogue bad guys. EVER. YOU are the sole target, no matter where you go. In X3 and even Freelancer, you would see AI battles all the time and it was cool to watch. Sometimes you'd unintentionally get caught up in it, or you could decide on your own to join in and help out. Not in Evochron Mercenary though. For some reason, you're the only one worth attacking in the entire universe. That's a game-breaker all by itself, if you ask me.

Personally, I'd rather go back and play Freelancer again because so far, Evochron Mercenary has only served to piss me off with it's poor design decisions and lackluster graphics.
 
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10. Re: New Evochron Mercenary Jan 18, 2013, 19:12 Flatline
 
PHJF wrote on Jan 18, 2013, 17:39:
It looks really bad graphically and there's an overall unpolished feel. There's no goal. You're in the middle of nowhere and there's no reason to do anything.

Yup. The game was made over the span of eons by one guy so it's no surprise.

If memory serves it uses a shit-ton of procedurally generated art assets. The previous incarnation was like a 30 meg installation file.
 
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9. Re: New Evochron Mercenary Jan 18, 2013, 17:39 PHJF
 
It looks really bad graphically and there's an overall unpolished feel. There's no goal. You're in the middle of nowhere and there's no reason to do anything.

Yup. The game was made over the span of eons by one guy so it's no surprise.

It takes forever to accomplish anything and even when you do it wasn't accomplishing much. The UI is one of the worst I've ever seen and in a game like this that's all it takes to sink the entire product.
 
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8. Re: New Evochron Mercenary Jan 18, 2013, 15:24 ItBurn
 
I don't want to shit on anyone's parade, but I couldn't get into it. I played it for 30-45 minutes and gave up. It looks really bad graphically and there's an overall unpolished feel. There's no goal. You're in the middle of nowhere and there's no reason to do anything. I can understand that it's some kind of freeform universe where anything can happen, but for me, it felt like there was no reason for me to do anything... The game doesn't make it clear what it is exactly. Some games balance this properly, but this one sure doesn't. It's hard to put into words. Perhaps if I played it more I would have gotten hooked, but it left a sour taste.  
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7. Re: New Evochron Mercenary Jan 18, 2013, 13:42 nin
 
The team seems committed having continuously patched it since release a year ago.

Oh yeah. It's definitely well supported.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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6. Re: New Evochron Mercenary Jan 18, 2013, 13:30 jdreyer
 
nin wrote on Jan 18, 2013, 09:07:
I don't recall anyone saying anything bad about it, other than the curve to get into it. Which isn't always a bad thing...


I've played a bit of it. It's not as simple as something like Wing Commander, but it's not as complex as a real sim like Blackshark DCS. So there are a fair bit of things to learn. There are lots of options (merc, trader, etc.) but I haven't played through them yet. The game has Newtonian physics, but the default mode has the computer use the manuevering thrusters to automatically adjust the ship flight path, similar to XWing, but it's easy to turn that off if you'd prefer to do the Full Newton. There's a demo here, so if you're on the fence, you could try it. The team seems committed having continuously patched it since release a year ago.
 
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5. Re: New Evochron Mercenary Jan 18, 2013, 10:20 DrSquick
 
I grabbed the demo and was sold within about 15 minutes... I bought it on the Steam Summer Sale I believe, but just haven't had time to play it extensively.

I absolutely love the X3 games, and if those games are 80% economy, 20% fighting, Evochron is probably the other way around from what I could tell.

There is asteroid mining in it though, which is instantly enough to get me to buy any game.
 
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4. Re: New Evochron Mercenary Jan 18, 2013, 09:54 InBlack
 
Oh man, youve psyched me up. Im gonna download the demo and give it a whirl and then pay up if I get into it...:)  
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3. Re: New Evochron Mercenary Jan 18, 2013, 09:31 Prez
 
There's no hand-holding but it isn't as impenetrable as a D.S. space sim. It is pretty engrossing once you learn the mechanics, which takes about an hour or two.  
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2. Re: New Evochron Mercenary Jan 18, 2013, 09:07 nin
 

I don't recall anyone saying anything bad about it, other than the curve to get into it. Which isn't always a bad thing...

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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1. Re: New Evochron Mercenary Jan 18, 2013, 08:56 InBlack
 
Is this any good, or is it still very bare-bones? Im itching to try something new spacecombaty wise but I if this is a Derek Smart type of game Id rather not bother...  
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13 Replies. 1 pages. Viewing page 1.
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