Evochron Legends

Since I love the X series of open-ended space combat/trading/etc. games, I should like the Evochron series, right?

Sadly, no. I have tried several of the incarnations of Evochron, including buying the latest incarnation, Evochron Legends, on Impulse. Evochron is a space game, like X3, where you start in a one-person space ship and try to build wealth by trading, mining, fighting, etc. I didn’t find the graphics, particularly the cockpit, to be very appealing, but they were fine. The flying around is good, and Evochron adds something important that X3 lacks: landing on planets. Not that you can do anything on the planet, but you can land in cities on planets. The same trading and mission interface is used, so there isn’t any difference between a planet and a space station other than you have atmospheric effects on the planets.

As usual, with these games, you start off mining and trading to upgrade your ship and weapons. It doesn’t look like you can have multiple ships and automated traders, as you can in X3, but perhaps that comes later. You can configure your hull as you like, so you can concentrate on fighting or trading or something in between.

The problems I had with Evochron are somewhat related: you are thrown into a dangerous and unforgiving universe with very little idea what to do. The plot, if you can call it that, seems pretty weak and doesn’t provide any training to help you survive. Preparing for combat is essentially impossible. I didn’t see any places where you could practice against drones or weak enemies. Instead, you prepare your ship the best you can, take a mission to a hostile sector, and get your ass kicked right away. Gee, that was fun – shall I try again? I think not. That was when I quit. I’m sure the Evochron defenders will scream that I should try again a few times and I’d get the hang of it, but, frankly, I have too many fun games to play to spend time punishing myself on one that wasn’t any fun at all. And the navigation system was just plain stupid: fast travel (I forget the buzzword used in the game. Warp?) to a planet and burn up in the atmosphere! How about having the stupid nav computer drop out of warp slightly before the big heavy round thing we are approaching? C’mon, have we stepped backwards in computer capability?

So that’s the bottom line of Evochron Legends – an open-ended challenge in a harsh universe without all the fun.

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