I used to play a lot of EVE: Online. Admittedly, during my time as a space cadet I had no idea in hell what I was doing – but I constantly found myself in love with the escapades of being lost in space, with a world of endless possibility around me. It’s weird to think about how EVE got so much right while also getting so much wrong. The game captured the atmosphere perfectly, but when it came to engaging space warfare, everything fell apart.
This is where Entropy comes into the picture. Like an angel from the heavens, Entropy aims to build upon EVE’s success by capturing the space atmosphere you love with a high emphasis on true dogfighting in an MMO environment. You likely know Artplant from their browser-based space MMO, Battlestar Galactica Online, which I believe is the best Battlestar game we will ever get. Their noble attempt at giving the world an enjoyable Battlestar game gives me high hope for their latest endeavor. CCP should take note, as Artplant’s ambitious new space game is looking like it might dethrone the space spreadsheet simulator in the most unprecedented way – by actually being fun to play. I dove into Entropy’s latest build on Steam Early Access for several hours over the past couple of weeks. After each play session I turned off my monitor with a grin on my face I thought to myself: “Yes! The space game we’ve all been waiting for is finally here.” Oh yeah, Entropy is one one game you’re going to keep on your radar.
Upon starting my career as a spacer, I found myself greeted by a customization menu. For a game in early access, the number of options available surprised me. While they were nowhere near as “endless” as the customization options the game will have once it’s fully released, they resulted with me spending a good few minutes tweaking my character until he was the pinnacle of perfection – a splitting image of myself.
Okay, he’s not that lovely, but that’s because I chose to go with a gruff, seasoned version of myself from the future – or, you know, an alternate version of “Emo Dad.” Whatever. He’s a looker and could take on an entire army with his charming demeanor alone. After I customized my alter ego, it was time to jump into the core game of Entropy. Now that I have access to my ship the EVE inspiration became pleasantly clear. Everything felt familiar, yet still foreign. I felt alone in a vast galaxy of possibility. What better way to experience a space MMO than jumping into the unknown?
As I left the space station to go forth on my grand adventure among the stars, I accidentally fired a couple of shots off into the black abyss. I thought nothing of it, but some other pilots in the area saw my dimwitted action as an opportunity to attack the fresh meat. In EVE, dog-fighting felt like a chore, almost like a mixture of a point-and-click adventure and blind faith. If you weren’t born a master pilot, you’d never be able to go toe-to-toe with the big boys. While some of may ring true for Entropy, the ability to fully control your ship amidst battle puts everyone on more equal ground. While some of my attacker’s blasts hit my hull and shook me up a bit, I was quickly able to do a grasp the controls and bring the fight back to those deserving of my wrath. I managed to destroy one of the attackers and chase the other out of the star system. This little victory made up for all of my clones killed in EVE: Online due to my fumbling lack of spreadsheet knowledge.
While the space combat is the obvious star of Entropy, that’s just the tip of the intergalactic iceberg. You can also trade, mine, and salvage. I tried my hand at trading but didn’t really make it anywhere. Others, however, can make a fortune if they can take note of the many star system’s supply and demand requirements. In chat, I was witness to a heated exchange between an aggregated trader and the space pirate hunting him. Misspelled words and mother insults spewed back and forth. Yeah, it’s a true MMO alright. Each instance can hold over a hundred players, so always assume you’re in the crosshairs of a trigger-happy pirate and you just might survive long enough to have your name become known in this player-driven world.
Artplant plans to release minor updates and patches for Entropy every week and major updates every month. While you shouldn’t expect a complete or bug-free experience for any game in Early Access, there’s still enough content in Entropy to tide you over until each substantial update. Once officially released as a final product, Entropy will have no subscription fees. In the very least, it’ll at least tide you over until Star Citizen and Elite make find their way to your desktop.