I find it very ARKish with the prospect of leaving your starting ‘island’. Like ARK it has this kind of gameplay-dynamic which makes me going on with just surviving, evolving, …flying to the moon! I’d also state that I don’t consider it as bothersome as ARK. You don’t die that often, you achieve things in a more reasonable and less masochistic way.
More ontopic: I’d doubt that the game is about exploring a galaxy… it is more about surviving and ‘conquering’ the few planets that are already in the game. But it has some sense of wonder and discovery to it. (Mabye more so if I’d have already got off the first planet…).
I was tempted to buy Subnautica instead but I decicded to go with Empyrion because it is the smaller project (?) and I imagined it might benefit from some fresh and none-discounted money…Subnautica seemed to be the game that’s meant to be played feature-complete. (Because everybody says it’s so good…!).
Now that it is discounted I’d totally buy Empyrion… it’s at least great fun while ‘working’ torwards your first vessel… and maybe for hundreds of hours more… I can’t tell yet ;-)
okay, to be acutally helpful here: I don’t think you can fly anywhere within the first 5-6 hours of your game-time. You first have to build (really build…) your spaceship from scratch.