Empyrion vs. No Man's Sky


Sigh, yeah, I kickstarted AI, so I got it for less than $40, and while it IS indeed a fantastic game…it’s hard to recommend it at that price from that publisher when there are cheaper options that are almost as good.


Subnautica is fantastic for exploration. Avoid the maps, avoid the wiki. Go in cold and it will feel like a huge, amazing undersea world with tons of surprises and beautiful, varied environments.

I put about 20 hours into it a few months ago, and it was one of my top 5 gaming experiences (in a life of gaming that dates back to pong). I put it away for now, but can’t wait to dive back in (hurr, hurr) when it’s feature complete.

It’s certainly got a SF veneer, and has ships (well, they are subs, but close) – so I think it’ll scratch the itch for you. It is decidedly non-shooty.

It is however, fairly crafty and buildy, but I love the base-building.


Is the buildy and crafty stuff efficient at least? I’m not a fan of stuff like this, but if it’s fairly seamless, like in Interstellar Rift, I can deal with it.


Efficient in the sense of not being too fiddly? Not requiring complex ingredient chains?

Hmmm … that’s a bit tough to say. Depends on your tolerance. I haven’t played Interstellar Rift. The stuff you need regularly (filtered water, food) are all easily dealt with. Building something more complex, such as a specialized tool or vehicle, will require some ingredient chains, but nothing particularly onerous. There’s some ingredients which are rare, which encourages you to explore. Inventory storage gets a bit fiddly, as I built a pretty large set of storage lockers at my base to try to keep organized. Part of that is my hoarder mentality, though.

Might be worth watching a couple of let’s plays to see how it seems to you. It’s certainly something you spend a fair amount of time doing in game, and I enjoyed it, but your tolerance for mucking about with crafting might be a fair bit lower than mine.


You can turn off things like the need for food in Subnautica, which I think is a really smart move in a genre that feels crammed full of games that absolutely insist on the full spectrum experience even if it involves a lot of stuff that is pure tedium for many. (conversely, I know it’s a draw for others. So the toggle is nice.)


I think I’m going to take the plunge on Subnautica. You’re not the first person to recommend its Explorer charms but thanks for the push. And I appreciate the suggestions for non-spoilerizing the experience and just playing it straight up.


Please return once you’ve tried it and post your thoughts on it. :)


Sub nautical is awesome! There’s even a whole topic about it!


Per Clay’s link I’ll be moving over to the Qt3 Subnautica thread to further discuss the game but for Brian and anyone wanting my opinions vis a vis the Explorey discussion here… here goes.

Love it! I took the advice of not reading forums and how-to-plays and cheats to start out and I intend to continue to do so. The game is hitting on so many of the right buttons for me. Clearly there is a huge world to be explored and visually the game is flat out spectacular. I’m running GTX 970 w/ a large 4K monitor and all settings at the highest so YMMV. But jaw droppingly gorgeous.

Just as important it plays nice. Controls are familiar and intuitive and you glide about the underwater world with ease but not unrealistically so. I am excited to be able to build faster and better vessels to really open up the world to me but for now, simply on the enormous ‘starter’ reef it’s an amazing experience.

I’m several hours in; have done a few restarts before I really felt I got the hang of things, newbie-wise, and now I’m to the point where I’m not spinning my wheels unnecessarily and sort of know what I’m doing, what I’m capable of, and working towards being able to improve my lot. Honestly, I did have to google up some specifics before I got comfortable. I didn’t know I could catch fish by hand for example or different ways to make potable water.

For all that, the restarts, the game does indeed flow very naturally. There is no sign of any ‘grindiness’ in order to do things or better do things. Resources are varied and for a while you tend to collect things assuming there will be a use for them later and there generally is. But I didn’t have to kill 10 searats or craft a dozen fins to have something worth the having.

So, yeah. Hooked. This is a fantastic game to explore in all the right ways for me. It’s vast, it’s detailed, it’s gorgeous and there is a point to all of it. That being it is a survival game. Definitely not a grindy/crafting experience at all I’m happy to say.

Oh, and Brian… the intro to the game is that your dying spacecraft falls into the atmosphere of this unexplored ‘water world’ and you’re the sole survivor of an escape pod so there you go… it IS a spaceship game too! :-)


Has anyone here played Empyrion? I just started playing it because it is on sale. So far, I really like it, however, the tutorial and other information is somewhat lacking. I found an abandoned mining facility. I can’t open the doors because I do not have the right faction. So I have 2 questions.

  1. Are there NPCs factions that you can gain “faction” with such that I could be permitted to open the doors to that facility?
  2. Is there a way to “recycle” the facility? I tried my mining gun on various objects and it seemed to be completely ineffective. Id love to harvest it for resources.

DeepT and others here. Apparently I picked up Empyrion a while back and decided it was still too early to play with. I noticed recently they were late in their early access stage and still pushing updates, with 9.3 being the latest I think.

Does anyone still play this? What’s multiplayer like? At this point its actually not too bad so far in single player, there is quite a bit of depth to it.


I too have this and don’t know why =) But reading recent reviews about Alpha 9 it seems they broke the game…The Steam hive mind does not appear to be happy about it.


I played it recently and was having a good time with it.


I really enjoyed my time with it. I should dip back in again. Best played with beer goggles though, It aint a looker.


I could never get into it, though it’s been a while since I tried.


Apparently they made it harder. I missed that time period but am not finding it a huge grind nor insane difficulty. Steam reviews can be like that sometimes.

True statement. It’s a fun space/planet survival sim with some fun features but it’s not AAA graphics for sure.


I haven’t played it in a good while. I can just say that it has some really good ideas and could potentially end up being a great game at some point. It was fun to mess around with it a bit for 10 to 20 hours the last time I played it.

There is one bug they had never fixed that annoys the hell out of me. Whenever I build a ship and if you park it and leave it on, it will slowly flip itself over. There is something wrong with their math or something.


Ooh, good note. I saw this mentioned in a video as well. Apparently they’ve now even added a keybind to right your ship if that happens.


That is good to know, however, fixing the bug would be even better.


No joke. That sounds like the, “band-aid that then becomes the fix,” mentality. It happens way too much.