I’ve been dabbling in a game that caught my attention because of big stompy robots. I’m always drawn to the idea of a huge clumping exo-skeleton. Mini-guns and lasers bolted onto various limb ports. Scanners and targetting systems glowing in the comfort of my dark, secure, command shell, buried deep beneath the titanium bulk. My lust for such a set up knows no bounds.
So, its without surprise that I cough up the meagre euro’s to try out Perpetuum Online for a month.
As soon as I’d loaded up the game, there was something familar about its interface. I’d been here before.
Although my cybernetic crab claws were digging into the mud of an alien world, I couldn’t shake off the feeling of deja vu. This targetting computer has been used to fix the position of pirates (or ‘Rats) speeding through the vacuum of space. I’ve seen this inventory style before, the exquisitely modelled crystalline resources and stacks of shiny hard cased ammo. This is the sandbox space tinkerer EVE Online, grounded and straightjacketed into a chromehound!
Basically the game has all the plus points of EVE, but also carries a lot of the negative points. Its a different setting, there are slightly different considerations to think about when travelling. Such as whether your mech can navigate around certain undulating terrain or obstacles – all of which can be highlighted in your HUD with a DO NOT CROSS striped orange overlay. However, ultimately at its core, its as soulless an experience as the sprawling slow paced space tinkerer is.
If you enjoy the rather storyless ability to fiddle in an alien world, tinker with your setup, kill streams of other robots, harvest endless quantities of resources and then craft equipment out of it, then you’ll like Perpetuum. If the mechanics of EVE appeal to you, but you fancy a more pedestrian and palpable experience then perhaps the scuttling robotics of Perpetuum is for you.
Without giving it much play time to fully appreciate any of the subtleties or nuances of the game compared to EVE, my attention had strayed elsewhere. The initial character choices seemed bewildering, yet didn’t seem to make much sense in terms of trying to mould a role playing character from it. The starting crab crawling units where always the same no matter what corporation you chose. The progression to the bipeds is the meat of the game, it seems. Ultimately, nothing in the world gave me any reason to care about it. Like fixing a bike for bikes sake. Rather than for the journey you might take on it.
I’m sure the development team has licensed the tech from EVE’s developers otherwise a “look and feel” lawsuit would be winging its way over faster than lightspeed.
If you like EVE and you like Robots more, then this game is totally for you. Sadly, I only like Robots. Can’t we have someone develop Chromehounds 2 instead?