This is a game with great potential, marred by a lack of refinement and one major design flaw.

User Rating: 5 | Miner Wars 2081 PC
This game is a throwback to the great "Descent" series, which were very popular in the 90s. It's an underutilized concept that has the potential to be amazingly fun (like the Descent games were), however there are some serious issues with this game.

For those of you who don't know, Miner Wars, like the Descent series, is a game where you play a "mini-spaceship" small enough to travel in mining asteroid tunnels, inside starbases, what have you. You hover in zero-g space until you decide to go up, down, left, right, baclwards, or forwards (hence the "6 degrees of freedom" moniker).

Unlike a traditional FPS, where gravity restricts you to a single surface, in Miner Wars you can go anywhere. So level design opens up to all 3 dimensions, to the extent that there is no absolute "up" or "down". This allows for more intricate and interesting level design. While it can be a bit disorienting at first, but it also makes things more fun. Your enemies could come at you from any angle.

Graphics are pretty good for this game, with the exception of explosions which are decidedly low-res. Voice acting is well-done, although the story is convulted and very disjointed.

Nonetheless, this game could have been a total blast if it weren't for one major flaw. The game was set up so that you constantly (and I mean CONSTANTLY) have to search for resources, i.e. oxygen and fuel, and to a lesser extent ammunition. You still get to blast at tons of aliens, but at the same time you are worried about moving too much, because if you move too much, you run out of fuel. So you have a game that gives you 6 degrees of freedom to move, which is awesome, but then it restricts your ability to move for fear of running out of fuel. And, since you can't go anywhere without fuel, and you'll die without oxygen, obtaining these resources becomes your #1 goal. NOT killing bad guys and making things blow up (which is fun), NOT enjoying crazy 6 degree of freedom maneuvers (which is fun), NOT completing your mission objectives (which is fun), instead your #1 goal is scrounging for oxygen, fuel, and ammo, which is NOT FUN. To add insult to injury, if you find fuel or oxygen, it doesn't last very long. An oxygen tank only lasts 10 MINUTES or actual game time! And since the insides of an asteroid or starbase is designed like a maze, you have to spend more than half your time searching through the maze (and constantly backtracking when you reach a dead end) to find the resources that you need in order to survive.

So this one single design flaw basically ruins the game. Now, I've only played this game a few hours. I haven't tried it on "easy" yet; I've only tried it on normal difficulty. Maybe on easy the rate at which fuel and oxygen runs out is relaxed considerably. If every hour or so of playtime you had to find fuel or oxygen, well that's no big deal. But having to spend 60% of your time searching for these resources instead of doing the fun stuff just plain sucks.