DON'T BUY THIS GAME - DON'T SELL THIS GAME - DON'T EVEN USE IT FOR A COASTER!!!
Let's begin with the graphics: Honestly, in a Cartoonish way, they really aren't too bad; however, given the fact that my computer blows away their RECOMMENDED Settings, I sill had to set the display just lower than 1280 x 720 just to get to a playable Frame Rate. I would have simply set the Display Settings to the lowest available, but apparently this game doesn't recognize my Off-Brand Video Card... the ATI Radeon HD 5570.
Once I got to a Playable FPS, I was able to play the game; which meant being thrown into a small room, in my ship, and fired upon by two hostiles. It would have been nice to, I don't know... get a quick lesson on where the trigger was... how to aim...target... anything. But that's okay, I consider myself an experience gamer, and as such, I managed. Now with ZERO information on how to play, you get to learn the rest through Trial by Fire. And don't look for too much of anything; there is no Targeting... just point, shot and hope. If you want to know what to shoot at, look for the small (very small) red brackets, and shot at them. If nothing happens, it's probably because they are on the other side of the wall, in another room, or even outside. Try to focus on the distance they are from you, but of course with the fact that there may be more than one, and they are stacked on top of each other, they may be 1km away or 100... who knows; just keep shooting until you're gun fire is the only gun fire you hear. And don't worry, you're not alone; you have your older brother with you, and he will often jump right in front you (and your gun) so you can blast away on him instead. Of course, while you're shooting him, it causes his ship to toss and spin so he can't aim straight, which will get you killed and Game Over!!!
But that's okay, it's not like you can't save the game as you're learning... right? Oh yeah, I almost forgot.. You can't save the game. Well, you can; as long as you're not in the middle of a mission; and if you don't mind Exiting the Game periodically 'Just to Save'. Yes, to save the game you must either: A) Leave your current Sector and enter another sector; which can't be done while in the middle of a mission. Or B) Exit the game to the Main Menu...BUT, if you're in the middle of mission, the option to save will not appear. As I would rate this game as Simi-Stable - I suppose this isn't too much of a problem, if you don't mind starting a mission over, repeatedly, until you figure out how to complete it. (Much like the days of Dragon's Lair... but that was fun).
But I suppose all games have their problems... and if you want to play a game that's all about Mining, you have to deal with a few issues. Of course, if one of those issues is YOUR NOT A MINER, then that could be consider a Major Issue. I was very happy when I stumble upon Miner Wars, because I was playing X3 TC and wanted to focus more strongly on being a Miner; which in a small degree you can do in X3. However, the degree is even small in Miner Wars 2081 (MW). To begin with, You (the Player) are not even a Miner in MW... you're a mercenary. You have mining equipment on your ship, but that's more like secondary equipment, which you could possibly go the whole game and not even use. And even if you did, it wouldn't pay the bills. One of several resources required to survive is an Armor Repair Kit... the cost, around $7000 (Credits); a load of Magnesium (which is found in the early stages of the game) sells for around $42 (credits) per load. And as you only have hull space of 36 units; most of which is used up with the various other resources you need to carry, you're looking at about 100 trips to an asteroid to purchase a single unit of Armor Repair. And since the enemy can tear through your hull (thus your extra armor repair kits) in a couple of shots; I wouldn't count on mining to pay your overhead. And we haven't even mentioned, Bullets, Missiles, Health Packs, Oxygen, Fuel and a few other gadgets which would be nice to have.
But lets assume you're a die-hard gamer, and all of these issues just sound like a greater challenge to you. Then you're going to love the Missions; assuming they don't either put you to sleep or kill you out right. Most missions are just a repeat of the previous mission. Go to some station, blast anything that is red, retrieve some artifact, or info, or whatever, and return the Mothership; Rinse and Repeat repetitively... Until you get to one of the missions which is not only very different... but very very stupid. For those of you who don't care about reviews and plan to buy this game anyway, I won't give any specifics and spoil any of those missions; but consider yourself warned, you WILL repeat those mission, no less than 5 times, before Maybe You'll actually get lucky and complete them. And I'm not talking about toning your skills... I mean memorizing each juncture like playing a game of Concentration; and know which way to turn before you have to turn.
I will say one thing positive about this game. If you look at the individual components of this game... it actually had the potential of being one of the greatest games I've ever played. Individual Aspects were well thought-out, and could have been a lot of fun. The whole Mining Aspect, and the way it SHOULD have been (COULD have been) done was actually brilliant. The need for Player Resources, and a near-by Mothership (even if you made people fly their spaceship inside of it) gives the game a good feel of a "Way of Life" Simulation. The various factions and stations (if they had been given more life) would have added to so much of the game's realism. And the ability to travel to any spot within the solar system is down right remarkable; but too bad there is absolute nothing to do there.
Ultimately I get the feeling that halfway through creation, some greedy son-of-a-(anyways), decided to focus on Multiplayer and MMO and told the designers to just close it up, release the crap and lets sell something else.
To Keen Software I only want to say: Job Well Done. Not even Bill Gates could have gotten so many to purchase this complete waste of time. You really should be ashamed of yourselves. I look forward to the release of your MMO; I can add it to my list of NEVER BUY!!!
In closing... just in case my Sarcasm doesn't come across in Text... DO NOT BUY THIS GAME - DO NOT SELL THIS GAME - DO NOT EVEN USE THIS GAME FOR A COASTER!!!