Let me start by saying, I will try to refrain from compairing this to other games as it is so unique, it doesn't deserve to be compaired to other MMORPGs. It is an amazing game in my opinion, but there are downfalls, some of which attribute to why I quit playing after 1 year. I'll try to break this out into relative subject areas:
Good engine. Things are crisp, high detail (especially the ships and characters / avatars). There is a lot of un-tapped potential here with the carbon engine. But I'll get into that in the next sections.
The combat animations are wonderful. The detail is great, however I think some of the explosions could be more unique instead of just a similiar looking explosion only smaller / bigger according to ship size, I think they could do more collisions and more destruction when something blows up. The same goes for wreckage. Most all of the wreckage looks the same. All in all though you won't be disapointed.
It's easy to make good use of open space. However, Eve does that on an average scale. The scenary is a bit sparse, but then again so is space. Ship detail is very high and the new player interactive station interior is very nicely donem high detail, crisp content, better have a nice graphics card for this! As far as 3rd person game world, you are mostly viewing this from your ship. In fact, 99.9% literally or more is from your ship. You won't get to see your character much, not at all if you don't want to. That being said, they are working on making it possible to walk throughout the stations and not just in your quarters. Which, I believe will add a great deal to the game. But, it's not what Eve focuses on. Everything is pretty much flying around in space. There are no away missions as yet. Although that's been rumored for a long time, I don't see it ever happening.
Another area they could work one would be the level of detail on celestial objects. The ship and station details are incredible - simply unparalelled. However, I think there could be more uniqueness when it comes to the appearance of the different celestial bodies you will encounter. This would take very little effort on Eve's part and I honestly don't know why they haven't done it yet. But, that said, the game world feels very very realistic! There is beauty and tragedy in space, and Eve captures it well. The game world is so realistic, I'd say it does make you feel somewhat lonely and abondoned at times. It's literally massive - overwhelmingly so!
Tons of detail here. I spent several hours creating may character and could have spent a day. There are slider bars for everything. I tried to make my player look like me and was actual able to do so to the point that it's creapy. Very cool! :) Again, get a good graphics card if you want to take advantage of this aspect or you will be very frusterated. My 512 MB Nvidia with DDR3 and 800 MHZ clock didn't cut it at all. In fact, it was pretty much impossible to customize my character until I upgraded.
The lore and storyline of Eve is quite unique. However, the game doesn't throw it in your face like it should. I ended up reading a lot online and hearing things from other players which were later confirmed in game. For instance, there's not much of an intro video that explains anything like in other MMORPGS. There is a little bit of video that is fairly well done explaining each class. I'll talk more on classes later. But, you will eventually find there is a great amount of depth to the lore.
A bit repetative. There is a lot of go kill 10 of these pirate ships, go scan this and find this. Etc. Etc. However, this is slowly being improved on especially in the beginer quests. Also, the first handful of quest givers (agents) are now more of the tutorial sort which is great, because when I first tried rolling a character over a year ago, I eventually gave up due to the lack of instruction. But now you are guided thru all of the game play aspects one quest line at a time. I think if Eve had this from the begining, they would have a much larger following by now. It's a very difficult game to get into without the beginer questing. Even just moving about the game world seems impossible at first.
Very different than most other games. Challenging for sure! There is a very tactical PVP aspect. Let me say, this game is not for the faint of heart. You will be challenged from the get go. But, you will constantly find more depth to the game. People who have been playing for 5 - 7 years still discover new aspects on a weekly basis whether it be in game items they've never heard of, areas of space they've never explored or tactics, strategies that were reinvented. The in-game economy is the most robust I've ever seen. Very close to real world! Everything from forming a corporation and selling virtual shares, creating binding contracts with other players, to the different economic roles you can take on from buying and selling at a profit, getting paid to transport massive amounts of goods for people etc. etc. The list goes on and on. Very real world like ecomony!
The interface is very complex, but very complete. I don't think you will find much need for any type of addon. I used Auction addons for the market for instance in other MMORPGs which I don't think is necesary in Eve. Here's something else cool, the ship has an internet browser, calculator and mp3 player built in. No need to log out to browse a mission guide or look something up online. In fact, while your ship is flying around, you can place it on autopilot and browse MMORPG.com.
The only downfall to the game play is that it is all in space for the most part. I find it hard to relate after a while to a space shape, which is what you see (asside from your avatar) most of the time. That being said, this game has a very rich sci-fi feel to it.
Here's the coolest thing, the game can be played for free once one becomes rich enough! You can literally buy game credits with in game currency. Very cool!
There are four classes. I won't talk much about this as it doesn't matter a lot. The class you pick determines the types of ships you can fly - sort of. It determines the types of quests/missions you get... well sort of. The most accurate thing to say is it sets you on a path that you are in no way required to stick with. Most people train into other class ships to suite thier purpose. Long term, I trained to fly whatever class of ship had the best end game stats. For instance, I trained Galente for the industrial because the Iterons have the highest cargo potential out of any other ship when you get to level 5 (max).
PVP / NPC Combat:
Highly tactical! There are so many aspects to combat, it can truly be an art in the game. There is a lot to risk at PVP. The great thing about this game is that it can happen at any time. However, because there is a lot to risk (more in high security space which is where you start out), it doesn't have to happen to you often unless you really choose. But, there is always the posability that someone will just decide to blow you out of sky and you lose your 10 million isk ship that you spent months saving for. It's gone, destroyed and there's nothing you can do about. There is an insurance aspect to the game where you can buy a policy for your ship and get reimursed. But, that doesn't come close to covering the amount of money you've spent on upgrades etc. All that being said, it's not that hard to protect your investments via being in a good corporation, never risking more than you can afford, or just stay in high sec space.
The combat of this game is very very complex. You can still be succesful without knowing all the complexities. But, if you want to be more of a combating player rather than a gathering, ecomonic player (you can do both for sure), there is so much depth to it, you won't be bored!
This game is truly unique and difficult to compair to anything. There are drawbacks, the main one I think being the fact that there is no way to go beaming down to a planet and explore / do missions. Everything is in space. There have been recient improvements there with the addition of the station quarters. You can watch the news in your station, go to the auction house, check out your docked ship, walk around your quarters and do a few other things. Also, soon to come is the ability to walk about the entire station. But, the game is still lacking in that you spend so much time creating a very customizable high-detail character that you don't really see much of. The reason I quit this game eventually is because I got tired of stairing at space and black screens etc. However, that being said, there is nothing like the feeling that this game gives you.
| Huge amount of depth to every aspect of the game!
Great character customization. Unparalleled!
Very tactical and brilliant PVP
Very sandbox, you can do anything you like!
Huge game world. Most have literally never explored even 80% and never will
| 3rd person view of space ships can get boring
Lacking in human aspect. No away missions, 99% space travel game play
Could have more detail on some celestial objects