Planetary Annihilation is a slick, modernised RTS, engineered from the ground up to appeal to the fast-paced, competitive, hotkey-loving esports crowd. For people like me, it is a bruising gauntlet of defeat. But even I can see the appeal. Putting aside the fact that to play online you need a quad-core processor instead of a brain, the game itself has a huge amont of character.
Most of the time, Elite works. The excitement, even the boredom, of the game is still preserved for me as something I am happy to have paid for. But it would be a poor reviewer indeed who did not mention that the sim's rough edges have not been satisfactorily sanded down.
In Kerbal Space Program, we have a perfect game of experimentation. Checking to see what goes wrong and correcting your next trial accordingly. When struggling with my first launches and landings, and the tricky controls, I was close to believing it was a game of impossible luck. But it is so far from that as to make the initial belief laughable. Instead, it is about accruing and applying small units of knowledge, one on top of the other.
[T]he state of your ship is what keeps you going. You fight more to earn more to buy more. In this way it is a very transparent game. But also a repetitive one, and overall, a mixed bag. I know a game is not capturing me when, as a reviewer, I keep checking my "hours played" stat on Steam to see if I can fairly say: "OK, that's enough". Still, I recognise there are always those who want more space sauce, who won't mind fighting on a 2D plane, and who will be much more possessed by upgrading their own "Wobblenaut".
All in all, I found it difficult to get into Crea in the same way I did for its forefathers. It would be easy for me to say that part of that is down to fatigue with the genre – I have been through it all before, after all. But that is not the main problem I have with this latecomer. The fact is, it just does everything less well.