One of the worst new player experiences ever.
Space Punks is one of those early access games I find myself coming back to every now and then, especially now that the game is done wiping progress, and this week I decided to set up a second character and level them up a bit to see how the early game is going. Boy howdy does it suck, and I foresee it turning off new players and those looking to level up alts. Let me explain.
I haven’t been keeping the early gear I got from my main character, but I’ve been salvaging it and pretty much all I have is gear from level 3 onward. My main character is level 9, I have not been playing a ton since the final wipe. Not a problem, right? Wrong. Space Punks has one of the worst early character experiences I have played in a recent game, and it baffles the mind that this game has QA testers. Space Punks starts you off at gear score 10 in a game where enemies start off at a base gear score of 15. It’s not the end of the world in terms of power disparity but…bruh. It does make slogging through these levels solo, and I was almost entirely solo as few people are playing, a horribly prolonged chore.
But I hear you say “well it can’t be that bad once you complete a mission and start getting gear, right?” Well that’s where the lack of looting in this looter shooter comes in. I played through four missions to the tune of over an hour of game time and you know what I got from it? Jack squat. Two of the missions gave me gear score 10 armor/weapons, utterly worthless and the same level as what I started with, and the other two? They gave me a single piece of gear at level 11. So after four levels and well over an hour of game time I went from 10 gear score…to 11. In a game where the base enemy gear score starts at 15.
What the hell. Oh and I should point out that after all this time I’m still level one so even if I kept my level 2 gear it wouldn’t have helped at all. The next mission up is level 20, which is a dead end matter. I should also point out that Space Punks has tons of boxes to blow open for loot scattered around the levels, and during this time I have cracked dozens of them (there’s usually 16-20 per level) and got nothing of value out of it.
This is a problem, because I played over an hour of Space Punks and as a new character got almost next to nothing to show for it at the end of that play session. And I’m going to keep coming back and playing because I have a reason to, this website. But if I didn’t intend to keep covering the game? I’d have probably uninstalled it and never looked back.
Which is a shame because I like the game itself, but I’m trying to play and it’s letting me accomplish nothing.