The initial plot of Miner Wars 2081 is relatively simple, and basically presents to us the future galactic Cold War. Humans have developed technology that allows them to harness energy directly from the Sun, but as experiments continue and more and more tampering plunder into the rather hot giant, it emits something similar to a solar flare, which wipes out a large amount of planets, as well as billions of lives. After this takes place, the US and Russia reignite the war, in an effort of scavenging enough minerals and supplies in order for their nations to survive. But as the conflict develops, other life forms make an entrance, and the entire situation goes pear shaped for everyone.
Now, despite my doubts about the story, the game play is in a word, fun. The game has you playing as US space forces, whose ships are armed with a huge array of weaponry, allowing you to really go to town on the enemy cosmonauts with rocket launchers, Gatling guns and huge shotguns. Clear ingredients for a fun game. The game also employs a mind blowing movement system. Since the game takes place in space, every axis of movement is available. An immediate comparison that springs to mind is playing as the alien in Aliens V Predator, in the way that you move across walls and ceilings. That similar feeling of disorientation is present throughout the entirety of Miner Wars, and it’s a difficult thing to get used to. This also causes some problems for me, because the use of multiple axis’, the levels are very complex, and without the system that helps you navigate, there’s no way that I’d be able to make my way through the maps.
The game also offers other smaller tasks like collecting minerals which can either be sold or traded for equipment. This is a necessity because the game gets progressively harder the further into it you go, and towards the later stages the starting ship is bound to be overwhelmed. Now although this is a secondary objective, similar to the Mass Effect series, it really doesn’t add that much excitement to the game. Instead it slows you down, allowing you to really take in the environment you’re either fighting for or fighting to destroy.
If a single player isn’t your thing, then there’s also a multiplayer, which is where most of the fun is to be had. For me, it focuses on the most enjoyable part, blowing stuff up. So it’s nice to just sit back and spray with a pair of Gatling guns as others try to use strategy. There is a variety of game modes and maps for you to try, so don’t worry about a repetitive experience.
One thing I have to stress is that it does require some hardware to run. A dedicated gaming pc will run this game no problem, but a laptop will struggle to handle even the lowest graphical settings, so be sure to check your systems before committing to a purchase.
I can see myself playing this game A LOT, because, like I said, it’s fun. If that’s all you’re looking for, then go for it. But if you’re looking for an interesting story, with more on offer than game play, then give it a miss.