Into the Stars from developer Fugitive Games has joined the list of Kickstarter video games to secure a full release, having been made available on 4th March 2016 through both the Steam and GOG distribution platforms. That’s the good news. And the bad news? Well the first thing to note is that the original given release date for this sci-fi survival game given in the Kickstarter was July 2015, which later turned out to be the launch date for the Early Access version. This caused minor consternation among some backers at the time but was quickly forgotten, and to be honest delays for Kickstarter games are to be expected.
Of more concern are the reviews that Into the Stars has been receiving from gamers. At the time of writing there are 270 reviews on Steam of which 58% are positive, giving it a potentially damaging classification of ‘mixed’. Some have defended Into the Stars by pointing out most of the negative reviews are from the Early Access period, but that cuts both ways with an even higher proportion of the positive reviews coming from that time. In fact when you only consider recent reviews that Steam rating drops down further with only 28% of the reviews being positive.
It’s a similar picture coming from GOG where gamers can purchase a DRM-free version of Into the Stars. GOG operates a five star rating system (rather than the basic positive or negative offered through Steam) and of the 51 reviews so far Into the Stars is hovering on an average rating of 3/5 which hardly inspires confidence.
The critical reception from the gaming press so far is slightly better, although not by much. Gaming Age were impressed enough to award an A- rating while the Escapist gave a decent score of 4/5. However more uninspiring results can be seen with 7.8/10 from ActionTrip, 6.3/10 from GeekSnack and a worrying 50% from COGconnected.
While users are happy with the visuals and impressive soundtrack a common criticism seems to be that Into the Stars can become boring while there are also complaints that there are still many bugs and other issues present in the full release. All of which is a huge shame as personally the Battlestar Galactica-inspired gameplay is exactly the sort of game I’d be interested in, but unless a game has a Steam rating of ‘very positive’ or higher I tend to not give it a second glance.