The is the game I have been looking for, for over 20 years. It has the complete freedom that Elite 2: Frontier had so many years before: you can land on planets from anywhere and go anywhere! No load screens. It also has todays complexity with station management, total customisation control on the various ship frames and weapons, construction, RPGlite crew management (with four distinct roles: navigator, science officer, engineering, weapons officer each adding buffs to certain aspects of the game) who level over time and multiplayer! The multiplayer is exactly the same as single player. You can be as unsociable as you like or get involved with clan control aspect of the game. The game is a complex simulator, check out the contents page of this 'guide'.
Combat is awesome! Blatently as strength. Check the (helpful) forums and you will see clans dedicated to this aspect of the game. When you start you rely on the ship's flight assist but very quickly realise inertia control is the way to go. Using your afterburners to change direction allowing you to drift past your foe whilst firing. The weapons feel weighty too, with smaller ships getting buffeted about by certain partical weapons.
The game is constantly being updated. I remember reviews when the game came out a couple of years ago saying it was a bit too sandboxey. Evochron Mercenary is clearly a very different game now. I have racked up about six and half hours of flight time but can see I have barely touched the main quest, of which there are at least two of, depending on your game start.
I was watching a let's play video and the caster's guest asked, "Can you do yadda yadda yadda?" This answer was always yes. But the question he should have asked was: 'How good is the 3D?'
The 3D is FANTASTIC!
Basically, everything is layered and rendered at the depth you would expect them to be - no short cuts have been taken. The planets being 'physical' objects seem to 'loom' in space. Objects like the 3D radar sphere NEED to be viewed in S3D to be read properly, surely. If you want you can adjust the position of cockpit elements. You want that 3D radar to float like a hologram in front of the dashboard adjust its distance setting in the Gauge.txt. As it is an accurately rendered 3D object, it can begin to appear quite large as you set it closer to you. ;) EM's space feels so much more vast and open than it does on other games 4X space sims like X3TC etc. You can also achieve the doll house effect (the game toyificates), this is more apparent when you view your ship from 3D.
Screenies speak a thousand words so I have taken a number of them.
Track IR and multiscreen are also supported! You need to edit a config file to set up the wider FOV though see this link: