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I was really excited when I remembered The Hive, and now it’s out of Early Access I have given it some final thoughts.

My first attempt at loading the game with the final version failed. I started a new game on “Hard” difficulty and it just sat at a loading screen and never loaded. I had to forcibly kill the game and try again.

The developers claim that it’s a “story driven fantasy game”, but honestly it plays out like a rather basic real time strategy game that has a few objectives to do on each level. You have a very limited selection of buildings and units for example, all of the units play very simple roles too. There’s no real room for experimentation in your play style here. The way the game plays is so linear and restricting it's just not interesting.

First confusing thing: the introduction video is very weird in comparison to how the game actually plays. It’s all about humans leaving the earth, and then you’re dropped into playing as some bugs. I would have liked for them to match up the intro to the start of the game a little more. The introduction is exciting, then you play the first level and you’re sorta like—what the heck is going on, am I playing a different game?

It tries to emulate Starcraft in the way it works, right down to controlling what is essentially the Zerg complete with a build-able Queen unit, it’s obviously inspired heavily by it, but it comes across as a cheap imitation of aspect of it.

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Visually it actually looks quite nice but the rest of it falls pretty flat. Graphics don’t make a game and for The Hive that saying has never been truer. The style of the game is often so dark you can't really see much at all.

For a strategy game you would expect there to be some, you know, strategy to it. The only thing you need to do in this game is build as many units as you can and that’s basically it. You can do a few upgrades to increase attack power, but nothing really all that interesting.

You don’t even get notified when units are built and ready, that’s how little the developers have focused on the small details to actually make it less of a hassle to play through. You don’t get notified when a worker harvesting food runs out and little annoyances like that are just plastered throughout the game.

One of the most frustrating aspects of the game, is that it only saves after each level. For an RTS game where levels can take a while, I find it a really stupid idea not to allow people to save mid-game.

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The developers are completely against having saved games mid-mission:
QuoteSaving should not be core gameplay mechanic like in XCOM

Source
Even though some missions can take the better part of an hour. If you find a bug, or you have to do something else it’s tough bloody luck pal. I’ve seen plenty of people complain about this, but the developers simply will not budge on it. There's sticking to your plan, and there's just giving the finger to what your players constantly request.

You have an adviser who feeds you small bits of information. The problem is that they are far too quiet, something I reported to the developers in June and it's still not fixed. It also doesn’t help that the adviser's text often overlaps the bottom panel making it difficult to read.

Continuing on about sound effects, it’s not just the adviser that bugs me. The game has literally no music, it’s mostly the same ambient sound looped over forever which was incredibly boring and gave the game zero atmosphere.

I remember the end of Mission 1 where you have to kill some ancient creature, it seems to be able to make rocks come crashing down around it, which has no sound effects at all to it. So not only does the gameplay have no attention to details, the sound design is also lacking in many places.

Missions only take as long as they do due to you being given such a scarce amount of resources and the time it takes to collect them, it becomes steadily more boring due to the watch and wait game it becomes.

Sometimes for no apparent reason, your units will deselect themselves. It looks like it’s an issue from where the game previously takes control of the camera to show you something, but it does it repeatedly any time you enter those sections.

I was thoroughly disappointed with The Hive and I do not recommend purchasing it. The whole game is very unpolished and annoying to play. It's slow as hell, the missions are uninspired and boring, the game is just not worth putting time into. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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11 comments
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lucifertdark 26 Sep, 2016
Wow it must be really bad for you to say don't buy it, I don't remember the last time you ended a review like that.
Liam Dawe 26 Sep, 2016
Quoting: lucifertdarkWow it must be really bad for you to say don't buy it, I don't remember the last time you ended a review like that.
It's something I very rarely say, and I don't like saying it. It's just not worth it.
Ehvis 26 Sep, 2016
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It mirrors the steam reviews. Even the graphics don't look particularly nice to me. So both a waste of money and time.
apocalyptech 26 Sep, 2016
I really despise it when games don't have a manual save feature (or at least save-on-quit coupled with autosaves). It's a tacit admission by the game devs that they believe their vision for the game is more valuable and important than their customers' time. "We won't sacrifice our game's INTEGRITY just so that someone doesn't waste potentially hours of time!" I've put up with it in some cases, like with Bioshock Infinite - more than once I'd be carefully exploring an area, have to leave, and discover when I booted the game back up that I had the same area left to explore just 'cause I hadn't triggered the next checkpoint.

I'm also sure that there are plenty of XCOM players who will chafe at the idea of savegames being a "core mechanic." Certainly XCOM is a game where many players (admittedly, perhaps even most) resort to savescumming, but that's an intentional choice on their part. If you don't want to savescum, then just bloody don't!

Anyway, just one of my pet peeves. :)
STiAT 26 Sep, 2016
Quoting: liamdawe
Quoting: lucifertdarkWow it must be really bad for you to say don't buy it, I don't remember the last time you ended a review like that.
It's something I very rarely say, and I don't like saying it. It's just not worth it.

The 22nd of September isn't that long ago... "Waste of time"... ;-).

https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/dominate-the-world-in-strategy-game-agenda-now-on-linux-heres-my-review.8150
Liam Dawe 26 Sep, 2016
Quoting: STiAT
Quoting: liamdawe
Quoting: lucifertdarkWow it must be really bad for you to say don't buy it, I don't remember the last time you ended a review like that.
It's something I very rarely say, and I don't like saying it. It's just not worth it.

The 22nd of September isn't that long ago... "Waste of time"... ;-).

https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/dominate-the-world-in-strategy-game-agenda-now-on-linux-heres-my-review.8150
I never mentioned how long between the last time, just that it's rare. Most games have some kind of redeeming quality, this game and that linked one do not.
lucifertdark 26 Sep, 2016
In my defence I didn't see that review till now. :D I shall rectify that right now.
Ignis 26 Sep, 2016
Damn. I wanted to try that…
tuxintuxedo 26 Sep, 2016
I bought this game while it was still in Early Access, maybe about a year ago. At that time it felt promising and although there were some bugs, I enjoyed it to a certain degree. Sadly, it feels like things slowed down and eventually died in development, like it was finished just to be able to say, it is finished.
As for the story, there was something about the bugs coming from underground and eventually meet with the humans on the surface, but this will probably not happen, at least not in this game.
Swiftpaw 27 Sep, 2016
At least we're getting Dawn of War in two days to get us a real RTS.

I really hoped this one would be successful but it sounds like it could be another EA scam, although it could have failed for legitimate reasons too and I don't have enough knowledge to pass judgment, but there are a lot of EA scammers out there.


Last edited by Swiftpaw on 27 September 2016 at 5:34 pm UTC
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