The game is basically a rogue-like RPG. You create a character (there are base classes but as you play you unlock variants for those for more possible classes) then the game generate a world for you. It is possible to set options for the world like pacing or starting economy for the races. It plays exactly like the other action RPGs and CRPGs: if you die then you respawn at the starting location and get for a time you receive half the experience points, what you can negate partially by picking up your "grave stone". The run can end up by winning or losing it, technically the only difference is the reward you get, then you can start a new one. Everything carries over. Of course there are mutators like hardcore for permadeath etc. The difficulty is customizable. You set the level for the world and it will not change till the next world. You can overlevel the NPCs or can set it above your own level.
The best part of the game is the freedom of the character's development. The character is a naked ship and you can mount whatever you like. Having no weapons but tons of drone hangars? That is ok. Want to fire 10-20 missiles at once? That is ok as well. Maybe want to have both? That takes some efforts but it is a way to go also. You can upgrade the class of the ship making a fighter grow into a super battleship but it is a bit hard to manage the stats for larger ships. The requirements for the setups are extremely different making it impossible to outfit the same ship with different setup once you pass 40-50 levels so you need to start a new character for different role.
I don't know if you ever played Freelancer, the NPC races and monster ships work the same way except they have random relation and capable of attacking/destroying each other without player interaction. The world is alive and dynamic and will change throughout the playthrough. You can help if you want but not necessary, not even have to interact if you don't want to. Sometimes a random Drox quest ask you to do so but otherwise you're free to behave with the factions as you want.
The DLC adds a new race and a new type of boss-ranked monsters. It isn't required but extend the options. The new race means a new playable type of ship with its own bonuses. I don't know if it has variants, I haven't got one yet.
The only thing I don't like is that the Drox quests can not be disabled during world creation. As I said once a Drox quest pop up you have to do it or you lose the run. Completing the quest not makes you win but grant more score toward a winning requirement than faction quests.
It is like a top down random generated version of Freelancer's multiplayer but you can finish it just for starting a new one. The online coop is interesting addition but a bit chaotic lol.
Post edited July 06, 2020 by Pityesz