Love Impressions — A Game That Rewards Dedication
Yeah, it’s confusing. Really confusing. That’s my biggest trouble with Love right now: It’s very difficult for a new player to break into the game. The above is just a quick rundown of a few of the elements that you’ll want to understand and use: keep in mind that base-building and infrastructure are really only half the game, because the other half is spent fighting off AI characters, attacking bases, defending your base, and so on. Sure, you might whip together a fortress to withstand enemy attacks, but somewhat like Minecraft, these are means to an end. But the world seems quite a bit more dangerous.
The biggest trouble is that it’s tough to learn how to play. You’ll need to rely on resources like Love’s player-made wiki and tutorial videos. The trouble is, the wiki covers a lot of information somewhat generally, and the tutorial videos are kind of all over the place. In short, the best way is to learn by doing, then stop, read some things, and go try them out. But even learning the controls so you can use them reliably can be difficult.
The other major hurdle for new players is that Love is a very cooperative game. There’s really no point in dropping into a game and running around by yourself, because your goals require you to work together with other players. Sure, you can just explore, but the planets of Love are curved and finite, and if you walk too long in one direction, you’ll eventually wind up where you started. It’s recommend that players join the game’s Teamspeak channel, even if they don’t intend to speak or don’t have a microphone, because coordination is that important. You’ll want to be up to speed on what needs doing. Other players are generally pretty helpful, though, and asking questions is encouraged.
So while the learning curve for Love is a steep one, it does get better. The great thing about the game is that it rewards your dedication and becomes more interesting and more enjoyable the more you know. It’s sort of like ArmA II zombie mod DayZ in that regard: If you’re willing to spend a few hours learning what you’re doing, and putting up being a huge, useless newb for a long while at the outset, you’ll find yourself having more fun in a while. It helps to be social, too — this isn’t really a single-player game.
But it is a beautiful, ambitious one that combines a lot of great elements from a lot of great games and genres. Minecraft fans might find some of their building urge scratched here, and find those buildings more useful and more important than in Mojang’s title. MMO fans will find the heavy reliance on cooperation to their liking. FPS fans might get a little something out of the various kinds of combat situations in which they’ll engage.
Being free, gorgeous, and different in a lot of meaningful ways from much of what’s out there, you should give Love a look. Just make sure to do some reading beforehand.