Heat Signature is fun, but so far I cannot help but feel that it is missing…something. I’m not sure what, but it feels like it is just short of being much better.
I understand why the “no healing” system is in place. It makes sure that constantly getting spaced will eventually be lethal, no matter your recovery skill. It is “no healing” instead of “slow healing” presumably because otherwise people could either sit around or grind “safe” missions until they recovered. But it feels an overly game-ish, unrealistic, solution. It also is rather uneven punishment, where time lost is dependent on a player’s piloting skills, which is an otherwise rather low priority skill set. I cannot also help but feel that it discourages players from pursuing some otherwise potentially interesting tactics.
It also feels like the “no recharge” items quickly become pointless, due to how common items that recharge at friendly stations are. (Particularly once you realize the orange rectangles are chests that can be opened.)
It sometimes feels that the game is balanced too much in favor of certain items/tactics, or at least against others. Sure, you can have massive gunfights, but it is so much easier to stealth kill enemies. Unless a mission starts with an active timer, there doesn’t seem to be any pressure to rush.
Further, it almost feels like the game discourages you from getting too experimental, at least in the main game. The price of failure is permanent death, or at least being permanently brought closer to permanent death. (There is a “virtual reality” trainer, but I didn’t see a way to change your equipment in it, which made it fairly useless.) In stark contrast are the numerous defector missions, one-shot deals that can be restarted as often as you like without penalty. While presumably designed to be challenges, they end up functioning more like training areas, as you can fully indulge your experimental nature at no cost.
There are various minor details like that, feelings that the game’s design is just off a hair, or that some of the systems or ideas just don’t quite fully mesh. It is still a fun game, and I don’t regret buying it. It just feels like some tweaks or some alternate approaches would make it … more solid? Better? shrug