Over the years, Steam has had many odd choices of games appear on its platform. Some of these games have been real stinkers, destined to be the butt of many a joke and certain to stay in the category of ‘games you only buy as a prank’. Or, so bad, they’re good, like ‘Games like ‘Bad Rats’, ‘Revelations 2012’ and ‘Drive to Hell: Retribution’. Unfortunately, Steam seems to have a habit of releasing games that don’t even seem to meet basic quality standards. A recent example being the early-access title ‘Earth: Year 2066’, a game so steeped in garbage that even Steam removed it completely following a barrage of complaints, alleged review-fixing and lies from the developer. Now comes another game that seems eager to repeat the same thing. The game? Air Control.
This game was previously part of at least one bundle, giving me a good chance to try it for myself before release. As you might expect, before official release, the game was a complete and utter mess. Bugs were present everywhere to the point of near-unplayability and the whole thing felt like the developer had come up with one idea then moved onto about fifteen more without bothering to make sure the core game was in a playable state. Now that I have a Steam key – given to all people who picked it up as part of that bundle – I can honestly say that things haven’t improved a bit.
Issues are abound. Firstly, the game is hopelessly unoptimized with only high-spec computers apparently being able to run this at anything approaching a decent speed. The developers themselves shouted down multiple negative reviews, claiming that there must have been problems with reviewers’ PCs. Even on a high-spec computer, though, the issues keep pouring in from broken controls, ugly graphics (often just consisting of blank no-texture blocks) and glitchy… uh… everything! Throughout play, I have witnessed music cuts, NPC’s mysteriously disappearing for no reason, clipping, being able to ‘walk’ through seats, UI breakages and more. Nothing in the game is fun to play either as random ideas seem to flood in without rhyme or reason.
Across the forums, things are even worse. There are multiple cases of deleted threads, developer-edited reviews and deleted reviews, the developer account often backtracking on comments and reacting badly to criticism, all made even worse by the refusal to even place the title on the early access program, preferring to instead lie to customers about the state the game is in. In fact, it was originally supposed to be released May the 1st, but was pulled suddenly for randomly using licensed logos and symbols the developers had no permission using – such as the Luftansa logo and a Triforce design nicked wholesale from the Legend of Zelda series. Amazingly, some copyright infringing logos are actually still present in the current release!
Before its Steam release, I even contacted the developer for comments on this game, and asking if review copies would be provided. In response, I was questioned as to whether I would give the game a low mark if I thought it is bad. Once I told them that I would have to be honest in my review, they backed off and refused me a review copy. Their response? ‘I don’t think I can give you a copy of the game in its current state’.
In its current state? But I thought the game was finished, guys. That response certainly doesn’t suggest the game is anywhere close to being ‘done’.
Basically, all this would be enough to make anyone suspicious, and rightfully so. It naturally brings me to a single conclusion.
Avoid this game. Do not buy it, gift it or allow it anywhere near your Steam account. Please do NOT support these developers.