Black Prophecy open beta and downloaded the game. I have to say I wasn't encouraged by the download, as it consisted of 5 separate files and some simple, if odd, instructions. It's been a LONG time since I've downloaded a beta that didn't simply consist of an installer. Still, it installed fine, and I was able to log in on my first try without any trouble. I did not get to play that day though, as I needed to leave for the weekend.
Last night I finally managed to give the game a little time. Not enough to really call it a "first impressions", more like a brief flash of gameplay that left a few pertinent memories. Overall, I came out of my brief experience with relatively positive feelings.
First things first - I'd swear I read somewhere that this was a browser based game, and being a Gamigo published F2P that seemed reasonable (if unfortunate). I'm happy to report that's just misinformation (or bad memory) on my part, as the game runs full screen from an executable like any normal game. The graphics are pretty darn nice. Not jaw-droppingly cutting edge, but very solid and appealing. The characters you can create in avatar creation are reminiscent of what EVE recently added, though you have fewer options overall.
The gameplay is action-y space-sim fare, controlling acceleration with the WASD keys and direction with the mouse. Targets are selected with "T", there is a lead indicator showing you where to shoot, and gunfire tends to be fast and furious. The game has a nice feel to it -- if I had to pin it down I'd say there's a strong Freespace 2 influence. It's definitely far more visceral than EVE Online which is a plus. As much as I like EVE, the combat itself is terribly dull.
My character is now sitting in a space station waiting to get some missions and figure out how the game works. I still don't know much about the game, I don't know if you're always stuck in little fighters or if you can someday move up to something bigger (like EVE), but either way it seems like a fun diversion. As a F2P, there's really no risk in trying it out.