Universal Combat offers the player a very large game world to play in using varying forms of transport and combat. The player can pilot spaceships of varying sizes, as well as land on and explore planets. On land, they can drive varying land craft, with more than 21,000 areas of interest available to explore. The size of the playing area is seen as one of the game's main attractions, where travelling from place to place can take considerable quantities of time as there is no time compression. The game has a high learning curve that is daunting for newer players.
The game is most notable for its high level of detail. For instance, every single crew member on the ship is tracked in location, hunger, AI level, and fatigue. Every system on board the player's starship can be monitored and controlled. In order for the player to fly a shuttle, they must first take time to walk through the ship to the shuttle bay, forcing the player to plan ahead for tactical encounters. This often leads to a great many instances of emergent game play. For example, enemy boarding parties can be trapped on the ship by disabling launch control, which will not allow the intruders to escape via a shuttle craft or fighters.
Source: Wikipedia, "Universal Combat", available under the CC-BY-SA License.