I am a veteran of CI games, played all of them many times in row and they’re part of my childhood. I am not a hardcore player that would be playing always on the hardest difficulty, I am somewhere around average, lol.
But even with all the experience I have I was not ready for the opening of CIU. And that is because there’s no opening. You are thrown into an open area with few tips here and there, but it lacks proper tutorial that would go through everything step by step to not overrun the player with information.
So in my opinion - a specific starting mission is necessary, it can be anything storywise, really.
But the point is - it needs to be streamlined to a new player, who does not have experience with CI at all, and even for those who lack experience only with Universe.
Preselected a special tutorial mission for the player at the beginning, in my first selected mission I already had to face the Space Crab 2.0 and Infinity Twins, both are of the harder bunch of bosses, IMO, so make a special easier mission with easier boss, like the Superman boss from the beginning of CI4
Prepare a “storyline” that would go slowly through each part of the menu, like “we have to prepare our ship, go buy your first weapon and cooler” or something like that, and explain in more details what is all the stuff about. I was so confused with the store that it took me a while to realise where I can find upgrade option for my weapons
Don’t overrun player’s e-mail, immidiately at the beginning I have a long line of e-mails to open, and even tho they contain some parts of the tutorial, a clickable stuff can be easily missed and ignored by players, which is something you don’t want them to do, if you contain tutorial in it
Polish the whole UI, so far it is kinda chaotic and looking like a cheap f2p mobile game, just the UI wise, big uncurvy icons, very simple and impractical sliders in the shop, etc etc
Try to add bestiary in the future? Chicken Invaders never needed it before, because most of the mechanics were easy to show during raw gameplay without immidiately impacting the player, but here we have some green goo chickens that I still don’t know what they do and if the green goo can kill me or not, same with other new enemies. So how about having an actual bestiary, showing off all the types of chicken and explaining how they work and what could work against them, so rookies can prepare for them before hand