Starpoint Gemini Warlords is an Action-RPG, Space Sim, 4X Strategy game developed by Little Green Men Games and published by Iceberg Interactive. Starpoint is an open world game where you command and upgrade your ship and travel through space coming into contact with a variety of different factions, build up mighty fleets of ships and fight to gain control of the Gemini system for the Solari Concord!
Warlords is the newest addition to the Starpoint Gemini series, it’s predecessor having already been met with positive reviews. Warlords is the continuation of the series and expands and improves upon many of the elements of Starpoint Gemini 2. Warlords sees you take on the role of a captain, conquering the Gemini System for the Solari Concord… Or you could just fly around slurping up gas pockets and illegal weapons to sell at the market. Whatever picks your fancy really.
Without giving away too much of the story, humans have come to Gemini fleeing from our own Solar System, they have set up shop on the planet Phaeneros. The campaign starts off with a very cinematic view of your faction’s space station. Shortly afterwards you accompany a prototype battleship to be tested as part of its personal guard, however a trap had been laid and you find yourself ambushed by a rival faction! After a quick skirmish you’re injured and your allies have to recover you from an escape pod. This is where you enter the character creation screen and begin your adventure…
The game has six different game modes including a campaign/story mode and several free play maps for different playing styles such as total conquest or mercantilism. You can choose and customise/build your own ships that range in class and function. You can have from anything as small as a gunship to anything as big as huge cruisers loaded with cannons and all that good stuff. Even from there each ship can be designed to fit different roles such as damage dealers, anti-ship or cargo transports to haul your goods from one station to another.
Starpoint Gemini Warlords is a very detailed game with a lot of customisation options. There’s a levelling system with perk points as you can expect from any RPG, you can spec your points into anything from combat skills, resource collection, diplomacy, hacking, management of space stations, ship command etc… There’s too many to list here, but you should get the picture that the game is very detailed. It’s very easy to see this game as what No Man’s Sky should have been. Excluding the infinitely large playing area, Warlords allows for ship combat, mining and trading, designing your own ships, a modicum of exploration and the building of space stations and then on top of all this the added benefit of that layer of fleet combat commanding your own fleet against another. I’ve heard people calling this game Mount and Blade in space, but personally I feel like it’s a little bit more than that, I think it’s more like third person Stellaris, just without those bloody Chrysalids!
So far the game has one DLC called Deadly Dozen which adds in a new faction and several new types of ships and 12 bounties for you to collect from this ragtag band of criminals, outlaws and thieves.
Graphically, Warlords is fairly average. It doesn’t look bad by any stretch but at the same time it doesn’t wow you either. The character portraits are pretty good, the spaceships look pretty decent too. It’s nothing fancy but it’s not ugly. What are quite spectacular however are the effects from weapons on the ships like EMP’s and explosions and lasers and such, very good work on those.
For all of Starpoint Gemini Warlord’s good points (of which there are plenty) it isn’t without it’s fallbacks. One thing I couldn’t quite get a hold of was the the camera. Holding the mouse button in the desired direction while also trying to shoot at other ships was a little too much for me compared to the standard simply moving of the mouse. Another problem it has is that due to the overall complexity and detail of the game it has a bit of a learning curve. For returning players this isn’t a problem but for new players it can all be a bit overwhelming if you don’t take it piece by piece. This isn’t a unique problem and the depth of the game isn’t necessarily to be shunned either but it is something to be noted that if you plan on playing this game you’re not going to be able to just pick it up and know it all. The final problem it has is the writing is a bit dull. For a game about a geo-political conflict in space there isn’t much flair to it. It doesn’t help that most of the lines aren’t voice acted and so you have to read the exposition heavy dialogue from quite two dimensional characters. I found myself jumping out of the story fairly early on in order to go into one of the other freeplay modes and start my own adventures there.
If you enjoy space based strategy games such as Stellaris then Starpoint Gemini Warlords is great for giving a new perspective on space combat, leading your fleet from the front lines. If you were excited by No Man’s Sky but was disappointed at what you got then Warlords could be the game you were hoping for given the chance. If you like games with a lot of bite and depth like the Paradox Games titles then Warlords could be the game for you.
In conclusion Starpoint Gemini Warlords is a really good with some real meat to it, albeit a few drawbacks also which is sure to give sci-fi, strategy players hours of fun. I give it a solid 7/10 for its depth and gameplay.