3D Space battles, when was the last time I played one of those? In fact when was the first I ever played any of them? Okay! So here we are on my first ever try at piloting an aircraft… heck! A spacecraft! Or rather a Colonial Fighter. So bear with me on this one as this is gonna be a rough ride, I tell ya! Published and developed by ROCKFISH Games which is an independent gaming studio based in Hamburg, Germany and specializing in Unreal Engine 4 based games for both consoles and PC. But the question that’s on my mind is will this deliver or will this crash? Well, there’s only one way to find out!
Dissecting it limb from limb, it’s a single-player game with rogue-like gameplay and a non-linear story progression. With some AAA-quality visuals that could even wet your pants. And in case you want to ask, I did not wet mine! Although I did scream like a little girl as enemies went rushing in and started blasting my tiny ass ship ‘til it was no more. Boohoo! At first, the controls were a bit awkward for me. I have to admit it was a terrible first impression although I did manage to grasp it after changing the control schemes to Type C which in this case was the Left Thumbstick is for moving the ship and L1 and L2 is for hovering up and down. It was a bit of a letdown as there is no custom button layout for the PS4 Version of the game which I own especially since I prefer using the PS Vita as a controller as opposed to the regular DS4 controller as I just simply feel more comfortable using L3 and R3 with the touchpads than pressing down on the thumbsticks. Anyway, you’re also allowed to switch between 1st Person and 3rd Person action focus with a click of a button and I must say the 1st Person perspective is amazing and I’m the guy that usually hates using 1st Person when it comes to racing games! Lastly, VR-Support for HTC Vive and Oculus RIFT! Must I say more?
Just to give a little backstory, the player starts out with amnesia… wait? When did I ever played a game like that again? Nevermind! As a guy with amnesia, he sure is quite lucky to even remember how to pilot a ship when I can’t even remember where I put my keys. Now his journey starts off finding his memories which coincidentally and not intentionally is recollected everytime he jumps to a new sector as well as bumping into people he knew in the past. It’s an overused cliché and one that doesn’t do anything special to make the experience unique.
While I do love the visuals, the non-linear story and the overall atmosphere in the game, I just find it annoying that it’s a rogue-like. Dying is bad enough, but losing all the resources you’ve gathered and the weapons you’ve crafted and upgraded is another story. And it’s a story without a good ending, to be honest. But then again, after a while, you get pilot upgrades by spending credits in which you can salvage your previous ship and gain them back. While the story progression isn’t at all linear, you’re route to other sectors simply have other paths but in the end, only lead to one way without any option of turning back and using other routes untraveled. During your travels, you can meet other NPCs which gives you quests to make each and every adventure unique from the first fifty times you’ll die in this barren wasteland we call space. But if there’s something I hate, there’s not a lot of enemies to loot from in each area making your adventure sometimes a bit slow and boring to the point you just want to beat up some neutral ships just to have some fun before going on the next. And speaking of ships, there are quite a few factions out there that are hostile and neutral to you. But the best thing I realized is each and every faction is hostile against each other so letting them make contact is one way of thinning out the weed and making your adventure a little less hectic and salvaging the leftover scrap. Although it’s not all about ships and enemies as there are also quite a few points of interest found within the game like shipwrecks, outposts and craters to which you can find either resources or new weapons.
Crafting, my god! The crafting system is terrible as you’d be looting everything, boosting from point A to point B just to get new gear until at some point you discover a tech container that actually gives better parameters than what you’re upgrading and make your scavenging journey beforehand a little bit pointless as you swap the gear and scrapped what you just made. But honestly, the crafting system isn’t at all bad but I find it just annoying as resources are a bit scarce and requirements are a bit too much. So, in the end, the only thing I find good to craft are consumable items like rockets. Fuel, my god where art thou, fuel? The only agonizing point in the game is when you’re out of fuel and not a resource in sight nor an enemy to loot from. While you can still jump to the next area, it does, however, carry consequences as at times would damage your components like sensors, life support or even as something as basic as your HP or Hull Points which can be deadly when you’re already low and no spare nanobots to repair the ship. It’s a gamble and one without any rewards.
As far as sound and music goes, I’m no sound-guru so I’ll leave that stone unturned for another day. Although if there’s something bad about it, I would’ve talked about it already. So let’s head on to the last paragraph before I bore you to death!
Here we are! Last paragraph at last! And possibly my conclusion and overall verdict to the game, PROBABLY! Overall, the game is pretty good, graphics and visual effects especially the weapon effects are flashy and top-notch, worthy for a space shooter no doubt! Although the battles start out a bit slow which I guess is fine as you wouldn’t want to be bombarded with enemy fire right off the bat. Each and every adventure is catered for longer playtime instead of doing short bursts until the next run through which is somewhat a negative for me as I prefer to jump in and smash as many faces or rather ships as possible although it’s great that you’re allowed to save your progress and continue at another time. Crafting as I said wasn’t as great for me as I end up getting better gear before I could end up getting enough resources or blueprints to craft them. The perks to power up the pilot and ship is an added bonus and gives you the rewards that you’re actually progressing even if slightly at a time. Controls were a bit off at first although I now love it with my current settings. Story-wise, nothing too grand but nothing too bad… it was okay at best but I love the additional story for each character you meet although you end up being an errand boy most of the time.