Star Renegades from Massive Damage Inc and Raw Fury is a turn-based strategy game that follows a group of renegades as they seek to prevent a universal civilization collapse caused by an invading force known as the Imperium.
The story of Star Renegades kicks off with the Imperium obliterating your forces and forcing a crash landing. Your twin brother is eventually shot down too and after battling side by side with him, he is killed. After mourning his loss and having a memorial for him, a service robot named J5T-1N is sent through a dimensional portal by a scientist to prevent the current events from happening again.
Playing as J5T-1N, you will bring word of the Imperium’s actions and their inevitable victory over civilization to another dimension. In the new dimension, having gained access to this knowledge, it’s up to you and your renegade forces to mount a defence against the Imperium and prevent them from winning. The story isn’t exactly stellar but it does its job in keeping you entertained. This also sets up the game’s main aspects quite well since it introduces players to the gameplay loop prevalent in this game. In other words, you will adventure, gain experience or items, die and eventually repeat with better odds using your newfound knowledge.
Gameplay in Star Renegades is therefore very dependent on these mechanics. Each run through the game world is never the same and the procedurally generated missions and enemies will keep you busy for hours and hours on end. Players will take control of a squad of renegades and the combat in Star Renegades involves turn-based battles against Imperium forces on 3 different planets. Players will move around a map and have 3 days to explore 3 separate areas each day using J5T-IN to breach into them before a behemoth arrives to eradicate you. Exploration is therefore limited and you may have to be quite strategic in your approach as to which areas to venture into.
The turn-based combat is not as cut and dry as it seems. Players will issue commands but their actions will influence a timeline which is displayed on screen. For example, certain actions can break enemy armour or stun them and force them to attack later on in a turn or not at all. This is a key aspect of winning battles in Star Renegades since being able to delay enemy actions while dishing out damage often means that you’ll be able to survive against the Imperium forces. The “Reactive Time Battle System” as it’s called is great, and is quite reminiscent of some older JRPG titles such as Grandia and Final Fantasy’s Active Time Battle system itself.
The combat also features a range of damage modifiers and enemy forces may have strengths or weaknesses which you will need to consider before facing off against them. Unfortunately though, this works against the game at some points since it may be quite literally impossible to defeat some enemies based purely on their random perks assigned. Once you are defeated in battle, J5T-1N is sent back to another dimension and the gameplay loop is reset but allows you to change up your team or unlock new weapons and upgrades by spending your earned in-game currencies.
On the actual planets, players will experience a day and night cycle with battles taking place during the day and camping taking place at night. Camping involves players setting up camp and playing a range of cards which influence the relationships with the other characters in your party. These cards can also impart special effects onto your party members such as healing them or providing attack bonuses which will come into effect during the next day. The relationship aspects seem slightly watered down and aren’t as great as they could be but alas, most players will opt to skip through these conversations since the game’s roguelike nature means that they’d probably see them multiple times over various playthroughs.
Star Renegades is therefore quite formulaic but it is a formula that works well. Some players might hate this with a passion especially if they dislike “random”-ness and procedurally generated content while others might find this charming. Nevertheless, beating the game is not impossible and after a couple of runs and learning the game’s ins and outs, you’ll most likely breeze through it with your new skills and knowledge of your renegade’s abilities. Thankfully the game also features a fast forward feature which accelerates the speed of battles saving you a lot of time that would otherwise have been spent watching animations play out.
Graphically, Star Renegades is extremely visually pleasing with pixel art graphics that have a neon-futuristic purple pink aesthetic throughout. Animations are incredibly satisfying to watch (at regular speed) and the game has a lot of flashy effects on offer in battles. It exudes a certain style that will keep you coming back wanting to see more.
The soundtrack in Star Renegades features some extremely catchy beats and the main theme itself is great. The battle music and the boss battle music also gets your adrenaline pumping and never gets old even after multiple hours of gameplay. Overall, the soundtrack used in the game is excellent.
Star Renegades is recommended by us if you’re a fan of turn-based JRPG-esque gameplay and you enjoy playing roguelikes. The graphics and soundtrack are quite frankly amazing and even though the game does have a significant amount of shortcomings with regards to its gameplay and core mechanics, it will still keep you entertained for hours and hours on end. The story is not exactly mind-blowingly great but there’s just something about the gameplay that keeps you coming back for more. Thus, it gets an overall thumbs up and we hope to see some gameplay tweaks in the future to balance the game further.
Star Renegades was developer by Massive Damage and Published by Raw Fury
Star Renegades is available on the following Platforms – Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
You can purchase the version we reviewed on PC here on Steam for £19.49
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A service robot named J5T-1N has arrived in your dimension to warn of impending doom from an overwhelming force known as the Imperium. Fight for survival across a procedurally generated and emergent mission-based campaign through reactive, tactical turn-based battle system that emphasizes interrupts and counters. Standing in your way is an intelligent Adversary system with enemy officers that evolve and move up in the ranks.
Price Currency: GBP
Operating System: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Xbox, Classic Mac OS
Application Category: Game