Now, I have to say that I got this game because my friend bought it as well, and it listed Multiplayer as an option. I thought that it would be fun to do a space based game in the style of Command & Conquer 3. I never actually played it multiplayer, which if it is a saving grace I’ll never know.
This game has a very ugly interface; it makes it hard to get into. Combined with the 2d space battle fights, the really bad story and battle animations I was not able to enjoy my hour with this game.
The graphics themselves are not bad, they were looking for something unique. But I find the character designs to be so bad I was offended. The game feels like a bunch of 30-somethings trying to sell a game to 12 year olds. We have extreme blood whenever you kill a ship. Yeah, ships explode into a shower of blood. The female character has a bare mid-drift and design that makes Lora Croft from the first tomb raider look normal. Insulted because I know I could personally do better. And there is no way a paid professional designer couldn’t do better while drunk unless this was their objective.
The tutorial missions introduced me to the game concepts. You kill other ships, drink blood from their corpses to heal and steal their genes to upgrade your own weapons. Not a bad idea. But then the controls are this swirling 3d view trying to control objects in a 2d plane. So if you are not looking directly down on the plane you cannot say for sure where your ship is going to end up. (You can also ask the computer to draw the reference plane as a grid, but that isn’t as helpful as they thought.)
Thinking about it, that 3d controls on a 2d plane felt much like my 3d modeling programs. You can swirl, twirl and zoom around a fixed point in 3d space and then use the arrow keys to shift along the 2d axis. All this viewing control makes for a fine control scheme in a slow placed design environment. But when you are in a battle situation you should have the controls maximized for action which response.
So the tutorial missions left me in a bad mood, unhappy with the game. But they have this 8 minute long cut scene that was the final straw.
We start with the mission with your father giving you this ship. And then takes you to another ship that is actually your birthday present. I watched the scene twice to make sure I hadn’t misread that. It is clear your father gives you the ship you are in (as a young boy, too young to own your own space ship, as the game points out.) You then fight in a mission so lopsided that you can seriously not give your ship any orders at all and still win. As I said this was the final straw and I did it twice to make sure it happens as I will complain about.
From this fight we go to eight minutes of cut scenes. In these eight minutes we are told it is forty years later, making your character at least fifty yet looking maybe late twenties. You get info dumped hardcore as to who these people are telling you what you need to do. The Emperor of mankind is telling you to go find this McGuffin out in the same zone of space in which your father vanished years before. You get to have dialogue options of blue (choir boy) or red (jerk) with a handful of people. And then you watch these battle scenes in which armored aliens and armored humans fight with pistols and assault rifles within arms reach of each other. Seriously, they could reach out and push the gun away sort of close. And in mixed formation, humans and aliens standing (not running, but standing and shooting) around killing each other. It just struck me as a really poorly thought out scene of a dozen alien models and a dozen human models not animated at all well.
And I was done with the game. Perhaps the tutorial missions were lame and hard to control was because they were more interested in teaching us instead of making it fun. Perhaps the game play improves once you get into the game and the missions. I personally doubt it, from the reviews of others.
I also read a walkthrough for the game, talking about what missions are coming up. You go back in time to your young self and help your father against an attack that seeks to alter the time line. And then as your young self you return to your fleet in the present. So if you were the target 12ish year old boy then “Yeah! I could do it” should be going on inside your head. I personally would be twitching and suffering a minor stroke if I understood the walkthrough correctly.
So I never played the multiplayer, and I didn’t give the game more then an hour of my time, including watching the same eight minute cut scene twice to make sure it was as bad as I thought the first time. Under my value system that gives it one dollar. And even that it didn’t really earn.
As soon as this gets posted I will delete the game off my computer and never see it again. With any luck.