I already knew I'd like this game. I saw a lot of video coverage of it and knew, right away, this game is the shit. The interesting choice of music, the fact that this shit takes place in SPACE, the fact that I've been clambering for another type of Black Flag-esque type of game.
It starts out with you, the player, looking for your aunt. She's missing or something and you have to find her. With your trusty ship, which was actually hers at one point, you set out to find her. You begin in this open galaxy, systems divided by jump gates that take you to other systems with different types of enemies, different kinds of stations and even more challenging areas. I spent, I'll admit, too long in the very first system, where a lot of the beginning of the game takes place.
|It looks kind of like a dog of some kind|
The game is set around an upgrade system for your ships. You can upgrade armor, shields, deflectors(A manual use super shield that can only be used a certain amount of time), engines, boosters, warp systems, turrets, broadsides, cargo hold, even some special, highly expensive items like missile extenders which let missiles fly 25% farther.
It's also a bit of a loot game, and when you destroy enemy ships, there is a chance that they will drop a Cargo Container which could contain a surplus of commodities to trade, as well as credits and something for your ship. I actually didn't know this about the game for quite a while, and ended up discovering I had actually found a better engine for my ship as well as, as far as I could tell, unique guns I couldn't buy in a store.
Upgrading your ship, and buying new ones, of course costs money. You get this money by going around to different stations and accepting missions which give you a wide range of things to do, like rescuing people from attackers, killing people, destroying entire stations, collecting dead drops to return to a station, or just straight up long-hauling some items from station to station along the different systems. You can even join a couple of guilds, like the Merchants Guild and the Mercenaries Guild. Doing so, and accepting missions from these guilds will increase your ranking with them, allowing you to purchase items exclusive to their faction that can help you out in the field. Things like ships and ship upgrades.
Rebel Galaxy is a great game to spend a lot of time in, and so once I upgraded my ship and even bought a new one, I went out in search of money. Buying low and selling high, I made my first small fortune playing the markets. Small fortune in the early game, no doubt, because as the game continues and you move through the systems, the progressively harder areas start to pay much, much higher. It went from me making roughly 5k per mission in the beginning to making over a million credits per mission near the end. Doing this allowed me to absolutely deck out my ship, which was at this point as big as a large space station, and move through the systems practically untouched as no one was even strong enough to breach my shields, much less my holds.
49 hours later, my ship, which I named Kenway's Revenge in honor of that ol' Black Flag scallywag himself, was an unstoppable behemoth. At this point, it was though I traded up The Jackdaw for death itself. The only bad thing is knowing I am now so over powered, and with the game beaten, there is no point in continuing. I have conquered Rebel Galaxy and all those who live within.
While you are limited to one plane of space, other ship types like fighters can fly up over you as well as below, giving you a run for your money and making it challenging to get at them, making you work for it. Unfortunately, I felt like sometimes, when you are fighting what seems like an endless amount of fighters, battles could become tiresome by lining up your shot, firing, and damnit they are flying away and I can't quite hit them right now.
Once you start upgrading your ship, obtaining both better defensive capabilities as well as offensive capabilities, you will have incredible tools of death at your disposal to get rid of those annoying bastards once and for all! Well, maybe not "once and for all" but once the rockets start firing and dropping bodies, battles can fly right by.
That actually seemed like sort of a problem to me after a while in the game, the combat was either too easy or too hard in seemingly most areas of the game. I was a Black Flag Veteran so I knew how to use the ship to my advantage by doing things like positioning myself on the opposite side of an enemy ship so their buddies can't take potshots at me, while also dumping on some suckers.
Most of my early experiences with the game were a lot of "Okay, I'm too low level for this encounter right now" and then "Okay, battle is over, clearly I'm too high level for this encounter right now". The biggest balancing issue comes from the turrets, and the insane number you can (eventually) have on your ship. At first, you are a small little space-dinghy and you don't have any turrets. It's just you and whatever gun you came with. But once I upgraded to the Tennhausen, it seemed like my turrets were just doing all the work for me.
Black Flag was very hands on. If you wanted to fire a cannon, launch some flaming barrels, or use the bola launchers on the front, you had to use them yourself. If you wanted to let go of the wheel and go use the machine guns on the side of the ship, you actually had to do that yourself. In Rebel Galaxy, they give you the option to select these weapons and use them manually, but by default are used automatically. Thankfully the game gives you a list of tactical options you can use to set your turrets to fire on specific craft, fire at whichever ship you target, fire manually, or fire when you lock your target. So there is a method of customization that is so well needed. But the turrets can be so powerful, and depending on your ship, you can have so many of them that you are basically a ship of pure unfiltered death.
In fact, by the time I even saw something called a "Super Dreadnought", I was able to destroy it without even taking a single hit of damage.
What I mean by being overpowered is this: I found a key strategy early in the game was to find a powerful weapon that works best at close range. The Tachyon Cannon's worked well for this. Then, the strategy was to ride directly up alongside of the ship you were targeting, then just spam the fire button. No rhyme, no reason. Just spam the button. You wouldn't have to aim your attacks because you'd be at point blank range. And there would be very minimal risk as you would be pressed up against their ship, being mostly shielded from attacks coming from that direction. And if they did manage to break your shields and start to put a hurting on you, simply boost ahead, turn your ship so that you are doing the same strategy on the other side.
I felt as though I was turning every single battle into a brutal dumpfest and from that point onward, to even bigger and slower ships, the strategy prevailed without fail every time.
I wanted to set up the review by calling upon my Black Flag experience and love, but I don't want to talk about that game too much, as Black Flag was developed by roughly seven hundred-thousand people(Or so the credits would imply) and Rebel Galaxy was developed by 2 people, with the rest of the support coming in from contractors.
Indeed, it becomes immediately impressive that so much of the game is so immediately great. I don't even think a lot of the issues I have with the game are anything more than minor annoyances. One such problem I had with the game is how many times your warp is interrupted. You'll be in warp, zooming across the galaxy to deliver a load, or kill some dudes, or just to talk to your aunty at the bar, and you'll get just a little too close to an asteroid, which will then give you a "proximity alert" and pull you right out of warp speed. This is all well and good, but the issue is that sometimes you can actually be a pretty distance away from the item in question, and it still pulls you out. In the smaller galaxies it felt like there were asteroid belts littered everywhere, constantly impeding your progress along the way.
The only real issue I would run into is an issue with pop-in. As I would warp along the galaxy, I would be interrupted by these collision warnings only to look around and see there's nothing there. And then, all of the sudden, enemies would just pop into existing. They were there the entire time, but they weren't actually rendered in at the moment.
In fact, this issue popped up when warping to stations as well. Often times I'd warp right to a station only for it to have not rendered in yet, only for it to finally appear and crash into me. Thankfully it never did any real damage or anything, but it seemed to happen when I upgraded my warp. Though it did happen less and less as I upgraded even more.
Other than that, I have to say I definitely recommend the game to anyone and everyone. It's a wonderful little game that lasted me some 49 hours and I absolutely loved my time with it.
|Steve is love, Steve is life.|
I gladly give this game a