I tried to like this game. I really did.
This is a space-themed real-time strategy (RTS) cum role-playing game and I love complex thinking games.
You start as a mercenary-for-hire cum trader trying to eke out a living in the galaxy. As you travel from world to world, you pick up quests, upgrade your space barge, trade goods like medicine and food supplies and fight space pirates.
Sounds good but the execution is simply bad.
The quests have little variation and they are of the go-here, go-there, fetch-this, deposit-that variety that requires you to simply point and click.
There is little decision-making and the end result is that it feels less like a game than a bad interactive storybook.
The storyline is exceedingly linear and only the main quest has some sort of content. Deviating to explore the universe yields a vast emptiness: lots of worlds and space stations that you cannot interact with.
The story is also hampered by the Russian-to-English translation - grammatical errors abound - and the strange choice of using reams of text to tell most of the story rather than cutscenes.
I feel so detached that I do not care what happens to the characters in the main storyline. At a certain point in the game when innocent people got blown-up, I felt nothing.
The RTS part of the game is also below par. It feels more like a space simulation and the controls are clunky and rudimentary. Weapons fire automatically so besides moving your ship, there is little you can do in battle.
The only saving grace about this game is that it looks good. From the textures on the spaceships to the awe-inspiring nebulae, eye candy abounds. It also runs smoothly on my PC.
Chan Chi-loong is a freelance writer.