First Impressions - Rebel Galaxy
June 02, 2016

A space fighter/flight game is an itch that has gone unscratched for a very long time and for a very simple reason; They’re not terribly user friendly to start with. Thanks to some games such as EVE Online, many space games feel the need to clutter the game with menus, HUD’s and various stats it all becomes far too confusing and counter intuitive.
To compare, I also bought Starpoint Gemini 2, which is considered to be a decent space game. Unfortunately, when I load the game up I’m treated with a spam of menus that tell me the controls but they don’t show me how they work. The better option would be for a popup to say “Press A and D to turn”, I do it, the game says “Good job!” and moves on to the next thing. Instead, Gemini just has you read and press “Next” a dozen times, and then you’re just let go. Not good design.

To Rebel Galaxy’s credit… It is not a complicated game. It’s stuck on a 2D flight platform which completely omits the need for severe flight tactics, and is instead comparable to Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag’s style of naval combat, down to the similarly used “Broadside” cannons. After that, it’s a matter of strategically placing some of your turrets as they autofire at your enemies while you control one, usually some type of rapidfire thing to cut through your enemies.
Enemy ships, usually the small fighters, tend to have access to the 3D plane which is not as much of a problem as you might expect as it usually just means you need to plan your position to open fire. Again, your guns can shoot them depending on placement.

Meanwhile it has a sort of MMO-like questing style of clearing enemies, shipping goods, defending traders, as well as a story mode. I actually have a lot of fun just ignoring the main quest (As you do), running around making ALL the money, upgrading my ship, and having a giggle when my main quest’s risk rating reads “Very Low”.

As an aside; The music is wonderful and it took considerable resistance not to name my ship “Serenity”. You’ll understand why when you click that link.

If I had a complaint, it’s probably that there’s not too much to do mid flight, a similar complaint I had in games like The Division and Homefront. Mid transit, there’s not a lot of popups when you’re fighting thousands of whatever-unit-of-distance it’s using. I notice three things:

1) Enemy fighter ships will sometimes interrupt your warp flight.
2) Distress Signals which usually means one of two things: Ambush, or NPC aid. Meaning a few weakish enemies to kill and you get a bounty for doing so, which I always do.
3) Or an asteroid field will interrupt your warp flight, in which you can evade or take a break and start scanning and mining for resources.

The music helps as it’s got a few hours of full length (~3 minute) songs that will change in space stations or open battles which helps mix it up a bit, but I wish there was more to do when I’m flying for 10,000 sm’s, which is a really long trip.

Ultimately, it’s nice to find a space game that I can be moderately good at. Everything is put together pretty well, and it took me a while to actually get around to this post because I’ve been playing it all day today.

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honestgamer honestgamer - June 02, 2016 (01:06 PM)
I haven't felt the urge to get into a space game since the SNES port of the original Wing Commander, which I liked quite a lot. I'm thinking if I bother with another space game of that sort, it'll be the new one that was crowdfunded by Chris Roberts. I'm blanking on the name, but it looks like my best bet. I feel like I should love space games, but I really don't.
Zydrate Zydrate - June 02, 2016 (01:20 PM)
It's hard to enjoy space games when they're all composed of UI spamming. Can't behind a game where you're looking at menus more than space flight.

Rebel Galaxy, I forgot to mention, does have a Goods management system. Buy Low, Sell High. Thankfully it's easy to understand and doesn't fill up my time on the game.

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