Developer: Double Damage Games
Publisher: Double Damage Games
Genre: Indie, Adventure, RPG, Simulation
Platform: PC (also on XBox One and PlayStation 4)
Rating: T (for Teen), fantasy violence, mild blood
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Ever since I dove into Wing Commander: Privateer – an open world space sim by Origin Systems – back in 1993, I’ve enjoyed playing various open world space RPG/Simulations. I’ve tried so many, in fact, that I am a bit jaded on the entire genre. It’s one thing to pilot your own ship to trade or to raid other ships. It’s another thing to grow bored while trying to become the biggest, baddest space captain ever. I did enjoy EVE Online for a very short period before I swore off space sims (mostly due to a lack of new experiences). I was presented with Rebel Galaxy by Double Damage Games, so I decided to finally try jumping back in with both feet.
Rebel Galaxy starts with the most basic of stories – a family member you’ve idolized all your life as a respectable space privateer has left you with a mysterious invitation and a rag-tag old space ship. So rag-tag, in fact, that it feels oddly like the Serenity. Needs serious upgrades is an understatement. Not that it matters, because later you’ll be running around pulling in enough cash you can replace the rust bucket for a more powerful, more versatile hull. The entire thing tries to make you feel like Han Solo in the Firefly universe. Once you complete a few introductory missions, it’s off for you to trade/steal/capture to your heart’s content. Whether you’re Mal, Han or Boba Fett is up to you.
The game has a few different things going on at once. First, you have flying around systems in a ship, conducting combat, mining or delivering items to random people. You can travel along a restrictive plane, going left or right. You can somewhat angle up and down, but it’s not like other sims where you have to worry massively about pitch and yaw. Combat is mostly turning until your broadside weapons are pointed at enemies. Moreover, you can also use turrets and launched ordinance to deal damage. You can counter all sorts of different weapon types with other weapon types, or shields/deflectors. And this is where the game gets a little bogged down for me – unlike other titles where I am zipping along the X, Y and Z axis, here I’m mostly circling my ship or trying to fly up on the enemy to blast him a lot with my side batteries. Which never seems to work flawlessly. Once you factor in you can hire one mercenary to make trips with you, tactically, battles can be a mess. The other faction’s actions in combat don’t seem to have much to distinguish them from each other, which actually helps.
Traveling can seem tiresome, too, if you don’t like burning a few minutes to zip from here to there using your warp. Of course, running into any sort of debris field, asteroid belt or pack of ships makes you instantly drop out of warp. You booster around these areas, but if you’re not up for long trips in the vastness of space, you may find yourself snoozing. The maps have good variety, and are very well done. There is always plenty to do, depending on what it is you want to do. Everything is well done graphically. I have to give them that.
Another part of the game is the story missions that give you a sense of role-playing. It creates about 22 or so hours of actual plot driven missions. However, you will do a bunch of other side missions, mining and foraging (aka scooping up debris from space battles) to help earn the money and unlock more upgrades so you can complete the next bunch of story missions. You’ll meet interesting characters, most of which are alien. Half the time, the missions are fetch quests common in most RPGs. The other half are fun, as you have to think about how you want to complete the objective. You might have to try a few times before you succeed.
Mining and trading are all secondary activities that earn you cash. You can also engage in piracy or hunting down pirates you encounter. You don’t always have to engage in these activities, but if you want to pick it up, it will help. It adds to the game’s depth and I actually enjoyed doing other things to help my life’s mission. The story starts to pick up in the middle, so you’ll need all the money and stuff you can get.
The sound is good, and the music is also interesting. With yet another nod to Firefly, Rebel Galaxy dips into a Confederate redneck theme with the music being very country and rock (or hillbilly rock). The voice acting is somewhat … varied in quality. I decided fairly early to just shut off the voices since it dragged me out of the game repeatedly. Double Damage did all they could to produce a quality product, and was largely successful save this one obvious, repeating tramadol online portion. As I said, you can use the options to remove this distraction if you want.
Rebel Galaxy is a good game, and I like that it provided me with hours of entertainment. Elite Dangerous had mostly murdered my appetite for space sims. I would say that Rebel Galaxy could improve the genre’s image for people who need a good space sim. It provides good value, and I would recommend it.
Like a leaf in the wind, I … screw it, destroy all the ships, take all things.
Nathan is a 40-ish year-old gamer, father and programmer. His hobbies are board games, video games and watching his son. He wrote for http://www.ironmanmode.com/ for the years of 2012 and 2013 to make money for Child's Play. He has been basically playing games since the 1980's in one form or another. His very first favorite video game was actually an arcade game called Dig Dug. He has played every generation of video game console (including the Magnavox Odyssey)