Game Reviews Gaming

Beyond the Stars: First Look at Star Control: Origins

Being a sci-fi enthusiast myself, it thrilled me to no end to get my hands on another game that showed promise.  Buckle your seatbelts, ladies and gents, because today, we’ll travel the hyperspace and take a first look at Stardock Games’ Star Control: Origins.

Upon launching the game, The great cut scene that rendered seamlessly and explained the main premise blew me away with how pretty it looked.  The brief glimpse this scene portrayed  suggested the typical space exploration trope that most sci-fi games offered;  not that it should deter you from playing because it’s certainly more than that.

Starting the Game:
I’ll try

You start off by setting the name for your ship and choosing the game’s difficulty.  Whether you want to enjoy the game casually with the Easy and Normal difficulties or want to cater to your hardcore fix by choosing Challenging or Expert, the game surprisingly adjusts fairly well to suit your choice.

The voice acting for the dialogues offered a tangy touch to the already, witty dialogue.  It reminded me of Mass Effect’s way of branching conversation through choices, although the game forgave a bit more than ME did when it came to experimenting with answers.

Controls:
Almost crashed into the sun here, probably wouldn’t have ended well

The only probable qualm I have about the game is how sluggish the controls felt when maneuvering through hyperspace.  Chalk it up to zero-gravity, but it could be improved especially since the combat of the game (as far as I’ve seen) happens in space. We’ll get more into that later.

This is totally safe

You can then land inside planets or moons, and will be given tasks to either get resources or rescue the unsuspecting alien life.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the Tywoms; slug-like aliens that seemed to be pretty scared of dying by the hands of the Scryve and vehemently denied that they abducted humans for experiments (they just wanted to give us hugs).

That we do, sir, that we do
Combat:
Trying to get in range of that tiny ship to shoot it to smithereens
Co-op battles for the competitive space ranger in you

You probably need to upgrade your ship a bit more to stabilize your movement and add more weapons but for now, combat left a lot to be desired.  As I’ve said earlier, you have to tediously try to maneuver your ship in hyperspace, wherein the lack of gravity makes it really hard to control.  Aside from that, you are then expected to target your opponent without cross hairs as the combat happens on a 3rd-person, overview-ish kind of way.

Your missiles seem to have semi, auto-targeting, but you still need to mind your distance from your enemy ship and align the nose of your ship to their direction to help the missile along.  All in all, I kind of expected a Starfox-kind of combat which the game would have benefited a lot from.

It also gives you the option to play co-op local battles with friends and a 2-player system which me and my fiance would explore in the later days.  If everything goes well, it might have a great potential as a couch co-op game especially since it has superb controller/joystick support.

Customization:

For customization junkies like me, there’s no greater satisfaction than with what Star Command offered.  I haven’t explored it much myself but the idea of being able to build your own battleship from scratch is absolutely riveting.  Aside from in-game customization, the game also allows mods via it’s Steam Workshop, which could give you great options for aesthetics.

Verdict:

If you are a fan of Mass Effect and Starcraft, this might be right up your alley.  Managing resources while exploring the universe seem like dull prospects for most games and it’s definitely hard to pull off.  For my first dive into the game, I could safely say that Star Control: Origins did it well.  Still, exploration is key with this game and, for the sake of mankind, I shall explore it with much gusto.

You can get the game on Steam for P829.95 normal price and P1,119.90 bundled with the soundtrack.

 

Iris
Gaming Enthusiast and Resident Moogle

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