Space action game that focuses on tactical, real-time combat, with RPG elements such as character progression, equipment customization, and branching dialog.
Combat control is similar to Homeworld in the traversal of 3D space. However, the game is more akin to an RPG than an RTS in that you have specific characters with their own traits and abilities. Characters are placed in fighters which can be equipped with various modules and weapons. Fighters are launched from the mothership where they are equipped, into open space where your characters and mothership engage in combat. Combat can be paused or sped up at any time to issue specific orders, or to traverse the map quickly in search of your next objective.
The mothership is your main base and combat vessel for the entirety of the game. It has much larger shields and armor than a fighter, and also has 4 mounting points for gun turrets. However, unless equipped with a self-repair module, damage it takes during a mission will last until you complete the mission. When the mothership is destroyed you lose the game and must reload a save.
In combat, ships can take off and dock with your mother ship at will. While docked they are automatically repaired and can be re-equipped. The pilot can also be placed into another ship if desired. Loss of a ship in combat results in the pilot's escape pod and a random assortment of items that were equipped on that ship being ejected into space. The pilot and equipment can be picked up by your mothership's tractor beam. Once back on the ship the pilot can be placed in a new ship (if available) and take of immediately.
The game progresses fairly linearly, though you often have choices to do certain missions before others. At the start of the game you are presented with a cut-scene to setup the beginning characters, and then go on your first mission to familiarize you with combat. After each mission you are able to level up your characters, outfit your ships, read various 'news' articles, and select your next mission.
When you create your main character you are presented with 4 different skill trees: Piloting, Gunnery, Missiles, and Systems. All trees share the more basic abilities in each profession, and focus down to their respective classes. The supplementary characters you meet will have different variations on these 4 basic schools of combat.
Each mission takes place on rectangular map with various celestial objects such as space stations and asteroid groups. There are generally certain tasks to be done to complete the mission, as well as side quests that can be found around the map and are completed before leaving the mission area. Equipment, ships, and additional crew members are found during various missions after destroying enemy ships, completing objectives, or by exploring the map.
PC System Requirements
- OS: Microsoft Windows XP SP2
- Processor: Pentium 4 2 GHz (or comparable)
- Memory: 512MB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 128MB or ATI Radeon 9800 128MB
- DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
- Hard Drive: 3 GB
- Sound: Sound card
- Other Requirements: Internet access
- Processor: Intel Core2 Duo 2.2GHz or Pentium 4 at 2 GHz with Ageia PhysX
- Memory: 1 GB or more
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 7800 512MB or ATI Radeon 1900XT 512MB
- Sound: Sound card with multi-channel sound support 5.1