Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Late and Bored

So I've been browsing Gamespot's reviews lists looking for a decent game that sounds good and I saw Darkstar One listed with an 8.1 or something. Personally, I did not think it deserved an 8.1, probably more along the lines of a 6.5 or 7ish. Click Read More at the bottom of the post for my thoughts on it.

I still want a new game to play, feeling kinda bored with what I've got. I've kinda been in the mood for some sort of sci fi adventure, or an epic fantasy RPG. Lately, however, what I've really been wanting is a fantasy themed game similar in play style to Star Wars: Battlefront. Basically a battle (or series of battles, I suppose) between two armies, where you take the role of a regular soldier (of some type), you're nothing terribly special, the other soldiers around you are just like you, except controlled by the AI. If you die, you can respawn as a new soldier, once again picking what type you'd like to play as. Each side has a set amount of units that they can spawn for the battle, with the goal being to kill all of the enemy units.

I've recently discovered Savage: The Battle for Newerth, which sounds kind of similar to this idea, however it has no single player, and one player on each side must be the "Commander" who plays the game as an RTS, whereas the rest of the players play it as an FPS/RPG.

In other news, first day of classes was today (or yesterday, I suppose). Quantum should be better than Solid State turned out to be, I just have to make sure I am reading the book ahead of where we are in class. Particles will be interesting, 8 people in the class should make for something different, at least. We shall see.

I had heard some things about it being a "spiritual successor" to Freelancer, which I thoroughly enjoyed, so I figured it would be good, and I bought it. Not that long into the game, however, I started to conclude that it was more like a step backwards. In Freelancer, you had different sectors that you traveled to, and each sector had a number of different systems that were connected by "trade lanes", basically space highways - you traveled much faster than usual, however you could still be attacked, although it's rare. Most times, the systems would have a planet or a space station that you could dock with and trade at. At the very least, there was a star at the center of the sector and various planets or other, smaller, stars around other places. These places weren't just scenery, either, you were able to travel to each one, and would suffer the consequences if you got too close - for planets, you'd "collide" with their atmosphere, and burn up in entry, with the stars you'd be incinerated when you spent too long in the corona. The different sectors were connected by "jump gates" - basically points where you would be teleported to another sector.

Darkstar One, on the other hand, had the different systems connected by "jump rings" - you could leave any system yourself, but only enter through a ring. Each system, however is almost exactly the same, one planet (that you can reach), one star, one space stations, one research station, special systems might change those numbers, I don't fully remember. You can't land on a planet, only dock at stations. The star for the system is just background, no matter how long you fly towards it, you will never reach it - I think I spent about 5 minutes flying straight towards one once, and the size still remained the same. The same thing goes for the other planets that they threw in the background, other than the main planet you can't reach any others that you can see.

Another thing that bugged me about Darkstar One was the money, usually I save up my money in games to try to build up enough to buy that really cool weapon or accessory. In Darkstar One, for the first few missions (basically the tutorial levels) you're a little short on cash, but after that, there's very little need to even do the extraneous jobs that you can get at any space station since you're inundated with credits. Frankly it made the game seem a tad too easy, especially since you could buy artifacts (items used to upgrade your ship - very important) despite the fairly steep prices to do so. That, coupled with the fact that your universe map shows you which system an artifact is "hidden" in, means that it's a snap to grab up artifacts and pimp out your ship.

The main things that I liked about the game when compared to Freelancer were the land battles, they added a nice break from all the space fighting, even if they did consist of "Travel down long ravine, blow up building at the end, destroy or avoid enemy ships on the way." Again, a little too simplistic. One final point of contention I had with the game: the story was almost the same as Freelancer's. There are a handful of different races in the galaxy, some a little more ready for war than others, and some powerful alien race from outside the galaxy comes in and tries to maneuver the races into war. You find out, and must save the galaxy. I mean, I know that original stories are hard to come by, but seriously, couldn't they come up with something better?

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