Friday, August 28, 2015

Satellite Reign Gameplay Review

I'm playing Satellite Reign, a role-playing tactical strategy game by 5 Lives Studios.

A spiritual successor to Syndicate, the game plays out in a large, detailed city with lots of missions to complete. Controlling the four operatives in real time involves using cover, picking out targets, and switching between numerous weapons. Each of the four classes (soldier, support, hacker, and infiltrator) have different abilities and a skill tree that steadily unlocks with experience. Weapons can be modified with augmentations, and prototypes can be researched. Regular citizens and be hijacked and cloned to provide a steady supply of replacement characters. Most missions involve going into heavily defended strongholds, hacking gates and avoiding security cameras and patrols. Until weapons are unlocked and upgraded, stealth is the optimal means of successfully completing missions. With an open world to explore and the option to proceed with action or stealth, Satellite Reign is a fine, updated homage to Syndicate.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Axis Football 2015 Gameplay Review

I'm playing Axis Football 2015, an American football simulation by Axis Games.

The game features a season mode comprising of twelve random games and the top eight teams making the playoffs. Quick matches are also available, either against the AI, another player on the same computer, or a coach-only mode where only plays are called. Games always have five-minute-long halves with substandard graphics and poor, repetitive commentary. There are only six plays per formation, greatly limited varied gameplay. The mouse-based passing system is novel, but difficult to execute consistently. Running the ball needs a gamepad for more precise control. There are no penalties, AI defensive backs are too good, and blocking is permanent for the entire play. The lackluster gameplay and limited features of Axis Football 2015 make it impossible to recommend in its current form.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Nightside Gameplay Review

I'm playing Nightside, a real-time strategy game by Omnidream Creations.

The game features a fourteen-mission campaign and twelve maps for one-versus-one skirmish against the AI or online matches that support up to four players. The three races feature two similar, traditional factions (Nova and Human) along with the Yx that spawn every building and unit from cells. The interface is well done, with one-click access to the mothership, unit producing structures, research buildings, and all units. Handy icons also show whether units can attack land or air units. Nightside features classic mechanics: extract resources, build buildings, make units (only air and ground, but no unit cap), research upgrades, and fight! There is little micromanagement, although pathfinding is poor (especially when a large group is given the same destination) and the lack of formations means units all move at different speeds. Units also won’t routinely attack enemies within their sight range, and the AI needs a resource bonus on any difficulty above “easy”. Nightside is an average real-time strategy game with a handy interface but little innovation.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

RymdResa Gameplay Review

I'm playing RymdResa, a role-playing exploration space adventure game by Morgondag.

Each chapter gives slightly different objectives, from visiting locations to collecting materials and gathering keys. The procedurally generated worlds provide some replay value. Resources are used for both moving and damage, and running out causes untimely death. Planets can be explored for resources, while materials are used to upgrade the home planet or mothership with new abilities. Experience points earned by collecting dust or simply surviving is used to unlock new abilities and increase skills levels. Items can also be found to change the attributes of the vessel. There is no combat, but space is a dangerous place filled with objects to run into. Death causes the ship to be destroyed, but items and upgrades are persistent. RymdResa is a relatively relaxing take on the space adventure game.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Cosmonautica Gameplay Review

I'm playing Cosmonautica, a space adventure game by Chasing Carrots.

The game features a campaign and randomized sandbox games with cross-platform save support. Rooms are added to ships to provide living space, recreation, weapon support, and satisfy crew needs; placement of the rooms matters for fluid movement. Crew can be hired that possess different skills (pilot, cleaner, medic, repair, scientist, hacker), and each are assigned a schedule to keep the ship operating at maximum efficiency. Missions involve delivering goods or passengers, smuggling illegal goods, or engaging in combat. The limited space for rooms in each ship (especially the beginning ones) means only one or two types of missions can be successfully completed, which becomes repetitive quickly. New rooms and planetary access can be researched, but this process is very gradual. Modest funds can be made through trade, and pirates must be fended off in the outer systems. The slow expansion and repetitive missions of Cosmonautica reduce the enjoyment of this space adventure game.