Friday, September 28, 2012

Blue Libra 2 Gameplay Review

I'm playing Blue Libra 2 , a real-time strategy game by Orator Games.

The game features a thirty-three level campaign where each mission clocks in under ten minutes in length. Each level has a scripted layout and you can’t repeat previously completed missions. A difficulty level can be chosen at the beginning of the campaign, but cannot be altered once you start. Between missions, you can unlock research options that award more command points, faster production, increased attack or defense ratings, or enhanced range. There is no single player skirmish beyond the campaign, although Blue Libra 2 features online multiplayer, but only if you know your opponent’s IP address in advance. The interface is clearly designed for touch screens, but it works well enough with a mouse. Unit paths are drawn on the screen, and splitting groups is accomplished by drawing while holding the shift button. Units are automatically placed in fleets for easier management, and rally points can be assigned to quickly move units as they are built. Units are built automatically as soon as the planet-specific resources are available, which also reduces micromanagement. Your planets and mothership can be upgraded, which increases damage and production speed, but prevents buildings units for a significant amount of time. Planets provide more units and asteroids automatically ship resources to nearby worlds. Units have specific roles on the field of battle and automatically engage any enemy unit in range. Game balance is almost ruined by the static defensive emplacements that cause too many damage and are captured too slowly. The AI is a competent foe, sending appropriately-sized fleets to vulnerable planets. While Blue Libra 2 is relatively simplistic, it is a fast-paced, streamlined, manageable, approachable, and challenging real-time strategy game.