Monday, April 28, 2014

The Last Federation Gameplay Review

I'm playing The Last Federation, a grand strategy game with tactical turn-based combat by Arcen Games.

The last member of your race, you perform missions for various factions and (hopefully) unite the victors in an alliance. A quick start mode provides a decent tutorial and gradually introduces new concepts to players; you can also customize the starting conditions and separately adjust the difficulty for the strategic and tactical modes. A detailed solar system simulation is present, shuttling goods and armadas back and forth as the eight races vie for supremacy. The interface is a mixed bag: while lots of useful data is presented, it can be difficult to find key objects during battle and none of the tables can be sorted. Performing tasks and helping out races will earn credits and influence; you can perform both friendly and hostile acts that will alter the economic, medical, environmental, public order, or military ratings of each planet. You can also engage in political deals with planetary leaders to further your cause. Technologies can be gifted (and stolen) to advance friendly factions, and new weapons and abilities can be equipped to your flagship. The turn-based tactical combat is pleasingly chaotic, with lots of enemies and bullets flying across the screen. Each turn you can either use a special action (such as calling in support fighters, using a super weapon, or cloaking) or move and attack. Targets need to be selected (or have the ship auto-fire) using an appropriate weapon that will cause the most damage to your foes. Power can be divided between weapons, shields, and engines for added tactical depth. The AI is good enough at tactical combat and planning on the system map. While the battles and planetary actions do become repetitive, The Last Federation is an satisfactory mix of grand strategy and tactical combat.