Monday, December 18, 2017

Orbital Racer Gameplay Review

I'm playing Orbital Racer, a space racing simulation by Paweł Dywelski and Movie Games.


The single-player-only game features checkpoint racing on twenty-four tracks in eight locations around our solar system; there are no randomized tracks, which would be seemingly easy to do in space. A career mode where race earnings can be spent on vehicle upgrades accompanies simple custom races. Handling can be done in either action or simulation mode, the latter of which has more realistic thruster-based flying and lacks powerups. The interface clearly indicates upcoming checkpoint locations for easier navigation. Powerups in the action mode are randomized and are given out every three checkpoints to all racers, which means everyone uses their weapons at the same time; a more interesting method would involve pickup locations away from the main racing line. Impact (causing damage) and EMP (causing controls to stop for several seconds) weapons come in launched missiles or dropped mines. A completely destroyed craft respawns at the last checkpoint. The AI is very good at handling both racing modes and provides a good opponent. Orbital Racer has a unique setting and simply needs some tweaks (random tracks, improved powerup distribution) to stand out.