Thursday, 2 September 2021

Void Bastards Mothergunship in the Rebel Galaxy

A trio of space themed games!


Build your guns and shoot the baddies!

With Earth held hostage by an alien armada, the resistance has power armored soldiers like yourself going ship to ship pretending to deliver pizza but in reality on missions to find and eliminate the main Mothergunship. With a comedic plot and cartoon like graphics, enemies spawn out of thin air and launch slow but oversized missiles at you, meaning you really are reliant on that triple-jump ability and those future tech trampolines to get out of the way.

It is a fair bit silly, and it needs to be given the crazy combinations you have when creating weaponry which is the main draw of the game. With only three basic components and a single rule that turrets must all point the same way, this works wonderfully. Turret pieces handle what is fired and at what rate, mods add quirks like bouncing bullets, and connectors handle the obscure physics of making a rocket/grenade/laser/autocannon shotgun.

Ammo is infinite but takes energy to fire, so the bigger the gun expect a longer cool down after shooting. For what it is it works very well. Definitely an afternoon of fun at least, I give it two sockets out of five.

Rebel Galaxy

Where space is an ocean. Literally.

Following some obscure leads to find your aunt puts you in charge of a decent sized space craft and the game promptly dumps you out into the cold reaches of space to find your own way. At stations you can pick up missions and trade cargo to earn some creds which you can then spend on ship upgrades or hiring mercenaries. Most of the time though, you'll be out traveling from point A to B listening to some epic country rock. And fighting. Lots and lots of fighting.

Expect to see a lot of this.

The take here is that you are like a galleon. Broadside weapons are stronger than your 360 degree turrets, and while you can go forward and back or turn left and right YOU can't go up and down. Emphasis on YOU as everything else in the game can which gives the illusion of space. I can understand why they did that though - it makes the control scheme so much easier. If only the repeating missions weren't all a variety of fetch, kill or fetch AND kill quests then I might have stayed longer. Alas the positives don't outweight the negatives for me here so I can't recommend this one. One and a half stellar masses out of five.

Void Bastards

Everyone is a bastard in this void.

Based on the screenshot artwork I didn't expect much from this game but I am so glad I tried it out as the comic book style they have going actually works very well when coupled with actual interactivity. The premise is a prison ship has broken down in a hostile nebula and the AI has decided to use prisoners to do the dirty work of getting all the things needed for repair. Prisoners is plural because if you die, well the next one is sent out and yes, the entire game is a series of fetch quests... but I still played through the whole thing!

This is because the game play loop is very solid. Much like FTL you are flying from point to point in space, scavenging bits fuel and food to keep going as well as other stuff to make weapons, armor, and the like. The nebula is full of bad mutants though, who get worse the "deeper" you go. Of course, you don't actually NEED to go deeper despite the game pushing you that way. That said some of the most fun and scary missions I've taken were at the very depths, against enemies you need to run and/or hide from, with low O2, radiation leaks around and needing to activate the generator before being able to escape at a remote airlock. And yes, you can occasionally chuck enemies out into space.

Most ships also make sense (there's a type that warns you it won't) in that fuel will be found in the engines, food in the break room, staples in the office cubes etc. It's such a well designed game that I couldn't help enjoying myself. Definitely recommended despite the weak/slightly annoying story line. Three colon cleansers out of five.

Insight: You can build quest components yourself to shorten missions if you have enough parts.

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