Top-down 2.5D action that combines elements of space shooters like Star Control, action-RPGs like Diablo, and space adventure games like Freelancer with an infinite weapons system that evolves unique guns to player preferences. Single-player and up to 32-player online coop and PVP with dedicated servers.
User reviews: Mixed (34 reviews)
Release Date: May 31, 2014
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Recent updates View all (23)

September 21

Steam Patch 22 September

The Steam patch scheduled for 22 September includes:

  • new weapon effect 5% Speed Bonus
  • all lower tier gun ships received significant base speed boost
  • star system name displays on local system radar
  • nebula clouds slightly denser
  • astroid belts much denser
  • mp net code prediction adjustments

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September 2

Steam Patch 3 Sepember

- Recall Anchor cooldown now 30 seconds
- Recall cooldown now 5 minutes (this and the anchor were incorrectly reversed)
- Font size reduced on Recall and Recall Anchor hot bar buttons to display correctly on lower resolutions
- When a player is recalling in multiplayer they display the teleportation charge up glow effect

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About This Game

Overview

Pilot a gun ship and battle aliens, pirates, and other villainous enemies, to gain levels, skills, and most importantly, discover unique and potentially more powerful weapons. Through the unique cgNEAT content-generation technology, new weapons are constantly created by the game automatically.

Experiment

A key objective of this game is to explore the potential for automated content generation technology to intelligently create content for games. In GAR, all player weapons are generated by the cgNEAT algorithm based on weapon usage statistics. However, cgNEAT does not simply respawn weapons that people like. Rather, it creates new weapons that elaborate on those that have been popular in the past.

Game Mechanics

GAR combines elements of old-school space shooters like Star Control, action-RPGs like Diablo, and open-world space adventure games like Freelancer. The graphics are fully 3D but in top-down or "2.5D" mode. The chase camera and movement interface is similar to many online RPGs such as WoW. Earn ranks and credits by completing missions and destroying enemies. Use the credits earned to upgrade and customize your gun ship.

Galaxy

The game progresses through different and increasingly challenging solar systems. Throughout the galaxy are various factions, both friendly and hostile.

Game Modes

GAR game modes include (1) single player campaign mode, (2) instant-action system defense mode, and (3) multiplayer mode for up to 32 players with both coop and PVP. You can run your own Galactic Arms Race galaxy by downloading the standalone server. A simple windows GUI makes it easy to administrate your galaxy.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Direct X 9 compatible graphics card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 160 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
85 of 123 people (69%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
It is the exact same game in pretty much the exact same state that was free 4 or so years ago.
The only thing that they seem to have improved in any way is the UI.
All the outstanding issues, such as enemy bases spontaneously spawning behind you exist.
They just took what was version 1.1 alpha back then, added some buttons for facebook and whatnot, and slapped a pricetag after changing the versionnumber to 1.0 release.

The game disappeared off radar about 4 years ago, with no signs of updates or whatsoever after 1.23 hit (which changed next to nothing, by only adding a pointless arena mode, but took down the official servers). There were talks also of the university where they developed this game actually actively denying them the possibility to go on Steam, or offer the game away, but i can't find the archived version of that.
Here's proof of it being just that old, and being offered for free: https://web.archive.org/web/20090719201120/http://gar.eecs.ucf.edu/

As far as the procedural weapon generation, it's in its alpha state still, and nothing has changed for that. There are just a few different subtypes of weapons you can get, of which one in a hundred are plausibly usable. The hands down best weapon types for everything still are the starting weapons, or weapons with even tighter grouping of bullets than that.
Posted: June 6
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30 of 42 people (71%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Disclaimer: I was in beta.

What the game is: Old school space shooter but in 3D with evolving weapons and WASD movement. Has a decent amount of ship customization but mainly it is just mindless fun blowing stuff up, getting levels, getting upgrades, and getting weapons. The core gameplay is pretty satisfying and and the music is awesome. It is casual friendly at the start but gets pretty difficult later on.

What the game is not: It is not an in-depth space sim. There is no RPG space-opera story line (although there are structured missions). There are no Eve-Online bottomless skill trees or crafting. You are not going to start a trade empire or negotiate peace treaties with alien races.

Bottomline: Certainly worth the price ($3.99) just for the COOP. The multiplayer is more fun than it should be.
Posted: June 7
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14 of 24 people (58%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
The game is quite fun and very colourful. It is like pretty fireworks in space!
It can be quite a challenge to find the right weapon for the job and some skill and tactics are required-
the game is certainly not too easy.
Compared to similar games- it is more colourful than both The Last Federation and Drox Operative,
but without any of the depth that both games provide. There is also not too much of a story to it.
But for the price it is a nice challenging and colourful space shooter, if you need a break from more
serious games like TLF and Drox Operative.
Posted: June 6
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18 of 32 people (56%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
7/10
The fact that weapons are randomly generated isn't as exciting as it seems. There isn't as much variety as other games that offer random weapon generation. It is similar to Drox Operative, but not as good.
That being said, this is still a fun game and 32 player multiplayer would make this game really fun if I had the connection to enjoy it so I won't include that feature in my consideration for recommendation.
Posted: June 5
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
I completed the first version of this game in single player and not sure why they had to release the final version under a different steam ID. This is your basic 2.5D isometric view space blasting game with mild ship upgrades. Although I haven't tried it, the game seems to focus more toward multiplayer. And there honestly really isn't anything that makes me want to try it.
Posted: August 26
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