As dated as graphics may be nothing is out of place and everything is instantly recognisable. The ships and weapons all look different and each conveys their feel and performance. The best part about it is that everything looks great in its own place. The worst is that the game generally has a very low visibility range as objects fade out of view if too far away.
Generally all sound design is decent. Nothing too bad or obnoxious. These is a very obvious lack or any voice-over except a couple of cutscenes. The music tends to be somewhat repetitive but not too annoying so as make you turn it off.
If you played Homeworld 2 the controls should be quite familiar. The game supports an organised and logical set of controls that almost always make sense. The map may appear featureless but it is actually very functional. There is a very handy Speed Time function which allows you to speed up time and the game also includes useful functions like "Pause of Enemy Detection". The biggest drawback is that you cannot rebind ANY functions, WASD doesn't work and i personally had to use an AutoHotKey macro for the "Speed Up" and "Speed Down" functions.
Progression: The game features a decent progression system but it is fairly linear in a general sense. You cannot choose your main ship outside of story missions but you have full freedom on how to outfit your fighters. Each character has its own progression talent trees and each usually focuses on a specific job (that guy is good at missiles, that girl is good at repairs). Ships can be customised with various support and combat systems such as extended radar, remote repair, stealth/cloak, anti-missile PD, missiles, torpedos, lasers, blasters, cannons, railguns, etc... Each particular item has about 3 to 5 tiers of variants, one more powerful (and expensive) than the next.
Story: Yes, this game features several endings that are actually quite different depending on which faction you chose to help. The story itself is quite decent but sometimes forces a gimmicky situation just to advance the plot - "My ship blew up for no reason because the plot is giving me a new one". The characters are interesting enough for immersion and you won't be disappointed, but don't expect any feats of writing.
THIS IS NOT AN RTS, this is more of a "Dragon Age meets Space Rangers" with your hero and allies on an adventure. This is an older game so some of the things you may take for granted today may not be present here so expect some mixed reactions in the beginning.
4/5 for those interested in the genre and definetly a good choice for anyone interested in this type of game. Pretty good until the end and has good replayability if you're interested in the various endings by trying a different approach/loadout.
3/5 If you don't care about space strategy, the controls will annoy you and the mouse is quite sluggish. Not a waste of money but not the best introduction to the genre.
Posted: November 27th, 2013