AN ONE of a KIND... An almost REAL Capital Ship Simulator!
I played this game when it really came out. I was impressed. The idea has NOT been bypassed yet.
But let's take things from the start. With what you could compare this game... Star Trek Starfleet Command, Star Trek: Bridge Commander, Star Trek: Legacy or Homeworld series? NONE of them.
What you'll see in this game. Capital ships fighting each other in most cases. There are 6 races in the game: The Vardrags, the Ghosts, the Gorgs, the Raptors, Humans and the Locust. Each one with different ships, classes of ships and they are many and their own weapons and technologies. When you go on a battle you have to configure every ship.
A ship has power source(Reactor), two or three engines(travel engine,secondary engine and combat engine),pairs of weapons on each side,shield, ECM and ECCM modules,fighters and commandos slots, extra batteries that refill from the core extra power supply,individual distribution of energy to every system.
The idea... Yes... We've seen many movies and some of us played many sci-fi games. We've seen pilots that can see the space through some kind of glass and guidance of the ship directly. Lies... Those are not going to happen in space battles. Only cameras can give a line of sight, radars and when a ship is in combat in many cases is its computer that decides how to move, because it's faster. But don't worry. You'll see the ships from outside. The ships as presaid have pairs of weapons in each side able to fire in 180 degrees in each axis. The ships have many subsystems as I said upper. Every ship turns itself around itself hiding its subsystems and turning every gun to the opponent until the other one is loaded again. That's why the ships computer does control the ship in automatic mode. At the same time every ship tries to keep a good distance to the opponent for no collision and to shoot at him where it needs.
EVERY ship has 4 Modes of reacting.
-The complete auto mode that is the main mode. In this stasis the ship completely automates everything. It does NOT overeact to make a difference and it is based completely to the ships main configurations. The ship will try to attack an enemy with all the weapons NEEDED.
-The fighting one that delivers the most power to the weapons. Like the Auto mode but it will fire with every weapon possible and maybe overload the weapons so to fire quicker.
-The Defensive or Guarding mode delivers more power to shield and engines, so the ship can hold. Only NEEDED weapons will fire in EVERY target.
ALL THE UPPER MODES WILL FIRE A DIFFERENT TARGET ONLY WITHIN RANGE AND ONLY IF A WEAPON IS LOADED AND THE MAIN TARGET IS NOT AVAILABLE. YOUR SHIPS SHIELDS WILL BE LOWERED AFTER THE BATTLE AND IF OTHER SHIPS ARE IN GREAT DISTANCE. THEY WILL BE RAISED AGAIN IN SOME DISTANCE BEFORE AN OPPONENT.This is extremely bad in some situations because they need time to recharge in FULL capacity.
-The MANUAL mode. This will be the permanent mode when you'll play a bit. Believe me there is NO other way. You can aim every target individually within distance, enable or disable every system and overload whatever you want.(Overloading systems make them more efficient but they drain the batteries or make other systems work lower or none at all. If there is NOT enough power it will be automatically set to normal for the ship to work. Take EXTREMELY CARE with this function. It makes the difference in battle but sometimes you may lose if your ship fails you)
You will be able to make priorities in system repairs if a system have been disabled in this mode.
There are 3 different types of weapons
- Energy weapons are the MOST used in every ship. The most of them are Shield Disablers but there are some Hull Destruction weapons too. They have unlimited power that comes from the ships Core. The usage distance is low.
- Ammo or Missile weapons are limited and are HULL destructive. Not usable with opponent's shields ON. Usage distance low too.
- Artillery weapons. High Explosive weapons that are LIMITED and can damage HULL even through opponent's shields but NOT much. It is about the ship class too. Completely destructive if the opponent's shields are down. Usage distance GREAT so don't wait a ship to fire artillery next to the opponent. It will try to make a GREAT distance first.
Customization of a ship is important. Every ship dependant of its class has several slots for enything. Maybe can have two power cores if the first fails or destroyed, two or three engines, several pairs of weapons ,batteries and special slots. You have to know what you'll use the ship before you configure it. It depends on the way you play too.
Generally, the large ships configuration has shield disablers and ammo and artillery weapons. Because of the great mass and the limited movement of theirs they'll try destroy the opponent instantly. They also have great HULL and shields. But because of their great mass and limited movement their subsystems are totally exposed to smaller ships and maybe fighters.
So small ships those fighters and commando ships but if the ship has no flak weapons to destroy them automatically they can be the success in a battle. Flaks are also destroy missiles, bombs, torpedoes and generally artillery weapons. It's a MUST to have at LEAST a pair in every ship.
Smaller ships like frigates have better movement but are weaker in MASS, shields, in the amount of weapons and destructive power. Though they are much valuable.Imagine a frigate with a very strong energy core and great engines. You'll see that it will dance all over the opponent without him being able to destroy it, while the frigate will aim directly to the subsystems. Imagine now a large ship without shield disablers. Their ammo weapons will be for nothing if they can NOT penetrate the shields. Imagine now a large cruiser without engines. Funny? It can't hide its subsystems and it can't turn its weapons against you... So it's completely vulnerable because the next system you'll destroy is the shield one. And then GAME OVER ...
In combat the most ships use their secondary engine or the combat engine. Very few times in collaboration with the travel engine as it is for travelling large distances. The secondary and combat engines are the ones that turning the ship around all the time. So, if you don't install one on a ship you'll see it can have an efficient fight even with every possible weapon ON.
As you can imagine here this is NOT a normal game you've seen. The developpers tried to catch reality in most cases. A great masterpiece in simulation gaming.
And now let's go to the cons...
-The game is a little buggy. In many cases does different things but NOT so much for not playing it. The feelings after that game will be... WELL , try it and tell me.
-Another one is the Multiplayer thing. They made a game SO GREAT but without Multiplayer support. To get to the multiplayer you have to follow the online guide through Steam. Say a THANKS to this guy. Well done to him. But let's go to MORE...
-Not many maps for Multiplayer. There are very few and without AI the most of them so .. with an OLD game that its public is limited you'll find yourself trying to play WarCraft 2 or 1 nowadays with an internet human player opponent. Sit and wait till... tomorrow? or more?
-Individual waypoints of a ship. Yes, they forgot to make a fix here. There are times that I want to make the ship take a course that I want. Better battle, hiding in asteroids or whatever. In Multiplayer it would be a VERY HELPFUL advantage. But NO, it does NOT exhist.
-Completeley lack of saving or remembering the configurations done in multiplayer.
STILL THE BEST CAPITAL SHIP SIMULATOR EVER..................................