Space. The final frontier.
Ah yes, let’s start off with a Star Trek cliché. But when you think about it, all the ‘cool’ things we think we know about space come from the media. Not everyone reads the scientific reports from NASA like I do….. And it’s from this media we know that being a space pirate like Hans Solo would be cool. Or maybe, being a protector of the galaxy would be just as awesome, like say, Commander Shepard. The freedom of choice is a powerful thing, and with Rebel Galaxy this freedom is the key….
The game does have a plot line, and it starts with a quest to rescue your missing Aunt. The plot is loose, and after a short tutorial on some basic trading mechanics you are released into space with your starter spacecraft, and it is here the freedom the game offers you presents itself. You can choose exactly who you want to be…
Essentially, the game is an economic trader combined with space exploration, combat and RPG elements. It’s the spiritual successor to Freelancer, for those who have played that. The goal is to complete the campaign, but to do this you will need money. And quite surprisingly, there are many ways to make money out in the deep darkness of space.
There are many little niches in the game, but there are three main routes to making money. You can be a peaceful trader, monitoring the market, buying and selling, delivering cargo. A legitimate, lawful profession. You could opt to be a rogue, a pirate. You can do the usual trading, but maybe you obtain your goods by a more illegal means…spotting convoys and stealing their cargo for instance, before delivering them yourself and selling them. Or finally, you can be an all out badass. If something is moving, you kill it, taking all the loot and making a profit. To accomplish the complete Lord of space routine though, you are gonna need a good spaceship.
Whichever route you choose to go whilst playing through the story, money is essential. It pays for new ships, upgrades and the stock you want to resell on. There are other valid methods of making money, such as searching for valuable materials the mining them before selling at a profit. There is also an in game stock market with a real time supply and demand. Sometimes holding onto materials and waiting for a price increase is a valid move, whilst other times it’s better to sell fast to someone who wants the cargo. Checking the prices and evaluating your best move is essential to get the most profit out of the your stock. In game events can also influence prices. Food sells to more for people who are starving and therefore desperate for example, but other traders are going to be taking their food there also……which is chance for a hijack. Or if a certain element is at a real high price, you may notice many other mining ships congregating around known sources……which may be time to eliminate some competition. It’s opportunities like this, which can even let you manipulate the stock market by intercepting convoys or destroying certain shipments, as you have then created demand for a product. It is these choices that will dictate who you become in Rebel Galaxy, and after trying all three methods I can safely say all three are viable. It’s a risk versus reward system with dangers associated with each path.
It’s actually quite strange how attached you can get to your ship in this game, as it feels like it’s part of you. My first ship was small and fairly weak, but it was fast. I could dart about the systems and get out of trouble when I needed too. It did its job admirably. Eventually though, I had to upgrade to a bigger ship, with more storage space and more guns. The first thing I noticed was how different the ships felt. For instance, my first ship gave a great view of the battlefield due to its size and agility. My bigger cruiser, not so much. I may have had more firepower, but I had to work a lot more to get the most out of her.
The combat in Rebel Galaxy is engaging. Guns can be upgraded as well as other parts of your ship, and whilst your only navigating in one direction the battles can be fast and furious.. You will have to deal with the offensive weapons, managing your defensive shields and moving into more advantageous positions to get the upper hand in the battle. Enemies come in different strengths and sizes just like your own ships, from the small corvettes to the bigger dreadnaughts, each ship type offering their own strengths and weaknesses with which you will have to find a way past.
Whilst the space we know may be an empty, baron place, this would make for a pretty boring game. The systems in Rebel Galaxy are randomly generated which is a nice touch, as things sometimes don’t seem as uniform as they can be with a hand crafted universe. Here, space is filled with planets , space hubs, moons and asteroid fields. You’ll find distress calls from people requiring help, or unidentified signals transmitting from the deep reaches. You never get the impression of space being empty. When your in warp, asteroids and enemies can bring you out quite often, which whilst sometimes annoying, it does remove the tedium of long journeys from colony to colony.
Oh hang on, I’ve got another cliché. In space, no one can hear you scream. Whilst we all know this is true (for those that don’t, space is a vacuum, and sound waves do not travel in vacuums), Rebel Galaxy is filled with the noise of guns and explosions, and it does it quite well. I didn’t find any of the sounds annoying even after a lot of playtime, which is always a plus. The voices are done well, especially the aliens. There was one voice I found particularly awesome… you’ll know who I mean when you meet him.
Overall, space is a pretty big place. It’s filled with opportunities to make cash anyway you see fit. From bounty hunter to pirate to trader, the freedom the game gives you is a nice break from other games as it lets you play however you want to play. The game is a blast to play, even if you just want to mindlessly kill things without getting into the micromanagement of stock prices. It’s this freedom that means Rebel Galaxy offers something for everyone.
Score: Buy now
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