Han Solo. Mal Reynolds. Lonestar. Peter Quill aka StarLord. These are the names that belong to some of the finest space outlaws in all of cinema and sci-fi history. From their attitudes to their quirkiness to the look of a scruffy-headed nerf herder, these outlaws defied the odds of authority and evil, playing and manipulating all sides for the job and the price. Throughout the gulfs of space, they carry their own honor code, dealing with the best and worst the galaxy has to offer. The job gets messy, but it is a job with perks.
Space is the final frontier, and for a space cowboy, the environment really lives up to the definition of frontier. It is a dangerous and more colorful version of the Wild West. There is no order or regulation. There are the goods, the money, and the fight for survival. Among the limitless, star-filled seas of space lies the opportunity to carve your own path. You can be a vigilante, righting the wrongs of the solar system. Alternatively, you can be a pirate, pillaging and plundering innocent vessels. Perhaps you wish to simply milk and mine the minerals space has to offer. The choice is entirely yours. This is the world of Rebel Galaxy.
Rebel Galaxy, by Double Damage Games, made its debut on Steam platforms in October 2015 to critical and commercial acclaim. Now, it makes its way onto the PlayStation system to brings players into its galaxy. The results are interstellar, making this one of the best games on the PlayStation Network.
After receiving a surprising message about your aunt, you are thrust deep into the the edges of the known universe to find her. Surrounding her whereabouts is a mysterious technological artifact that is potentially alien in its origins. You arrive in your first solar system with an old, but capable, starship. After meeting your first contact, you become familiar with the risks, dangers, and rewards of outer space. How you proceed with the rest of the game is up to you.
Rebel Galaxy‘s gameplay is primarily being the space cowboy you’ve always wanted to be. Players take to the interstellar seas in large, capital-sized ships, and each ship has its own attributes in offense, defense, and speed, as well as warp and cargo capabilities. From there, players are free to move about the solar system, participating in any variety of missions. Players can choose to participate in the long and interesting single-player or spend their time in the large variety of secondary missions form the job board.
Combat plays in the traditional naval battle style but allows for more direct control by players. Each ship that the player can choose from has a number of turret placements as well as any number of broadside cannon ports. The orientation and number of these emplacements and ports is determined by the ship chosen as well as what kind of equipment is installed. There are different types of turrets and broadside cannons as well as a variety of defensive capabilities to equip. All of these readings will factor into combat, most especially on incredibly dangerous missions.
Before a battle occurs, they have the option of choosing to hail the target, drop their cargo, and disengage or to outrun and flee. However, they may also choose to taunt their prey and face the enemy head on which usually makes for riches to be reaped. When engaged in battle, players can take direct control of the ship, firing broadside cannons and maneuvering around vessels. The turrets will automatically act independently and engage other targets. Players have the options to program the turrets, to directly engage on locked target, or to fire at will. The key to survival is to know the strengths of your ship, use maneuverability, and know when to disengage. Players can scan their target to identify ships with extremely valuable cargo.
Battling in space is absolutely exhilarating as a rock and roll soundtrack roars in the back ground to the whizzes of lasers and blasts of plasma cannons. Players will battle capital ships of varying sizes as well as smaller gunships and interceptor star fighters. Having a good knowledge of your equipment and turrets helps in combat and will allow you to make better choices in the thick of the fire. Players also have a deflector shield that can absorb all damage for a brief time but prevents players’ ships from firing back. They can also take direct control of an individual turret for more direct fire on smaller targets. Through it all, it is a hair-raising combat experience where a choice made could mean death, but big risks can mean big rewards. Players will undoubtedly feel cocky in being in a frigate-class ship taking on a dreadnought class vessel. The combat will be dangerous, and players will lose fights. However, the game continues to give you the feeling of “just one more time.” If missions are really giving you a hard time, you can hire a fellow bounty hunter and his or her gunship to give you an edge in combat.
Outside of combat, players are free to move about the solar system and participate in any variety of roles. There are five groups in the game: The Militia, the citizenry, and several pirate cartels who are fighting for themselves and among each other. Depending on the actions of players, factions can become either friendly, neutral, or hostile. Your missions, bounties, and actions in combat are all contributing factors. Answering a distress signal and covering a civilian transport from hostiles earns points towards friendly. Alternatively, players can decide to threaten the ship and the crew with their lives in exchange for its cargo, which places you more towards hostility.
Rebel Galaxy is not afraid to give you a dangerous opportunity for the right price. Players can discover bounties on their own or fork over some credits at the local space station for information. These bounties can be any target including ships that belong to a friendly faction. It is up to you to risk alienating friends or claim that juicy bounty all for your own. The ability of choice is greatly appreciated and enjoyable in Rebel Galaxy and simply never gets old.
Rebel Galaxy gives players the option to break free of the combat to simply explore other regions of a solar system. They can collect resources from asteroid fields through mining or from the wreckage of a destroyed ship. Rebel Galaxy features a built-in economic system that is constantly changing. Scattered throughout each system are space stations. Each station is owned and operated by a different faction. In addition, each one specializes in a specific good. A station specializing in mining may pay good money for ore, whereas a space station that is experiencing a famine may pay high for soy paste. There are also criminal space stations that would gladly take a cargo hold of human trafficking or contraband. However, these particular kinds of cargo attract the attention of the militia. You can either surrender the cargo, bribe the officer, or make a run for it. Finally, if a faction is hostile to you, they will open fire the moment you try to dock. You will not be permitted to dock at the station.
There is no multiplayer for Rebel Galaxy, but there is a bounty of content with a strong longevity. In addition, the game does have a significant degree of challenge that will keep players engaged. After more than twenty hours with the game, this reviewer had only made it to the third solar system. There are fifteen solar systems to explore in the game and literally hundreds of missions to participate in. There is always something to do, especially if players will pursue obtaining a fearsome dreadnought for their own enjoyment.
With all this action, Rebel Galaxy features an absolutely stunning presentation. The entire game is seamless, with hardly any load screens, lag, or glitching. Players make their way across solar systems through initiating their warp drives. These warps occur in real time and can be interrupted by enemy fleets or celestial objects such as the sun, asteroids, and planets. Its from these points that players can appreciate just how vast, colorful, and engaging the universe of Rebel Galaxy is. Each system is bursting with color and detail. A small blue dot in the distance becomes a huge planet a few moments later. The system’s sun gives measure to how are you are in space. As players warp, the sun actively gets bigger or further away, depending on where you are. The ship designs are all unique and very well crafted. Getting a new one always feels exciting and fresh. Of course, it is fantastic to see how the ship responds when engaged in combat. Engines glow, turrets burst with fire, and ships become battle-scarred. The game is accompanied by a rocking soundtrack, featuring a combination of licensed music from rock & roll to country. The music is extremely fitting to the overall adventures taking place.
Rebel Galaxy reminds players of the excitement of space combat and exploration. For this reviewer, it was a reminder of the fabulous space games that came before, such as Colony Wars and Wing Commander. In addition to being a great game, Rebel Galaxy is a refreshing breath in a gaming world where spaceship video games are few and far between. With a focus on the setting and gameplay, Rebel Galaxy is a wonderful example of how space can be an exiting place for a video game. From its amazing presentation to engaging combat to the constant thrill of being on the edge of the universe, Rebel Galaxy unlocks the scruffy-looking nerf herder in you for a memorable gameplay experience.