More Reviews
REVIEWS Dark Souls II: Crown of the Sunk Review
I was confident in my Dark Souls abilities. Then From Software released new Dark Souls II DLC.

The Swapper Review
One of 2013's best indie games swaps its way to Sony platforms.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Pillars of Eternity Preview
For Obsidian's crowdfunded love letter to Infinity Engine games like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, I was impressed by its willingness to pull back the curtain and let me see the machinery behind it.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES CounterSpy
Release date: 08/19/14

Tales of Xillia 2
Release date: 08/19/14

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Release date: 08/19/14

Madden NFL 15
Release date: 08/26/14


LATEST FEATURES Interview: Forging the Rings of Power in Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Tolkien fans may now either squeal with glee at getting to play interactive fanfiction... or condemn it to the watery grave of Numenor.

How Bioware Creates Romances
Bioware's games have romances where you might save the world, on the side of course.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Picking Your Gender: 5 Industry Professionals Discuss Queer Identity in Gaming
Women from Naughty Dog, ArenaNet, Harmonix, and Gamespot unite to talk about what they want from games in terms of diversity.
 
Coming Soon

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP Kakulukia
Why Sunset Overdrive Can Go Suck A Lemon
By Kakulukia
Posted on 07/14/14
Yesterday, while cleaning up my media center, I found my copy of Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus, which I bought sometime before Christmas last year. I had been pretty excited about this game pre-release, what with it being the first "traditional", albeit shorter than usual,...

Starlancer Review

By:
Erik_Archer
01/01/01
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE  
PLAYERS 1- 8 
PUBLISHER Crave Entertainment 
DEVELOPER  
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Animated Violence

What do these ratings mean?

It's not the size of the ship, it's how you use it.

In the 22nd century, humans have reached beyond the confines of Earth and expanded into the solar system. Under the democratic rule of the Western Alliance, things were going well: Mars and other planets have been colonized and the people rejoiced. Yay.

Unfortunately, a new force is rising, the Eastern Coalition, and they want what the Alliance has - power. On the eve of a peace treaty between the two forces, the Eastern Coalition launches a surprise attack and millions of people in the Western Alliance are killed. The Alliance fleet is decimated.

This is where you come in as a volunteer pilot of the 45th squadron. Your mission: prove yourself by saving the solar system (a job given to most volunteers on their first day). The game takes off from this fairly standard plot, pitting you against the Coalition in 20+ missions ranging from search and destroy to protecting the impotent flag-ship.

As far as space-combat games go, Starlancer is one of the best ever seen on a console system. The presentation and fluidity are impressive. However, limited control takes this a step down from its PC counterpart.

The cool ship design looks like a mix between Star Wars and Wing Commander; fitting, since Starlancer was originally conceived by Chris Roberts of WC fame. Everything is very detailed and the framerate moves along at a steady 60 FPS except during the most intense battle scenes. A pretty game, surely.

The sound is also done very well. While I wouldn't describe the soundtrack as "epic," it is certainly well done and fits the mood of the game. There is a limited vocabulary available during combat, which basically amount to the two commands "save my butt" and "kick his butt." The enemies are also in desperate need of a thesaurus, screaming "I will be avenged-agghhhhhhh" whenever they're killed. The voice acting may be top notch, but its hard to appreciate when you hear the same thing over and over and over.

These are only minor complaints, however, and are easily overlooked. Where this game comes up less than expected is in the story and depth of control.

Starlancer features the same story that accompanies 90% of sci-fi games: underdog takes on oppressive organization to liberate the people and find his destiny. It's not that the story is bad, but you've played and seen it before. Thankfully, there are some memorable characters on your side and the bad guys in the game are detestable enough to keep you interested.

Although your success and failures influence your subsequent missions, the plot is still fairly linear. In order to break up this monotony, the game designers threw in a lot of plot twists to keep you on your toes. While these provide variety to what would otherwise be standard missions, they become predictable quickly and are often taken from Al's Big Book of Sci-Fi. No matter how hard they try, the game still comes across as the standard out numbered, out gunned, and out classed formula that drives so many games in the space-combat genre.

Another problem is the limitation of the DC controller. The designers did a great job with the tool that they had - the controls are smooth and flying is easy - but without a keyboard a lot had to be left out.

For example, you can't adjust shield strength or balance thrust and shield power. You also don't have very many in-flight commands, nor can you taunt your foe (DIE FURBALL). Locking-on to an enemy is easy, but selecting targets not on the present screen takes a menu-savvy player and detracts from the immersion.

Some players may not miss the options, as it provides a simpler flying experience, but ultimately it means there's less to master and less "goodies" for a player to use to fit their personal flying style.

To up the ante, Starlancer can be played online with up to six other pilots. With a few deathmatches, the online dogfighting is good fun and extends the life of the game. It can be a bit hard finding people to play with, but hopefully that will change.

Starlancer is a great game for anyone who likes space COMBAT: it's fun, fluid, and well done. The problems I've mentioned are valid but are ultimately subordinate to how fun the game really is. It may lack the depth that some of us have come to expect in a space-combat, but it still stands as a solid gaming experience. The fact is that Stalancer is one of the best space-combats on a console and should be praised for its achievements more than bashed for its shortcomings.


B+ Revolution report card
  • Evil Russians!
  • Great graphics
  • Best console space combat...
  • Control issues
  • Bland story
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Starlancer


More On GameRevolution