Rebel Galaxy (Double Damage Games)
After being given the opportunity to check out a preview build of the upcoming Rebel Galaxy by Double Damage Games I jumped at the chance as I loved the premise of the game. However, even I was surprised by how well the developers pulled off their take on the whole swashbuckling space adventure genre. My love for the genre stretches back to Star Control II, Frontier and Privateer, but after a couple of hours with Rebel Galaxy I have no doubt that it will be joining the ranks of those titles.
The preview opens with your character arriving in the frontiers of space in search of a relative who has some important information. While you can dive straight into the story, chances are you will encounter foes that outclass your ship along the way. Fortunately, the galaxy is teeming with opportunities to earn the money needed to upgrade your ship, whether you want to do it the honest or dishonest way is up to you though. The first thing I noticed about Rebel Galaxy is that you don’t start out with a puny little fighter, but rather a sizable craft. The action is viewed from a 3rd person viewpoint instead of a cockpit, which is essential thanks to the combat. Unlike traditional space games where combat plays out like a flight simulator in Rebel Galaxy it feels more like naval combat due to the size of your ship. This means pulling up next to the opposition and letting loose with your broadside weapons or switching to turrets and blasting away at the more nimble enemies. Fans of the naval combat in Assassins Creed III and IV will have an idea of what to expect and it works remarkably well for a space game.
The game features a faction system, so depending on who you are blasting out of space you’ll be making some friends and foes along the way. The galaxy is a pretty lawless place, so hiring a wingman from one of the local space stations can be a big help. Whether you want to hunt pirates, battle the militia, take down mercenaries or prey on traders you’ll find plenty of things to shoot out in the depths of space. Of course, if combat is not your thing, you can also live the life of a trader or asteroid miner while exploring the galaxy.
Rebel Galaxy is straightforward, but addictive to play and managing the shields and weapons of your ship still allows for plenty of strategic depth in combat. Taking on missions such as patrols, protections, bounties or dead drops lends the game a real RPG feel and upgrading your ship with the cash feels like outfitting a character. Visually Rebel Galaxy is already looking great with vibrant space backdrops and detailed ship designs. Space might be vast, but it certainly doesn’t feel empty in this game as there are plenty of asteroid fields, nebulas and planets scattered about. A special mention should go to the guitar driven soundtrack, which not only sounds incredible, but also enhances the frontier feel of the game.
There is still a LOT more that I could praise about Rebel Galaxy, but I’ll leave that for the review of the full game. Suffice to say if you have any interest in the genre you might want to wishlist this game immediately as, from what I’ve seen, it looks like it will be delivering on all its promises. It might be a single player only affair, but it looks set to offer hours of addictive entertainment.