To boldly Go Where Most People Have Been Already.
To classify myself as a sci-fi geek would probably be a gross understatement. I grew up reading Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury, and Clarke, so I know a thing or two about a good representation of the future. So, when I heard about a spaceship game with “Federation” in the title, my geek sense started to tingle.
Sure enough, there was much space with ships in it. Turns out, I was the last of a murdered race of aliens who decides to unite the universe, which immediately make me think that I’m the villain in this universe. The game actually does give you quite a bit of rope to hang yourself with when it comes to choices, not a karma system by any means, but a more realistic “stuff happens” sort of feel to it. The choices are not obvious, and the entire world is meant to be a huge galactic economy, so there are definitely consequences for each action.
One of those choices is whether or not to share technology with non-space fairing planets, and I knew that watching all that TV as a kid was finally paying off. A certain “directive” comes to my mind when this choice comes up, but unfortunately, in this game, you are actually rewarded for giving tech to the backwater planets for the most part.
This definitely has some features reminiscent of EVE online when it comes to galactic politics, making friends with races, politics, and needing some serious strategy chops to make everything work. Being clever is a requirement to play this game it seems, since its turn based combat system seems like it came from the Star Trek MMO, but then mixed with an old 90s bullet hell game. Unfortunately, each turn is about 2 seconds long, and it seems to take forever to even kill one ship, let alone a pirate fleet, and it really breaks up what would be a fun part of the game.
The artwork is decent enough to drive the story, but if a background picture of a planet is worth a thousand words then some even simple animation must be the library of congress. The menu color is just strange, and there is far too much white behind the very important buttons (start, settings, etc) so it’s damn hard to read, especially on a TV as I was. The whole menu system and HUD just seemed to be ugly and glaring, and had far too much useless data to be helpful. This game is already complex enough, and I don’t have time to get my masters in engineering to play a game. Hard to look at as it may be, the info pages and text were hilarious and were most certainly made by a serious gamer, but it took away the useless bits of text if you didn’t want them, with the aptly named “hurry up” button, to which I applaud these game designers.
This game is definitely aimed a niche market of those people who are starting to see the age of the 2010 EVE online, love complex games, are detail oriented, and have painted Warhammer 40K figures on their shelves. I feel like this game was trying to be like so many of its ilk that it was a jack of all trades, but a master of none, and because of that, it doesn’t stand out like it probably should. Overall, it’s a game that certain people will love and defend to end, but for those sci-fi geeks who want a spaceship shoot ‘em up, this is not the game for you.
Written by: Adam