There’s a part of me that just wants to wander between the planets and stars. Starpoint Gemini Warlords is an interesting title. Both in that you have a fairly large and free scope of action, giving your territory to control, fleets to manage. Not only that, piracy is a real option to make some good money fairly quickly. There’s plenty for you to discover here and find out what works best for you.
Space is a funny thing to fly around in, to be honest. When attacking a target it’s not just making sure you lead it right, but you’re coming in on the best angle of attack for your ship. To do this you can roll, attack from above and below. Choosing your angle, altitude of attack is just good practise here. Combat as well isn’t particularly complex, while also being taxing. Keeping track of your position, leaving your guns free to engage, but told to focus on a target, firing your heavy weapons, it all adds up.
Not only does combat play a large part of the game, almost all of the missions I’ve played so far involved some degree of it, but so is piracy. Money and resources are the current of Starpoint Gemini and you always need more. For equipment to help you in combat, healing, boosting damage and allowing you to gather resources and items from wrecks. Others allow you to make vast jumps, T-Drive charges, or increase your resistance to environmental radiation and more. If you’re smart and luck enough, you can capture enemy ships, allowing you to make them yourself or to add them to your fleet. Even sell them, some of them worth easily in the millions.
The ships here are as much a character as the NPC’s are, if not more. They’re not particularly customisable, yet there’s enough to keep you coming back. Modules like your shield, grapple and hanger can be customised with a number of special upgrades. These upgrades change some of the finer details, which are obvious when you’re playing. Additional damage, accuracy, recharge speed, reload and more can be changed. Weapons can likewise be customised. The ships themselves come in two variants, a base and improved. While I’ve not found an improved version of most ships, I found enough.
Also in here is a form of RPG. There’s a number of classes, each has their own unique skill set. Not only that, there’s a number of perks you can. Perks that give you new abilities, like Hacking, Fixer. Others give you boosts, bonuses to elements. One set covers weapons, another boosts your ability in certain ship classes. Damage resistance to specific types of damage, like mines also exists. Here starts the first of my complaints. I don’t see the reason for these levels, it’s just another feature and it just adds another layer of complexity.
Flying your ship is the main part of your time but it’s not the only. You can research a number of items, more powerful weapons and modules for you to use. As well as that you will be managing a number of war fleets and civilian tasks. Playing this game takes you moving between two, three, four different screens, to build more ships for your war fleets to research, to your starmap to plot long range jumps. It can seem like that you’re going to be very busy, good use of your war fleets keeps your territory safe without your ship being there.
There’s more than the story for you to explore here. There’s a number of freeplay modes that allow you to explore and dominate this area of space. Trade is only one of the areas you can work to master here. Combat is also here and it’s not just fighting in your ship, but dominating the entire sector and having under it your control. If this is your thing, there’s plenty to keep you busy here.
Audio and Visuals
My first surprise here was that it was easy to do nothing. The background music is more than good enough to get lost in. I was happy to hear it and despite the lack of activity it just kept me in the game. Other sounds in this game are pretty good on a whole, weapons fire is different by the type of weapon, the warning sounds for incoming missiles is clear and cuts through the other sounds. Even appropriately piercing, like a RADAR Warning Receiver. RWR for short. There’s enough to keep you in the game.
Visually, this game as well is easy to look at. Not only the ships themselves are customisable to a degree, but there’s plenty of variety in the designs. Each manufacturer has their own range of ship classes, not every manufacturer builds each class of ship. The stations and locations are also varied. Even the planets show some nice detail to them, what I might call atmospheric activity. Beyond this, while it’s rarely empty space, there’s always going to be something to catch your eye.
No multiplayer here, nor would they seemingly be needed.
This one is a tough one to review. There’s much I like and much I don’t like. There’s plenty here that is worth praise. The size of the universe is something to be praised, for a single player game. The same goes for the different types of ships, different visuals and different classes. The background music is easy to get lost in. Not each manufacturer has their own patterns. What’s been the let down so far is the story. It’s just not bitten, it’s not pulled me. Even with the many perks and skills, there’s some choices that are just too obvious. Hacking and Fixer gives you abilities that are too hard to turn down, same goes for a few others.