Review by Foehn
A Unique spin on a long-time classic
Lately, the gaming world has been saturated with high budget blockbuster hits that outperform each and every title before them. Then a chance arises to play a small time Indie title like this one, expectations were NOT very high. After 6 consecutive hours, experience begins to speak for itself. StarScape is phenomenal.
I'll break it down in the general categories.
We all remember asteroids, that old school space shooter with little flashing vector graphics and archaic animation. This is NOT your daddy's asteroids. StarScape has superb 3D graphics set on painted 2D backdrops, fluid animation, stellar special effects and a very well designed user interface.
The only consideration I have for the graphics is that the maximum resolution is set a little smaller than I prefer, but in the end it's such a minor detail that it's almost completely overlooked.
It's clear that the creators put a lot of effort into making sound "work" with StarScape. The music is on key with what you'd expect from an action game, and the sound effects overlay very well. During the boss fights you get a chance to hear the subtleties that really make the music feel very dynamic.
As with most other action games though, the number of tracks seems somewhat limited as you are constantly listening to the same "sound" from level to level.
As an old Asteroids veteran, I've put my share of hours into this type of game and still manage to find StarScape innovative and addicting. Sure you spin a little ship around an area shooting at baddies and blowing up asteroids, but that's far from all this game has to offer. In addition to the run of the mill stuff the creators decided to toss a bit o' flight sim creativity into the mix. You can buy new parts which you can then outfit to your star fighters in a great number of different combos.
You're not only fighting for your survival, but also tasked with protecting a large ship called the "Aegis" which can be upgraded and used as a mobile gun platform, decimating incoming bad guys. The Aegis is used primarily for defense, and in the boss battles it leaves you alone to deal with the different monstrosities bent on your destruction. Fighting bosses is an incredible challenge, and it's not uncommon to have to try multiple times in the later areas to take one down.
A perfect score here for one reason. There IS a story. This is the first game I know of in this genre that tries whole heartily to give the player more than mindless shoot 'em, up. The different characters feel unique and are represented by cell shaded 3D animated avatars. After the second "zone" I felt as though I were living out some twisted version of a Borg invasion (Star Trek reference).
Replay Value: 10/10
Again and again I come back to this game because even after you've mastered the campaign mode you're still able to: Play instant battles, try survival mode, and try to beat the on-line high scores (which is a system of accumulating frags for each created ship you have in your arsenal (Among other things)). I've yet to try hard mode, but am itching to give it the college try.
The title is, on the surface, something we've all seen before but at its core remains unique and innovative in a time where innovation is second to budget. This type of game may have faded into near nothingness in the past years, but is given a second breath of life thanks to StarScape.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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