Aliens off the starboard bow.
Here’s my confession for the day: I like space games with big lazors. Rebel Galaxy is just such a game. While it’s probably not the biggest, baddest and prettiest of the open world (universe?) space adventure titles released, it’s probably the easiest to get the hang of, and one of the most fun.
Rebel Galaxy is made by Double Damage Games, essentially two blokes who used to work on fantastic titles such as the original Diablo, and Torchlight. Some pedigree. It was in fact a surprise to find that the engine used in this game is the same one from Torchlight 2!
Anyway, there’s a storyline somewhere in this game. You’re some young bloke with a tattered old ship, who was contacted by your Aunt Juno about something important. Upon setting off, you encounter some slimebags who will give you quests in return for favours and cash. The missions usually consist of fly to X, blow Y up, rinse and repeat. Other times it’s delivering cargo, or escorting other ships.
But the single player campaign is hardly what you’re here for. It’s the ships, the combat and the explosions. One important note, space cowboys; Rebel Galaxy is not a true 3D space combat game, despite appearances. You don’t need a joystick at all. In fact, a keyboard and mouse, or a gamepad will suffice. It took me five minutes to get that this is a game set in space with two dimensional naval combat tactics. And no gravity.
Basically, you fly your ship from a third person perspective, which has broadside and turreted weapons, as well as defensive systems. The combat is pretty, busy and loud. You’re normally swarmed by a combination of fighters and capital ships, which means it’s paramount you keep a track of your position in battle, as well as key targets.
Don’t fret though, your ship (even the starter!) is plenty tough to take on multiple targets, which is a common situation. But you’ll have to buy new equipment and upgrades constantly to keep up in other systems. Speaking of other systems, the “universe” for each game is different, and procedurally generated. So you can’t memorise where all the good loot is for each game. This is done to encourage you to explore, and adds replay value.
Flying ships and engaging in space battles feels and sounds meaty. The different weapons are all quite good in their unique way, but I’ve found the most effective method of destruction is by lazor beam. Fighters just don’t stand a chance against a concentrated barrage of particle beam weapons. Yeah man, lazorz.
Anyway, Rebel Galaxy is a fun arcade style game that will have you entertained for hours. Just not all those hours are continuous, as the arcade gameplay can feel quite repetitive after a while. But then again, I can think of lots of other activities that are fun, yet repetitive, and can only be engaged in for shortish periods of time.
Surprisingly good game, well supported by the developers. And cheap too!
Play this if you…
Like space games with big guns.
Skip this if you…
Want to fly a carrier. Sorry guys, no can do yet.