Solar Crusaders Preview: RTS, 4X, Sandbox Space Adventure -

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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Solar Crusaders Preview: RTS, 4X, Sandbox Space Adventure

A few months ago we were contacted by the guys at Solar Crusaders asking us to have a look at their new kickstater game - Solar Crusaders.

As I deal with more of the "Space/Simulator" genres, I thought I would have a look over what they have told us about the game and see what what I can glean with the information I have and without playing the game. Please bear in mind that all of the information available from the devs is at a very early stage of development, so may not be accurate to the final released product.
Firstly this looks like it could be right up my street, being a sandbox game based around exploration, economics and space combat, ultimately working your way to galactic domination.
There are 8 different types of space craft to choose from to begin your fleet and similar to high-end space sims, you will have to not only be able to afford the ship outright, you need to select the different members of your crew and resources to bring aboard (including but not restricted to, ammunition, drones, new systems and weapons) and plan for a long-term campaign rather than each individual conflict.

Races released so far are: The Ubidian Empire, Heder'aa Collective, The Builders, Sanctium Society and The Mechan Alliance. 

"without an effective crew, being able to travel to new planets, mine resources and complete missions will become increasingly difficult."

We haven't been told as to whether all of these races are playable or will be interactable NPC's, but I'm sure that trade options will be open for all of them dependant on diplomatic relations that you build. There will aways be a set enemy race who will fight you at every opportunity, if this will be one of the above races or generic bandits/pirates we can only speculate at this time. 

My money would be on The Mechan Alliance with a Borg-like ability for self-replication and that nasty robot look that usually doesn't end well for meatbags.

Nothing other than the expansive gameplay and mechanics is currently available, so for story elements and specific characters, you may have to wait until a release date is announced.

As an economy simulator this game will be about running a successful business as much as engaging in combat, so if you are looking for a balls out space combat game, you may need something that focuses on that aspect alone. If you can't afford to pay your crew, they will up and leave your employment, which should be an interesting mechanic as without an effective crew, being able to travel to new planets, mine resources and complete missions will become increasingly difficult.

With this being a top down camera when being in control of your ship, the graphics and modelling details are not going to be an issue, which will hopefully give the devs more time to focus on what I like the look of most in this, the shield and weapon effects. Most likely not the most impressive element of the game, but with the limited amount of info released, this is what has caught my eye the most. 
The particle effects of the shield impacts from incoming laser fire and what appear to be plasma torpedos, or something similar, are really pleasing to look at as well as the destruction of a ship when the damage is all too much.

Not an almost instant explosion as seen in Star Trek: Online, but reminisant of Star Trek: Bridge Commander, which had the the best real-time damage effects to enflict on enemy ships that I've seen. Although I very much doubt you'd be able to remove a section of enemy ships in Solar Crusaders, receiving and giving of real time damage, hull breaches, individually destroyed systems, injurged and killed crew etc, would hopefully compensate for the apparent lack of manuverability of your ship.

"plasma torpedos, or something similar, are really pleasing to look at as well as the destruction of a ship when the damage is all too much."

Game modes will be a single player battle simulations (instant action combat with a standard crew/supplies/weapons I would assume), LAN local Co-Op (Host your own server and have friends join) and the online game universe (MMO style gameplay).

The team have said categorically that this will not be a subscription service and the price you pay, will be all that you pay. There will be micro-transactions available but this would only cover skins for space craft and space stations.

A kickstarter page was created but unfortunately just fell short of the required amount of $45,000. As the game has been Greenlit by Steam, I hope that they can continue to rally interest in this game as I think this could certainly be worth the investment for the effort and time they have clearly devoted to its current state.

Hopefully with continued work, a beta test will be available soon and we hope to get our hands on it and give this game some well deserved attention!

Far too early to give this game any kind of rating, but hype? 

Much hype is being had

 Dan Bate   PvP Presenter
He's the tall one.  Born of some origin no one cares about, after performing with Iron Maiden, Dan hit his head and went into a coma for 150 years. When he woke up, he had landed a job as a host on Podcast vs Player. Distraught with the news, Dan now spends every penny PvP earns building a time machine to go back in time, to a world that knew no pain.

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