The legendary Star Control franchise made a long way from its stellar beginning in 1990, spanning over three iterations in six years and then disappearing from the radar, not to resurface for the next 20 years. Thanks to the developer Stardock, who bought the rights from Atari, this great franchise is back with the new Star Control: Origins game.
This is an action/adventure game with RPG elements. You can explore the galaxy, conduct diplomacy with alien races and engage in space combat with spaceships. Also, you can land on the surface of small planets and traverse along the surface.
Origin made a brave decision to turn Star Origins setting into the multiverse. That was mostly caused by the lawsuit the Stardock and the game’s creators had against each other, which resulted by Stardock’s ban to use plot, setting, and characters from the first three games. Thus, Origins takes place in an alternate universe, away from the events of the original trilogy. However, it will feature a similar tone, with vibrant colors and light atmosphere interconnected with darker moments.
The game begins in the year 2086 and there are many species that already learned how to travel through space. The human space agency Star Control launches Earth’s first interstellar-capable ship to investigate an alien distress signal. The players take the reigns as the captain of that ship and embark on the quest into the procedurally generated galaxy which looks a bit like Milky Way.
The game takes you to explore various parts of the galaxy, engage in battles, take on quests, collect resources, and upgrading out your ship with equipment. You also can play a multiplayer, called Super-Melee. This game even features a story editor, allowing players to create new storylines and dialogue for aliens. The interesting feature is that aliens will lip-sync with any custom dialogue the players write.
Except for individual battles, this game offers you some fleet based space clashes. You can engage human or AI opponents in multiplayer mode. Also, there’s an option of building and designing your ship using the crafting system that looks a lot like one on Galactic Civilisation. As an added bonus, Stardock even allows ships to be shared and downloaded so you can add ships from other players if you’re not much of a shipbuilder.
Graphically, everything looks good, especially the ships and visual effects. Combat feels good, nothing spectacular tho. It takes some time to get used to controlling scheme, and weaponry is based on primary and secondary weapons. We needed a while to get to know how do weapons work and to pick our favorites from a bunch.
This game is really well crafted and fun to play. We spent most of the time in the design room, creating some insane looking ships that would never work in the realistic conditions. The battles are fun, both ship-to-ship and fleet based, and the game has a great feeling of space exploration and adventure into the unknown.