Monday, February 1, 2016

Distant Star: Revenant Fleet - 2/20 hours

This game owes a lot to FTL. I mean, I don't know how video games are generally made, so maybe some of it is parallel development or descent from a common source, but I can't help but think that the similarities between the games are too strong to be a coincidence.

The plot of the two games is nearly identical - there's a big war and the enemy has just got ahold of a new superweapon that will allow them to decisively win. You are an inexplicably small, but elite force on a desperate race against time to destroy the weapon before it can be deployed.

You do this by navigating through a series of sectors arrayed in a progressive map that is almost exactly the same in both games. The main difference in navigation is that in Distant Star: Revenant Fleet, you don't have an enemy fleet chasing after you, preventing you from moving backwards. Instead, you have a "danger meter" that makes encounters more difficult the more stars you visit in a particular sector.

The overall structure is thus almost entirely identical. You jump to a particular star, resolve a random encounter, then go to another star, then another sector, then another until you get to the final battle, where you have to face a single powerful foe.

The biggest difference between the games is that instead of controlling a single ship and its intrepid crew of misfit aliens, you are commanding a small fleet of ships in a large map, zooming around and shooting and dodging as you try to take down the enemy fleet.

I have a feeling this game is going to be difficult for me. The easy missions were fine, but later on when the enemy fleets got larger, it was a bit overwhelming to have to constantly issue commands. And even on the easiest difficulty, the final mission completely kicked my ass.

So it's going to be one of those games.

It's my hope that with enough practice I'll settle into a comfortable groove and be able to just coast through missions. That's not something that's happened with a roguelike before, but there's a first time for everything.

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