It is rare that I am at a loss for words about how much I enjoyed an experience, but being able to put hands onto an early build of Rebel Galaxy has done exactly that. Created by Double Damage Games, who is Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer, this is a game that will have a ton of similes attached to it. “It’s like [this], but also has [this] and is like [this] and [this].” “It’s like Firefly, but in an open world, but with Assassin’s Creed naval combat.” Yes, it could be compared with and to all those things, but to me, there is so much more than simple comparisons.
It is clear that Double Damage’s ambition went for a living, breathing world where anything is possible. Granted, there are still constraints to the universe, but the effort put in to give the player complete autonomy over their destiny is evident. You want to ignore the story and be a trader? Go for it. Want to be a pirate and an outlaw? Have at it. Help the military clean up the galaxy? Done. Ignore everything else and just play the story? You got it. The possibilities are finite, but vast.
While there are a lot of stories and side missions and exploration, the combat feels very refined. Yes, even Travis and Erich refer to it as Assassin’s Creed naval combat, which I think is fantastic, but it has other things going for it as well. As I only was able to get a few hours into the game, I did not purchase other ships, but for the weapons I did have, I was able to fend off multiple ships using those weapons in unison.
I had a small auto-turret on top that shot whatever was closest, broadside cannons to attack my enemies with heavy fire, flak cannons to hit snub-fighters and nearby missiles and a deflector shield. Quick background, I was clearing up a few side quests taking out a band of pirates called the Double Jacks. Well, apparently, they had enough because they set up a trap for me. I walked right into a small fleet of fighters, bombers and 2 capital ships. I was completely surrounded getting pummeled. I finally relaxed to focus on the fighters using my flak cannons to hold off the missiles. When a huge group of missiles were inbound, I utilized my deflector shields to take the punishment. So, while this maelstrom is occurring, I’m holding Left Trigger (LT) to aim my broadside cannons, pulling Right Trigger (RT) to fire the cannons, directing the ship with the Left Stick, rotating the camera with the Right Stick, hitting the X button as quickly as I dare to continue firing the flak cannons and ready to quickly use the Left Bumper (LB) to throw up my deflector shields. Yes, it seems like a lot, but the combat is so fluid and natural, you just fall into it.
Lastly, they did an amazing job with the warp and ship effects. Being in warp and passing through nebulae and asteroid belts just blows your mind. And the music (a new edition from my experience at PAX South) is just flat out amazing; a perfect addition to the ambiance of the universe.
Overall, Rebel Galaxy is shaping up to be one of my most anticipated games of 2015. Set to release this year on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Rebel Galaxy is exactly what I’m looking for in a space opera as a video game.
Rebel Galaxy Gameplay