Game Octane was given a copy of this game for use in this review. All content contained within the article are the sole thoughts and opinion of the author and has not been influenced or doctored in any way.
Star Renegades, developed by Massive Damage, joins the battlefield of retro themed games. With a tactical battle based Sci-Fi RPG, Is this light years ahead of the pack or is it obsolete before it gets the chance to fight? I was given the opportunity to find out so keep on reading to find out if Star Renegades is right for you.
Aesthetics and Story:
From the very beginning we are met with a wonderful, cinematic style opening. It’ got me pumped up and ready to haul into this game with gusto. The story itself, and this is a trend I’m seeing in indie RPGs, is it’s good stuff that could use a little more polish to avoid continuity errors, plot holes, and just enrich the world and character building. That said SR did a good job keeping me interested and wanting to continue. Graphics reminded me of older PC gaming of the doss era but in higher fidelity and color. like if old school sierra was HD but still kept it’s signature look. In other words: uniquely beautiful. Music… Well it’s a weak spot for sure but it’s serviceable and meets the tone it needed. It just wasn’t memorable in doing so.
The story… could go either way for you. It is Sci-Fi and it is war time but it also has some humor baked into it. If you are the type who enjoys high fantasy settings or the epic journey with a small group that somehow turns into saving the world this game might not be you. What It did give though is competent and at times emotional with some grade a cheese on the side. The story won’t be a reason to replay Star Renegades but it certainly is more than enough to want to finish it. In fact, for a person like myself that loves word play and puns, this game had me burning the midnight oil to read more of it. Where you will find replayabillity is in the procedurally generated and emergent mission-based campaign aspects so don’t be too rash to toss it in your beaten pile once you’re finished.
Combat is delightful. it is turn based which some might find a bit archaic in these modern times but it is sophisticated and will reward the more tactfully minded player in spades. At the top you will find your turn order with icons depicting everyone involved. Each character has a set of attacks with different designations. It’s essentially rock paper scissors on steroids. Every enemy is weak and strong to something and it’s up to you to analyze the enemy to find out what that is and adjust your tactics accordingly. Do well enough and you will “break” your enemy. This will disrupt their turn order and if you you do well enough they will “stagger” allowing you to just wreck shop on them. In my opinion; this is what Final Fantasy 13 should have been like combat wise. It just has freedom and sophistication in spades and it’s nice to see that developers are still able to take such an old battle system and make it unique and exciting to play. Did I mention it has fast forward?
Outside of combat will feel like a more accelerated affair. You will be teleported around from location to location which is both refreshing and jarring for an rpg. It helps remove the monotony of traveling a world map but it also has the undesired effect of making you feel rushed through the story. Luckily it seems the developers were aware of this because each area has landmarks to interact with, people to talk to, and even goodies like items to upgrade a characters parameters. It really help let you take your breath while still letting you know this is indeed a war you are fighting and there isn’t time to waste. You know… Unless you WANT too. There are even profiles in the status screen for each character and a hub area that will show you all the major players of the opposing side. This is especially important because you can learn about everyone you are against before you have to fight them and that makes battles more lucrative as well as make you feel like you really are on the battlefield; gathering intel and using it to your advantage. Lastly, to help brace the player from it’s “still getting the hang of driving standard” pace, is the camping mechanic. Here you can use cards you’ve collected to boost your characters and even increase affection levels.
Other than that it’s pretty par the course for an RPG. You can equip things, you can use items, etc. Star Renegades really put their efforts in the right place when it came to gameplay. They even made a handy video available online to teach you the combat! Though, to be honest, game direction was intuitive and made adjusting and understand how the game works a very organic experience.
Star Renegades Is a refreshing Sci-Fi RPG with a tactical battle system, fun dialogue, and overall modernistic-retro feel. I whole heartily recommend you pick up this game if you are a fan of the genre.
Note: GameOctane received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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- Each run of the game is unique
- Battle system is robust and fast paced
- The camping system makes for a nice way to build your characters skills
- Casual RPG players may find themselves frustrated by the skill floor of missions.
- Exploration is nerfed compared to what is expected form the genre.