To start from scratch, Star Conflict is a multiplayer game in which you get the chance to pilot a space ship, flying through the beautiful maps in high definition to fight against various warring groups, with your many options of lasers, blasters and more. To me, it’s more like a simulation than a game, with it’s realistic and futuristic feel. You can install a lot of different tools to your ship, included in these options, is the gun jammer, cloaking, shrapnel mines, shields and many others.
Think StarWars, remember all those space hosted star fighter battles? “Raise the shields Artoo!” Well that’s similar to what you’ll experience in this game.
The basic goal is to not blow up, but you already knew that. It’s how not to be blown up you need to know. Simple. Depending on the ship you’ve acquired, the shields will differ in strength, as well as the guns. Two bars populate the space around you ship (the game is not in the first person yet), one will be the shields, the other… well… i’m not sure what to call it, but when receiving damage from either collision or being shot, you will notice the shield bar drain slightly (unless you get hit with a “one shot kill” blaster, in which case you wouldn’t really see anything accept the re-spawning screen). When that bar is diminished to the max (rendered empty), then the second bar will begin to diminish. The second bar is basically your ships damage status, although, it drains much faster than the shield. After this bar is gone, you’ve blown up.
This scenario would seem pretty lame… if it wasn’t for the awesome graphics!
Look at all the colors! The graphics are another reason that this game is realistic. I’ve found myself ducking out of the way of a well aimed gun bolt a few times, or flinching when a ship fly’s too close.
Okay, i’m going to lay off on the screenshots, but iv’e made my point.
There are three types of battles, beacon capture (dubbed “Bacon Capture” by many pilots), combat reconnaissance and EMP bomb. Chief among these is beacon capture. In this game, your goal is to capture the beacon (DUH!), and the longer a beacon is captured, the more points the team gets. If a team is being completely dominated, with no beacons in possession, then their points will lower. the first team to hit zero losses. Also, if a beacon is occupied for a certain amount of time, drones start to spawn around it, shooting at any opposing ship within 2000 meters.
Which begins another point i’d like to make, depending on the gun capability of a ship, there is a certain range at which a weapon can reach. Most beginning guns will hit anything within about 3000 meters. An HUD display will surround all opposing and friendly ships whether to far to see or close enough to crash into, giving stats of distance, direction and other useful information. The direction display will show a circle that moves away from the ship in order for you to have an easier ability to track it’s movements, it helps when your firing at a moving target. All you have to do is point your cursor (also a circle, with a limited amount of movement depending on the ship. It allows the user to steer and target.) into the tracker and shoot. As for range, if the distance between you and your opponent is adequately matched to your gun , then the HUD will change color. This display is especially useful if your hunting the captain in combat recon, or trying to intercept a ship from acquiring a beacon or bomb.
All this sounds really fun, and it is. But to play any of these games, you must join them first.
The story line of Star Conflict is based off of a battle between three different groups, Jericho, Federation and Empire. When creating an account, or starting the game, you must first choose which group to follow and fight for. Each has it’s own selection of gear, abilities and ships. You will go through a sort of tutorial, with missions. To keep the game interesting, missions continue to be available even after the tutorial ends, and you can get new ones from signing contracts. You can also buy different ships and guns, to help in your battles.
To enter a battle, you must press a button at the bottom of your screen, labeled “Launch”. This will give you the option of, PvP or PvE. There are two ways to join a PvP.
- A map showing a hexagon shaped territory, in which you can choose a specific game.
- A button that automatically finds a game.
To join a specific game using the map function, you have to be with a corporation, costing real money. So normally, i’d choose the second option. This puts you into a small tab that counts how long you’ve been waiting, and gives an estimate on when the next match will begin. PvE also does this, because in both games, you must have a minimum amount of ships to join you. The longest wait time will be five minutes, which is a huge damper when your ready for action and have to just sit there and stare at a clock. The average time you’ll have to wait depends on the amount players that are active. I’ve only seen up to about three minutes of waiting, but even for such a short time it can get pretty mind numbing.
Once the game find a spot for you, it will show a “Triangular” text on the wait tab and lock all hanger options. Then it starts the game, showing you a player list of both teams, and the rank that the match is set to. The rank is determined by your type of ship and it’s capability. The same display shows up when your respawning, backed by a background of the map with small icons that represent the positions of all the ships. Sometimes, it will even show the shooting lanes.
The average game will last will last a pretty long time, making up for the grueling wait.
Another issue that keeps recurring in both my mind and the Star Conflict community is the view point. Currently, when flying a ship, you will see from a third person view. Many players (including me) would really like to see this game from the first person, but the response looks something like this:
“the suggestion for a cockpit view has already been forwarded, but at the moment a cockpit view would not be very effective.
Due to the limited view you would have a disadvantage compared to 3rd person pilots.
and: “It is planned, but the priority for this is very low at the moment because the cockpit view would be less efficient in battle.”
So I guess it’s in progress.
In conclusion, Star Conflict is a great game, with fantastic graphics, realistic piloting scenarios, fun and competitive games and a good story line (my friends and I often argue about which group is dominant). Although, there are a couple problems I have with it, like the wait time, 3rd person view, foul language in the intercom (can easily be shut off in the options) and lack of variety which causes the game to get dull after a while. There are many disadvantages and advantages, but the problems fall far short of making Star Conflict unplayable, and the good parts dominate intensely.