02 May 2011

Battlestar Galactica Online [Review]

If you are a Science Fiction fan then you are probably aware of the fantastic TV series Battlestar Galactica. It spanned 4 seasons and contained space battles that would rival most Sci-fi movies. The struggle between the remnants of the human race trying to find a new home - guarded by an old capitol ship "Galactica" and a handful of fighters ("Vipers"). In pursuit the cyborg/robot race, the "Cylon". Those of you who have seen the show know what I'm talking about, those of you who haven't - check it out! Especially the first 2 seasons.

Battlestar Galactica Online (or BSG Online) is a space-combat simulator that you can play for free after registering an account - and you don't have to download the game or anything like that but just log in through your web browser. The game itself can be played from either Cylon and Human point of view - I tried out both branches before settling on the Humans (who can resist those awesome Vipers?). The basic missions for both races are the same - the difference is mainly the ships and their upgrades. You start out with a fighter and will earn experience points, credits and minerals during your gameplay which can be invested in upgrades, new skills, buying weapons and eventually swapping your ship for a larger/better one. It is quite humbling to pass by players who have large battleships while you are flying around in a tiny Viper.

The game takes place in a galaxy with several subsystems - and you will find that roughly half is currently controlled by Cylons and half by the Humans, at the frontline there is constant battle as the front is pushed back and forth. You travel from subsystem to subsystem using your FTL drive (faster than light). You will receive missions aboard Galactica or the Cylon Base star from either Admiral Adama or nr1 "Cavil". Those locations also feature a hangar deck and a cantina where you can talk to other important characters about mission objectives, rumors, upgrade your ship etc.

If you travel to other subsystems controlled by your faction you will often find a "outpost" location which can be entered - and where you can upgrade the ship, load up on ammo or do repairs. The gameplay is geared towards Player vs Player combat and areas are always populated by player controlled friendly or enemy ships. The graphics can be cranked up so that the game looks extremely good - actually I don't know how it can look so good using just the web browser. You control your ship with the keyboard using SPACE for throttle and WASD to control the direction. You can also use the mouse for the direction by holding down one of the mouse buttons  (I find it easier to use the mouse). There are numerous controls and panels, speed and map buttons, weapon controls, scanning devices, mission logs, chat windows etc. Everything can be turned on/off - you can even make the entire HUD disappear if you like a more cinematic experience but it makes combat more difficult.

It may take a little while until you get the hang of it, but the start of the game features a few linked scenarios that will bring you up to speed on the basics - and there is a large help window that can be checked for information about every aspect of the game. The game features light RPG elements in the sense that you get missions from characters - report back to those characters, earn experience points and pick how to invest those in your pilot skill tree. You can also salvage stuff from destroyed ships and sell these at the hangar deck for credits.

The game saves your progress if you click "log out" as such there is no manual save point/save function as it is automatic. And if you log in again you will find yourself in the same sector that you left. If you are killed in battle you may pick which nearby sector to re-spawn. It does not feature any voice acting, but it has Battlestar Galactica themed music for both combat and non combat situations and the sound effects for weapons and are good. Again taking into account that you don't have to do anything but register an account online to play this game baffles me.

So if you are into space simulators, a BSG or a Sci-fi fan then really check this game out. It's free of charge and will eat up your spare time!

A link to the main site: http://eu1.battlestar-galactica.bigpoint.com/


Cylon player


Human player



Log screens


 FTL planning


HUD/No HUD

Combat




Join the fight!

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review ! Love the series and it looks awesome. Have you tried World of Tanks ?

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  2. Yep I love that game as well - registered as Anatoli. Joined the WWPD "clan" as well and got the chance to play with Steven last night.

    I plan to do a similar review of that game next week :-)

    It's crazy how you can get games these fun and good looking for free these days!

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  3. Just remember you can use the mouse to maneuver by holding down the right button! Push the throttle and look in the direction you want to fly :-)

    At first I tried the WASD keys but it was really hard (though you do make sharper turns), but it was too hard for me as well. No doubt one would learn after a while but using the mouse is the best way to get started as a newbie.

    Another thing I forgot to mention - you can create an account and use it from any computer. But your progress is computer specific. I started out with Cylons on my laptop but had no recorded progress on my stationary computer - where I played Humans. And vice versa. Something to keep in mind if you want to play this game on a specific computer.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am a big fan of this show..Really nice show..
    battlestar galactica Online

    ReplyDelete

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