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Azulgar: Star Commanders

is a Sci-Fi Action oriented Sandbox Roleplaying game with strategic elements that puts you in command of a space ship, space station and a fleet in a massive sandbox... read more

Azulgar: Star Commanders Preview

Author: Jack Ulyatt
15-Jan-2018

Category: Preview

Do you desire to boldly go where no man has gone before? Well, you can now in Azulgar Star Commanders, which is developed and published by the Czech Republic based studio - Lusorion Creatives. Legends of Azulgar is 3D discovery sci-fi RPG, where you command your own spaceship in procedurally generated universe. However, is the game worth your time? Or is it just another pitiful attempt at a space exploration game?

Azulgar: Star Commanders Preview

INTRODUCTION

For some time now, I have had the zeal for a space exploration game, which was further developed after watching the recent Star Wars film. So, when I heard about Legends of Azulgar (or, Azulgar: Space Commanders) I thought I'd give it a go. Azulgar: Star Commanders is a third-person Sci-Fi Action oriented sandbox roleplaying game with strategic elements that puts you in command of a space ship, space station and a fleet in a massive sandbox universe. The game immerses you in a fully interactive environment and a world rich in lore and legends.


Are you a explorer, or an adventurer? Legends of Azulgar offers you plenty of places for explore. Stories in shiplogs, interesting characters, unexplored places and more. Or, are you rather a fierce warrior? Then you can lead a way for your fleet and destroy everything in your path. Or, do you prefer more business orientated style? Buy, sell, travel in caravans; it's all supplemented by a series of side quests, random events and major universe battles. You create the story.

Azulgar: Space Commanders is developed by Lusorion Creatives (who are currently releasing new updates and patches weekly to improve the gaming experience for players), and is currently available on the PC gaming platform Steam, for just £10.99! Additionally, Legends of Azulgar has also made it into the Top 100 on Steam Greenlight. 

GAMEPLAY

One of the key elements the developers boast is the tense combat. Legends of Azulgar delivers this, and it acts as one of the strongest gameplay points for the game. Every shot counts, and the player must determine what type of weaponry to use, and how best to utilise it in combat. In addition, the flight of your spacecraft is rather satisfying, as you feel as if you are the Captain of the USS Enterprise or Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon. Moreover, using the right tactics is essential when ensuring your longevity; I found that using asteroids and other obstacles to hide and ambush the enemy was a good strategy.

A part of the game I really enjoyed was the customisation aspect. Despite being a bit buggy at times (something in which the developers need to urgently attend to), designing your own ship and base is pretty cool, and it is one of the most enjoyable factors of the game. Legends of Azulgar also has a informative tutorial, which helps you settle into the game quicker, and feel less overwhelmed.

Azulgar: Star Commanders Preview - You almost feel as if you are the Captain of the USS Enterprise or Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon
Of course, the game is still in Early Access, and needs work in order to improve it. But, it is obvious that the game does have an incredible amount of potential. The lack of players does hurt the multiplayer aspect of the game, as the game often feels lifeless, so if you're trying the game out for the first time - please be sure to bring some friends along! However, the player base is gradually growing, and with consistent updates and patches from the developers, it should not take long before it becomes a more popular title.

One of the most disappointing factors of the game was single-player. Although it acts as an informative tutorial, I wouldn't get your hopes up on what the game provides for the lone-wolf. What you get so far is a very short, mostly senseless single-player campaign that involves flying around an asteroid belt in your choice of fighter, gunship, or corvette. The asteroid belt has minimal interaction from other ships, apart from when you fly too close to a quest or pirate zone trigger, in which case a couple of pirate fighters spawn a few kilometres away and try to kill you with unlimited ammunition - which is pretty lubricious.
 
I did also notice that I spawned in asteroids a couple of times, which was quite frustrating. Other issues included: a number of mission scripting issues, abysmal collision detection, interface issues, unskinned Unity UI dialogs, no way to adjust settings from in game, no in-game pause, and awful writing quality. As previously stated, the game is still in early access, so I can see concede the fact that minor issues like this are going to be apparent. However, the good thing is that issues like this, can be easily resolved by the game's developers.

Graphics and Audio

Legends of Azulgar uses unique cartoon-styled graphics, which is the highlight of the game. The ships within the game look stunning, and have multiple components, which can be created and destroyed individually. The world itself looks great, as well as the formation of objects in the environment such as asteroids and bases. A personally favourite of mine was the weapon effects, which really add to the Star Trek feel. 

But, UI overlays can be difficult to understand, with in-game text seen through the UI often obscuring what you're trying to read - making the game a lot harder than it should be - and with multiple UI layers being present at once, it can make the game even more challenging. Moreover, when your ships are ascending or descending they look pretty poor, due to the basic animation. In addition, I did notice that certain textures were flickering after a long testing session.

Azulgar: Star Commanders Preview - Legends of Azulgar uses unique cartoon-styled graphics, which is the highlight of the game

The audio in the game is pretty average, but okay for a game in the early stages it is in. The space ship sound effects do sound pretty average, and is something the developers should adjust once the game is fully released. In terms of music it is pretty limited, with a electronic rock score that I found rather atmospheric, and in-game music that's more like ambient noise than real music and needs to be changed. Furthermore, if you wish to tamper with your settings you have some choice, but it is minimal: a detail level setting, resolution, and full screen/windowed modes, plus toggles for ambient occlusion and bloom. Performance is good, but the game pauses for a moment whenever enemies are spawning.

Conclusion 

Overall, for the price asked, you can't be too harsh on Legends of Azulgar. The game needs a lot of work doing in order to improve the quality (changes in the games audio and building a single player with more depth is dramatically needed). In addition, it would be nice to have a story with actual voices, as the reading element in single player can become quite tedious at times. The game has a multitude of bugs, and lacklustre campaign, but the ideas are there. It's quite clear the game does have potential, but it has a long way to go. 

PROSCONS
+ Enjoyable ship customisation - Limited player base 
+ Satisfying ship controls - Poor soundtrack 
+ Potenital for bright future - Multitude of bugs

- Lacklustre single player 



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