Starpoint Gemini Warlords brings an improved space simulator gameplay that combines RPG and strategy elements. Players who want to join this universe will have a significant amount of things to worry about. That is because Starpoint is filled with a good array of activities that they need to manage. For example, you may work on commanding fleets, mining, collecting materials and building ships. All of those actions add an extra positive experience to the strategy feel of the title.
The game takes you into the Gemini universe, which brings a vast number of factions that you can explore and manage based on your decisions. The most interesting thing about being in command of your fleet is the ability to choose whether to peacefully engage a faction or use a more aggressive approach. There are several remote operations and missions that will take you into different areas in the Gemini. In order to accomplish your goal to become a powerful leader, you will count with characters that may join your fleet and bring special skills to the game. By taking advantage of all available warfare resources and knowledge, you will improve your chances of successfully performing in combats. Finally, you may choose to wisely trade resources with allied factions in order to collect all elements for a victorious journey.
Starpoint Gemini Warlords was developed by Little Green Men Games and is available for Xbox One for $34.99
Instead of going through a deep description of the Starpoint Gemini universe, the game focuses on facilitating the gameplay approach through its campaign mode. First, you will complete an RPG-style tutorial that will give you the chance to complete smaller missions while taking control of a single ship. You begin the story by following instructions for some sort of ship battle testing. Your character is then requested to return to the Gemini's main station to assist others in defeating enemies who had initiated a major attack. In order to do so, you have to leave your battlecruiser by piloting a smaller vessel. When it is time to return, you will notice that your battlecruiser has been severely damaged, and no captain is present. After that, you should be able to customize your character and get back into the adventure. The game attempts to test the player's decision-making skills, but the main problem here is that these missions tend to lack complexity as challenges appear.
Because of its overall "tutorial feel", the story-driven campaign mode sets the player into a very uninteresting plot. It does not present a very engaging story, but rather provides a very long preparation for what is yet to come. As a commander, you must work hard to face space threats, while reinforcing respect as a leader. In order to do so, you must take control of multiple areas that make up the Gemini galaxy and fight against enemies that go against your exploration plan.
From my experience, the campaign mode turned out to be a not so pleasant experience. A game like this has the potential for a better storytelling structure, and there are a lot of opportunities to bring more depth when presenting characters and factions. For those reasons, I felt like rushing through the tutorial without really developing an interest in the initial introduction of the title.
After completing the story, you should be able to dive into the free-roam. In this mode, the player can have more control over their actions while focusing on the Gemini headquarters as a base for your research and ship improvements. The free-roam mode allows players to modify and improve battling skills through multiple types of weapons and upgrades.
As previously mentioned, the free-roam scenario skips all tutorials and takes you right into actions. Here is my advice: start from the campaign mode. Yes, the tutorial may be very long and tedious, but it can also be helpful. The game mechanics in this game are a little tricky in the beginning, so it is not a bad idea to spend some time in the campaign mode before jumping into the free-roam. The good news is that once you feel like you are ready, you can always opt out of the initial missions and face the free-roam scenario, which in my opinion is really when the fun begins.
One of my favorite things about Starpoint is the ability to became truly creative as you manage different areas of the galaxy. The main idea behind this gameplay is to complete a variety of objectives while taking control of a ship heading off into space. Those objectives include actions that will let you make several decisions as you see fit, instead of worrying too much about missions themselves. The 4X characteristic of Starpoint represents a fundamental part of the fun and engagement. For example, players have to deal with multiple tasks that include acquiring territories, managing their fleet and working on the construction of space stations. Regardless of what game mode you select, keep in mind that you will need to master a few important techniques to accomplish good results. First, the most basic thing to do is complete quests and fight other fleets during your space exploration.
Despite the fact that weapon controls take some getting used to, fighting effects are very well implemented especially when finishing enemies and blowing up ships. The greatest challenge here is that the player won't be able to properly fire if opponents aren't spotted in a perfect target range. On the other hand, you can use that weakness as a strategic advantage against other ships. For example, depending on how close you are and how you position your ship, you may be able to use more weapons than your opponent and finish attacks in a more efficient way,
As you become used to the gameplay, you should be able to improve your ship characteristics with new weapons and modules and by accumulating money and resources. This upgrading system can really give Gemini Warlords the ability to shine as a strategy title. As enemies can become challenging in some game modes more than others, the player will need to learn how to properly improve their skills. Deciding whether to invest in ship upgrades or save your resources can be a hard choice and will make a difference when deciding if it is time to engage enemy forces or retreat.
AUDIO AND GRAPHICS
Starpoint Gemini Warlords is a game that brings nicely done graphics to the table. It is not hard to notice the quality of details in stations, ships, and weapon effects. Considering that this gameplay happens in an enormous empty space, most visual features can be very pleasant to look but you probably draw your attention to the actual fights, which is not a bad thing.
In terms of audio features, the game did not exceed my expectations, but they stick really well with the sci-fi genre at all times. In regard to music, I must say that for most of the time, I was not even able to hear it well enough to enjoy it. For players like me, not having a nice soundtrack that stands out is something that brings the experience down to an ok level.
Starpoint Gemini Warlords brings an interesting dynamic of gameplay and mechanics due to the fact that it incorporates a crossover of genres that go from RPG to a 4X-based style. On the other hand, there is definitely room for improvement when it comes to audio features. This negative aspect of the game, aligned with the lack of depth in the characters background, can make it hard to stay engaged for long periods of time.
Despite the listed issues, Starpoint Gemini Warlords succeeds in offering different quest options presented in either a story-campaign mode or an exciting free-roam scenario. Overall the best element found in Starpoint is the extensive array of features it combines to create a complete space exploration.
|+ Mixes multiple genres into a nice gameplay||– Controls take some time to get used to|
|+ Great amount of exploration features||– Lacks depth story mode|
|+ Exciting free-roam scenarios||– Lengthy and uninteresting tutorial|
|– Average audio features|