PDA

View Full Version : Star Assault



Harrison
14th November 2007, 15:41
Has anyone heard of a PC game called Star Assault?

I came across the game on my travels today and it seems to be a space combat sim similar to Wing Commander or X-Wing, but I can't find out any proper information about the game. When searching I find some places selling the game, but no reviews or screenshots, or information about the gameplay. Anyone know?

Tiago
14th November 2007, 15:52
Searching in google images there is a lot of Star Wars Star Assault....
But is not this one you want right?

Buleste
14th November 2007, 15:57
I've seen it on Amazon for 16.99 or 16.00 from Virgin but the RRP is 19.99 which is never a good sign but i've never played it.

Harrison
14th November 2007, 16:04
Searching in google images there is a lot of Star Wars Star Assault....
But is not this one you want right?

No, I also found many references to the Star Wars game, but this one is different. It is just called Star Assault.

And as Buleste mentions, releasing a game at a low price point to begin with isn't usually a good sign as it often means the developer is trying to get the game sold under the scope before the magazines and websites get their hands on it for review.

Buleste
14th November 2007, 16:11
Screen shots and a demo can be found at http://www.pixelrage.ro/news/Star-Assault--Demo-Download/4691.html

Tiago
14th November 2007, 16:15
Backgrounds look nice...
it's a small game to the standarts todays...
It doens't smell good...

Harrison
14th November 2007, 16:16
Oh cool. Thanks for finding that. The screenshots like quite good. Not amazing but pretty nice.

Buleste
14th November 2007, 16:18
The babylon Project looks better and thats free. Although it can be a pig to get mods for.

Harrison
14th November 2007, 16:51
The Babylon Project definitely does look good, and as you say it is completely free, being developed using the free freespace 2). I've not tried the beta release out yet, but thanks to you reminding me of the project I definitely will be when i get chance.

But, the more space games we get the better, so I'm also going to give Star Assault a try too to see if it is any good. I'm not bothered if the graphics are a few years out of date compared to current standards, it's the gameplay that matters.

Buleste
14th November 2007, 17:09
TBP is on its final release with the download including a couple of mods various installers and promises of new mods all the time. It is a hefty download at about 1GB but it is worth it.

Harrison
14th November 2007, 17:42
Nice. I will definitely give it a try when I get chance.

Harrison
15th November 2007, 03:23
So I got hold of a copy of Star Assault and installed it... and I can report that it isn't worth bothering with.

The graphics are OK but quite dated. The backdrops look ok, as do the lighting effects, but they wouldn't have won any awards even 5 years ago.

The problems however start when you actually play the game. You start off by having to equip your ship by dragging components from the store into your ship's sections (engine, reactor, shields, weapons etc). The game doesn't tell you that you have to do this though so I tried to start the first mission and was given the message "your CPU isn't powerful enough" which confused me as it wasn't referring to the CPU in the computer, but the game rather confusingly called the ship you fly a CPU. So after realising this and equipping the ship it let me start the first mission. And oh boy, the animated guy reading out the mission briefing is very amateur looking, but at least the voice over isn't so bad.

Once the first mission began the usual intercom commands from the space station (which is common with many space games) began, directing me to an asteroid field where I would find some enemies to take out. Sounds like the usual first mission stuff. But the controls. Umm... very basic. The mouse controls the direction of the ship, with the left mouse firing the currently selected weapon and the mouse wheel zooming the view in and out (all that actually seems to do is scale the ship). The rest of the basic controls are keyboard based, with the Page Up and Down keys controlling engine power, the 1-0 keys selecting the current weapon, F1 turning auto pilot on, C switching between external and cockpit view, and a couple of other things.

Now the control problems. First you move the mouse and the ship shows some thrusters firing to move the ship, but where are the physics? The movement of the ship feels like it is stuck to the front of your view and you are rotating as if this view were a turrent. So it feels like you are rotating the game's view like a first person shooter, with a space ship stuck on the front of the view where the cross hair should be. Very strange and it doesn't work.

Anyway, I thought I would try out the first mission, so I hit F1 and let the autopilot take me to the destination, which it did. Some reference points appeared in the area showing the location of the enemies, who started to close in and fire at me. I started to shoot back but then I noticed something else. How are you meant to aim at something without a cross hair? I basically had to fire and see where the bullet spray was going and then try to guess where to line the ship up to hit the enemy. But that wasn't that easy with the enemies yo-yoing around me going from 800m away, then flying past and going off away from me again. I got the shields of two of the ships right down but it was very had to hit them and they just kept hitting my ship until it exploded! This was the first mission to teach you some basics, and yet the enemy were shooting non stop constantly depleting my shield. Mad!

At which point I quit the game!

So to sum up, definitely not a good example of a space combat game. It is in no way on a par with X-Wing or Wing Commander, and is in no way comparable to something like Freespace 2! I'm off to play Freelancer and X3 instead...

Tiago
15th November 2007, 09:13
Like i thoght... it didn't smell good...

Freespace 2 ? Never play it, is it like homeworld 2?

Buleste
15th November 2007, 09:24
Try the Beyond the Red Line demo at this site http://www.game-warden.com/bsg/ for Battlestar Gallactica version of Freespace 2.

Harrison
15th November 2007, 11:46
I've already played the Beyond the Red Line demo and it's great.

For a game running on such an old engine it is looking very nice, which just shows how good the original Freespace 2 engine is. And the actual game mechanics are spot on with the feel of the vipers being just right, and even the short wave radio chatter between pilots. Everyone should give the demo a play for sure.

Harrison
15th November 2007, 11:49
Freespace 2 ? Never play it, is it like homeworld 2?

No, Homeworld 2 is a space RTS, whereas Freespace 2 is a space combat sim, and a great one at that. The closest games to compare it to are X-Wing and the like. And unlike games like Wing Commander which are quite arcade shoot 'em up like, Freespace 2 is a bit more serious and is best described as a full on flight sim, but in space. It is a brilliant game.

To give you an idea of what it is like, take a look at these BattleStar Galactica, Beyond the Red Line mod screenshots:

http://www.game-warden.com/bsg/images/screenshots/screen07.jpg

http://www.game-warden.com/bsg/images/screenshots/screen13.jpg

http://www.game-warden.com/bsg/images/screenshots/screen11.jpg

Buleste
15th November 2007, 14:28
Good choice of screen shots. They also show up what i find as the only failing of Freespace and that is the lighting. Freespace 2 is best played in a pitch black room with no distractions. Any amount of light and you may not see whats happening.

Harrison
15th November 2007, 14:51
True, but to it's credit, you have to admit that is pretty realistic. I have the feeling it's quite dark up there. ;)

Buleste
15th November 2007, 14:59
True, but to it's credit, you have to admit that is pretty realistic. I have the feeling it's quite dark up there. ;)

I'd have loved if they had a real physics engine option for it though. Can't dark up there as there's too many laser blast's etc up there. But remember "In a locked darkened room no one can hear you scream, in frustration that you missed one of the buggers and can't see him because it's too dark and he snuck up behind you and killed you."

Harrison
15th November 2007, 15:22
Yep, but they are cylons, it's what they do!

BTW, when is the last BSG series due to air? I'm getting withdrawal symptoms.

Demon Cleaner
16th November 2007, 06:31
I played the 2 Freespace games and have to agree that they are really great, although I haven't finished the 2nd one yet.

I also bought Tachyon:The Fringe for low price some years ago, but I never installed or played it. Does anyone know if it's good?

Harrison
16th November 2007, 06:53
I've got that game too and have also never installed it! :lol: I bought up all the space games I'd missed on the PC a couple of years ago and am still slowly going through playing them. I've read some reviews of Tachyon: The Fringe and it is meant to be pretty good.

Ghost
16th November 2007, 09:14
Hello Harrison,

Is Star Assault really that bad?
I was considering getting it for a friend of mine who is a bit of a space game nut.

Not sure if he has Tachyon: The Fringe.

Harrison
16th November 2007, 14:03
It definitely isn't very good. It feels more like a homebrew game than a full commercial release.

Harrison
16th November 2007, 15:48
Here is an interest quote taken from the marketing for Star Assault:


Space, the final frontier...

The intro from a famous tv-series could also describe Star Assault - which is a perfect mixture between Wing Commander and Battlestar Galactica.

The story-based single player mode offers the player to accomplish breathtaking missions and tasks. Between the different missions he spends most of the time on a space station or a carrier equipping his space craft with lasers, rockets, shields or different propulsions. The player can choose out of a large variety of ships. Each ship varies in terms of weaponry and flight quality. The force feedback support greatly improves a realistic and stunning experience.Surely I must have been playing a completely different game? I much check... nope, definitely says Star Assault, and the screenshots match. Not sure what game they are describing, but I don't think whoever wrote that has actually played the game this is meant for.

If any of you really want to see some screenshots then have a look at the official site: http://www.star-assault.com/en/index.html

I also noticed their press page is blank! I wonder why. :hmmm:

Am I being too harsh about this game? After all we don't actually see that many space games released each year. I will give it another play just to see if I was in a negative mood the first time, but i suspect I wasn't. Also if I can't even get through the basic first mission easily without blowing up how hard must the rest of the missions be?