Galaxy on Fire 2 is a space shooter with some serious limitations.
- Broad universe with abundant missions
- Addictive career progression chock full of upgrades
- Fast-paced, frequent dogfights.
- Lackluster combat against fairly dumb opposition
- Repetitive missions
- Dull campaign storyline with second-rate dialogue and voice acting
- Occasionally confusing interface.
Hit iOS/Android space shooter Galaxy on Fire 2 comes to the PC with mixed results. Developer Fishlabs has made few changes to the HD version of the game that has been selling well on tablets and phones since its release. The game features an addictive career path spiced up with lots of ways to upgrade your ship and gear, tons of random and story-based missions, and many hot-and-heavy moments in dogfights with enemies. But there is a lot of repetition in the missions. Combat is predictable and shallow due to poor enemy AI and a lack of options when in the cockpit. And the interface is both bland and somewhat confusing. In the end, the pluses and minuses add up to a passable space shooter that hooks you for a good time, but not a long time.
You could do worse than describing Galaxy on Fire 2 as a poor man's Freelancer (or, if you're a real old-timer, Elite). The story sees you step into the space boots of Keith T. Maxwell, who might have the name of a chiropodist but who has the guts of a kick-ass mercenary. Maxwell does something of a Buck Rogers at the start of the action, as an engine malfunction hurtles him from the year 3589 to 3624. Being displaced from his own time by 35 years doesn't impact much on the plot, though. The time warp is rarely referred to as the game chugs along, although Maxwell does regularly run into buddies who knew him many years ago. Things have changed in the galaxy, however. New alliances have been formed, and everybody is being threatened by wormhole raids from a mysterious alien race dubbed the Void. And poor Maxwell is now flat broke. The Rip Van Winkle thing has left him a pauper, with only a beat-up old ship to his name, given to him at the start of the game as a reward for helping a space miner.
So what's a poor boy to do but sell himself to the highest bidder to make a few bucks. The single-player-only gameplay sticks closely to space-trader/space-flight sim traditions. This means that you spend all of your time zipping around between a lot of planets spread through a lot of star systems, looking for the best way to make enough money to buy new ships, weapons, shields and armor, other nifty upgrades, and commodities that can then be flogged around the galaxy in the usual "buy low, sell high" fashion.
You can stick close to the campaign storyline dealing with the Void, or you can go off on your own and visit space-station lounges to see what odd jobs are available from the barflies. Another option is mining asteroids for various precious metals. Mining is handled with a minigame where you keep a drill bit centered in an ever-shrinking target. Mess up for more than a few seconds, and the bit can go haywire, blowing up the asteroid and leaving you with nothing. Touchy controls make mining more difficult than it sounds. You can get right to the end of a drilling job and screw up, blasting the asteroid to rubble and leaving you with nothing to show for your work.
At first glance, there seems to be a lot to do in Galaxy on Fire 2. Story missions run for some time and move you through a fairly interesting story. Dialogue is terrible, though, and the voice acting is amateurish at best. This is one of the rare cases when it would have been better to handle the conversations with text and skip out on the vocals altogether. At least the visuals somewhat compensate for the poor audio. Every system in the game comes dressed up with sparkling nebulae, tumbling asteroids, carnival-colored gas giants off in the distance, huge space stations, and other eye-pleasing details. All of these systems also offer a lot of random jobs courtesy of the aforementioned lowlifes hanging out in space-station lounges. Money can be earned in a very speedy fashion because of this, and every mission offers a good rate of pay that lets you quickly increase your bank account.
space sims.. flight sims?.. the genre has been poorly exploited.. the only memorable space sim ive played was freelancer and i actually enjoyed it.. spent months playin and playin again and again.. idk abt this game buh i donfink its made a name for itself yet... time for the game developers to shift focus from FPS, RPGs and MMOs and see what kinda blockbuster IPs can be developed in this genre..
Two words: Evochron Mercenary
Especially with the expansion coming out hopefully some time before next year. Now on top of the newtownian space flying there will also be walkers to pilot on planets. Sure the production values aren't up to the latest standards but when you realize that only ONE guy made the whole game, then you forgive and are impressed.
I'd be waiting for GOF2 to be relased on PC since the beginning og the year but i'd already figured it would be disappointing. Also, no cockpit view is never good.
This review reminds me of just how long its been since we've had a truly great space flight sim on the PC.
Freelance 2 seems like a distant memory.
@Bozanimal Have you tried Wing Commander Saga? It's a fan made Freespace 2 Mod based on the Wing Commander series, apart from the lack of Mark Hamill and Open World gameplay, I think it'll scratch your itch for a decent space sim
@Bozanimal exactly how I feel, my X3D pro sits on the shelf gathering dust. It's been many years since I've used it. I'm pretty sure there is still a large market out there that's waiting for a space sim that's done right. When is someone going to make it?
It's a great game on the iOS or Android platform because it's intended for a few minutes of play. The graphics look great on mobile, and the dumb AI makes up for the limitations of the touch interface.
On the PC, however, you're better off with games like Freelancer or Space Rangers 2, both of which are vastly deeper and more fun.
Ya, Space Rangers 2, if you can look passed some of the broken text quests that is a great game.
"- Lackluster combat against fairly dumb opposition - Repetitive missions - Dull campaign storyline" For a moment i thought i was reading about the latest CoD, Halo or any other overhyped shooter game that has a huge name. Funny how these things only mather in cheaper game but never in the games that have a huge name, with a multi miljard studio behind it who pumps out the same game every year. And before people defend these games.....no the AI in CoD and Halo isn't smart, it does the same routine over and over again. Infact hardly any game, no mather how great has a great AI. FEAR, that game had a good AI, but most games have a lackluster AI, they are just hard cause they do either a lot of damage or can take a lot of damage while swarming you with many of them.
Well this is what happens when you take a $7 iOS game and deliver it as a half-assed port for $20.
You get shit.
@UnwantedSpam Never count on GS reviews or any reviews, try it yourself - then build an opinion...
Having a review is better than buying a game based upon zero information. And I suspect 'most' people would agree Revelations 2012 is a pretty terrible game.
But nothing can tell you whether you will really like a game or not more than actually trying it. I've loved games that have received 6s and hated plenty that received 9 and 10s.