Spaceforce: Rogue Universe
Not So Long ago, I'd have been sat here comparing this game to Elite. It seems X3 has finally taken Braben classic's crown, and is now the yardstick by which all space sim trade 'em ups are to be judged.
Space Force genuinely measures up strikingly well. It has solid visuals, a pleasant enough universe to explore and a thumpingly hammy sci-fi 'plot' to ignore...
The problem is, it never looks quite as good as X3: Reunion. It never really has that sense of universal cohesion that made X3 such a delight to 'dick about in'. The acting and script are beyond appalling, the economy pales next to X3's levels of intricacy and it simply doesn't offer the same degree of nigh-on inexhaustible freedom. The dogfighting's largely laborious and the RPG free-roaming mode is only really there for you to ignore once you've finished with the story mode.
In fact the only time Space Force ever really manages to usurp its competitor is in a few flashy HDR effects. While there's something impressively satisfying about losing aim on a villainous pirate as he flies in front of a glaring sun, it's hardly a deal-breaker. Despite all that though, Space Force remains a damned good blast. It's filled with stuff to do, things to buy and bad men to vaporise. The only major stumbling block is in polish - exemplified by a criminal lack of introductory hand-holding.
Normally, I'm dead against tutorials that force me to learn how to duck into a vent. However, in an initially bewildering game like Space Force where every button-press has a unique and improbable function, leaving me to my own devices to discover which key does what is downright dangerous, and resulted in an unfortunate and improbable series of events which saw me accidentally selling my ship's guns to some passing ruffian and then left me unable to buy new ones with which to, you know, survive.
If you've exhausted X3 to an inhuman degree, you could do a lot worse than check this out, especially given the bargain price tag. Just don't expect it to be as good and you won't be disappointed.
Download Spaceforce: Rogue Universe
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP