Publisher: Jowood Productions
N Amer - 06/05/2007
Intl - 06/22/2007
SpaceForce: Rogue Universe Review
With the current drought of good space sims on the PC closing in on the decade mark, SpaceForce: Rogue Universe is an encouraging title in concept for fans of the long-ignored genre. The game presents the player with two separate and vastly different ways to play the game, is extremely deep, and looks damn good. Unfortunately, what works in concept seldom carries through in execution. SpaceForce: Rogue Universe is too complex and lacks a tutorial system, making it so that many gamers will tap out in confusion and frustration before the game even gets going.
SpaceForce: Rogue Universe offers two very different modes of play. The first is the story mode, which plays out with set missions. For this mode, you play as an avatar set by the game as you progress through the universe and the game’s campaign. The second is a free-form RPG-esque game that allows you to create your own character and beat your own path across the galaxy. The game’s universe in this mode is huge, giving you tons of hours of gameplay and countless paths to take and missions to perform.
As you progress and complete missions, you can earn cash for upgrades for your ship. There are many different upgrades to buy, allowing you to gear your ship towards your own gameplay M.O.
Ambition was certainly behind Rogue Universe. The game has a huge environment and tons of missions and deep gameplay for both campaigners and sand-boxers alike. Unfortunately, Rogue Universe falls prey to some huge issues that might even make it an unplayable experience for some gamers out there.
The lack of a tutorial is probably the most frustrating element of SpaceForce: Rogue Universe. The game basically throws the player into the mix without much guidance as to how to complete their missions or what they need to do to progress. This is extremely frustrating, and even those with the patience to stick with it will probably spend a good long while trying to figure out what they’re doing before they can begin to get into the game.
Additionally, the game is very unforgiving as well. The AI is very difficult, and will slaughter you very quickly (couple this with the frustration of not knowing what you’re doing, and you’re in for an exercise in screaming and swearing). The game is also a pain to control using the mouse and keyboard configuration, so unless you have a good flight-stick, you need not apply.
Fortunately, while you may not know what you’re doing for a while, you’ll at least look good doing it. The game has a great graphics engine, with extremely detailed ships and great special effects. The environments even look good, a departure from the standard “static-blanket-of-stars” backgrounds used in most space-sims. Extremely detailed planets, nebulae and star systems will litter the background making the look quite fascinating. The sounds are average at best, with weak voice acting and stock space-sim sound effects.
SpaceForce: Rogue Universe has all of the makings of a great space-sim, and one that could’ve been a real rally point for the resurrection of the genre. Unfortunately, the whole affair falters by being extremely user-unfriendly and too difficult, no doubt turning away many gamers before they even get into the game.
Review Scoring Details for SpaceForce: Rogue Universe
The game has a ton of depth and a couple of different play options, essentially letting you play through the story or pave your own path. Unfortunately, the game is extremely complex and the lack of a tutorial will probably push people away.
The game looks great with detailed ship models and nice special effects, as well as some nice looking environments.
Average at best, with a standard score and sound effects. Voice acting is pretty weak
The AI is extremely unforgiving and frustrating, especially when mixed with the overly steep learning curve.
There are some really great ideas in play in SpaceForce: Rogue Universe, which unfortunately aren’t handled well to fruition.
SpaceForce: Rogue Universe has some great concepts and gameplay elements, but unfortunately the unintuitive interface and lack of tutorial will keep many gamers from seeing them.
SpaceForce: Rogue Universe has an admirable amount of depth, but the unintuitive interface and lack of a tutorial system are extremely frustrating.
Reviewer: Steven Hopper
Review Date: 06/13/2007