Space has always been a fascination of mankind. We look to the stars, wondering what answers they might give us, wondering what secrets those mighty massive orbs hold for us, wondering if we are alone in the universe. Or, we just look into the sky and ask, “Could you IMAGINE the bitchin’ space battles that could take place up there? They would be AWESOME.” Those kinds of dreams are exactly what Star Conflict fulfills.
The first thing that might come to mind when looking at this galaxy-set MMO is how familiar it seems to EVE Online. And, despite its aesthetics and similar settings, both of these games have fairly different goals in mind. While EVE Online has a vitally important character element, Star Conflict is mostly set on delivering epic and fast-paced action across the universe, and it does it well.
Of course, in a game like this, you wouldn’t expect a very strong narrative or characters due to its “shoot-em-up” nature. Ruins are found in a sector of space, so looters go to collect their riches. The bounty is great and plentiful, and naturally we have different teams fighting for these riches. It’s simple, yet able to get the point across, but it would have been excellent to see more in terms of storyline. Not too much flak can be given in this area, as the narrative is more or less an excuse to have some space combat action.
The free-to-play model obviously brings some downsides to the table. Micropayments, which allow you to upgrade your ship, will give you an advantage over players that have not boosted their ships. The micropayments are not necessary to have a good ship, however, as the market tries its best to not rip you off while still making a substantial profit. After some amount of time, virtual money will come your way which would allow for a better ship and hopefully an advantage over the enemy. Another slight disadvantage is the learning curve: the starting menu and displays that should help a beginning player are confusing and hard to utilize. There is the occasional hint that helps out, and the “tutorial” that gives you instructions as you first play and experience the full game is actually one of the more clever ways one has been played out in an MMO.
All in all, Star Conflict is a decent multiplayer experience which, aside from the outstanding aesthetics, doesn’t quite break any boundaries or deliver anything great. I’m glad this is free-to-play, as it is completely worth it. Spending money on it? Not a chance.