While I much prefer the older Cylon look and feel (bulkier, rounder ships), and while I did not find myself glued to the TV set to tune into the latter incarnation of the campy series, I did absolutely love how the newer writers and special-effects masters made the space dog-fighting look. It felt, well, real to me. Would I feel the same way about combat inside my browser? What about my character -- how would he feel while walking around inside a station or base?
Follow me past the cut to see what I found.
It was cool to walk up to characters from the series (even though I didn't follow it much) to receive missions or to buy equipment or ships, but it would be much cooler with a friend or two at your side. Let's face it, though, the shining star of this MMORPG is the dog-fighting (space dog-fighting) and the continual pursuit of the destruction of your enemies. At least, that's what I gathered.
"While I was escorted through a very basic series of tutorials, I kept seeing warnings pop up on my screen about different areas of space being attacked or under "heavy fighting." Forget tutorials, I am a Cylon!"
While I was escorted through a very basic series of tutorials, I kept seeing warnings pop up on my screen about different areas of space being attacked or under "heavy fighting." Forget tutorials, I am a Cylon! Unfortunately, I was not able to leap directly into the heaviest fighting, an ability that would have to develop over time. I was only only allowed to "jump" across a certain amount of space, measured by dots on the galaxy map. For example, I might only be able to jump across to the next system, but at later levels I would have the ability to cross greater distances. Still, I was soon thrust into battle with enemy players in their Vipers. Frankly, it was hard to shoot at them since I thought the Viper to be one of the coolest space ship designs from my youth, but I just reminded myself that there were humans inside.
All of these different methods of combat led to an in-depth experience. I might lock on to one of my enemies, pursue him, break off to flip around, fire a missile, sling some space-bullets at him, shoot a missile decoy -- all while trying to stay out from in front of him. The developers made ships tough, even the basic ones, so combat lasted far longer than it might within your typical first-person shooter. Granted, you can become space-dust within seconds if you blindly fly into a mass of enemies, but with a little care, even newbie pilots like yours truly could seek and possibly destroy.
The variety of ships is nice, allowing players to pilot anything from a basic craft to a massive CM monster. Battles felt very balanced despite the fact that some players were in larger craft. Bigpoint seems to have taken a page from EVE Online's book by making larger craft slower and easier to hit but chock-full of deadly weapons and other electronic goodies. Missiles can literally be shot out of the sky, so even their existence added some element to gameplay. One particularly large battle I was in was filled with talk of "little guys, get the missiles!" That gritty stuff really gave the game some depth.
Little did I know that player skill would always trump purchased goods. Yes, I did much better than before and was even able to take down several humans, but overall my enemy seemed to adjust accordingly. Instead of one on one battles, they would send two or three players. Down I would go.
"I loved the fact that fighting was not an instant-death sort of scenario. Even when I was outnumbered, I was able to last long enough to do some damage."
While I did not find enough time to do many quests, I was told that the missions would lead players down paths into the lore of the universe: "The dramatic missions will define the game's overall storyline, enabling players to delve into mysteries of the Battlestar universe." Now that I've had my taste of combat, I definitely want to go back to check the missions out.
If you are looking for a fun space-shooter set in the Battlestar universe, look no further. I can only imagine how fun the game might be if I were a member of some large fleet or group of pilots. This game is begging for Saturday evenings filled with screams of "Get him off my tail!" over Ventrilo. While fullscreen is available, running the game within the browser didn't effect my experience at all -- Bigpoint sure is doing some pretty cool things with the technology.