Shattered Galaxy Review

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Graphics: 5.0
Sound : 6.0
Gameplay : 8.0
Multiplayer : N/A
Overall : 6.0
Review by Patrick “Rhett” Moore

A lot of Massively Multiplayer Online Games have appeared within the last few years, such as the giant Everquest, and the perplexed Lineage – but none of these games have gone to the next step, to become a Massively Multiplayer Online Strategy Game. Shattered Galaxy is the first to feature armies controlled by thousands of people, fighting a neverending war against thousands of other people and armies.



Sure, for the first of it's kind, it might seem like Nexon would have a lot of trouble finding what people want in a game like this, but they already did the commendable job of starting a new genre of games. Shattered Galaxy is a futuristic RPG/Strategy game, where you control an avatar and gain levels through buying, leveling up, and upgrading many different kinds and chassis of units, on a battlefield filled with organic and mechanical monsters.

Gameplay:

SG has many things to do online – most of them mean war with another player. You start out by making a character and choosing stats for it: Clout, Tactics, Mechanical Aptitude, and Education, in which each stat starts at 5 and you get 20 points to use on them. Each stat is a blessing in it's own sort of way, Tactics lets you control more units, Clout lets you control higher level units, Education lets you buy newer weapons and upgrades for units, and Mech. Apt. lets units carry more weight.



Since the game is multiplayer, there is alot of person-to-person contact. Many people are online all the time, each battling other factions for control of the land or rare items that they earn when they win. There is a constant war online, except for when Nexon updates the game and runs maintenance on the server. With all these people online, there are of course clans, called Regimes in the game. The poinit of a regime is to let allied players know where they are, so they can battle alongside each other. There are also Overlords of factions, which command the faction to victory.

With so much population, there is alot of teamwork. People work together to protect vital units like Archers that launch nukes, and to help protect areas with ground units and cover from air units. This type of cooperation is vital to succeding in SG, and therefore has the best feeling of accomplishment when you lead forces to victory, like I once have.



But what is strategy without pawns? This game has over 30 units, each having over 1,000 items per-unit, and different special abilities it can use. Every single unit has at least one ability it can use, like the artillery Trebuchet that can start firing shells at ground forces from distance, while the fighter-plane Hawk gets afterburners which let it fly fast. Because of all the items, it adds to strategy and personal uniqueness in choice of items, like a flamethrower over a machinegun. This kind of system is unique and complex, and allows a ton of uniqueness per person. Definitely the best part of the game, because it has so many options, so many choices, and so many people.

But with choices comes responsibility: one of the bigger flaws of the game is that it takes a while to get used to it, and ultimately get into the game. Yet another problem in itself, is that after you got into the game it might become too monotonous. While the different weapons and abilities do increase the playability, most of the battles follow the same path, and usually the player with more troops or higher level character wins. Not much is left for 'surprise' moves, that many real time strategy games have in multiplayer.


Sound:

While the sound quality is alright and goes fine with the gunshots and explosions, this part of the game can get old; after about 40 wars you might and will get tired of the continuous beeps of nukes, shots of soldiers, and bangs of tanks. Although to give credit to the developers, EAX support is there, and it helps to leviate the feeling of war around you.

The music in itself is nice, at first, but also gets annoying rather fast. The tracks are mostly of the same genre, and all sound too much like one another. Thank god for an option to be able to disable it. Overall, nothing really impressive.



Graphics:

Here's the biggest letdown of the game. Not the best in the world, it mainly showcases a war in 2D with animated units and flames. Units can get old after a while, because there is only a limited amount of them in the game. They all have the same color scheme, besides the faction colors. They (the units) should really be rethought with unique looks and designs, because they are all similar in some sort of way.

Levels are bland and too repetitive, and there is only around 4 different landscapes to discover. Aliens are ugly .... very ugly. Sure they are extra-terrestrial, but they all almost look the same. Overall, the game looks like it could've been made in 1999, and doesn't stand up to the graphics we see in most if not all modern games.


Conclusion:

I must admit this game is a decent attempt at making a new genre, since it has so much to do, like leveling characters, trying new unit combinations, and helping novice players win fights, so they could become great like yourself. The major letdowns are the technical aspects of the game: sound, and especially graphics. Relative difficulty of getting used to, and monotonous battles are two other potential bottlenecks for most players out there. Although if you really get the hang of it, it will have a hang on you for weeks, if not months.