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Space Crew

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 13 - 2020

Runner Duck Games swap WW2 for the dark depths of space. In space, no one can hear you scrambling for a fire extinguisher.

 
While Runner Duck Games’ Bomber Crew charged the player with controlling a crew of WW2 airmen, the developers have left this setting in the past and looked to the future for their new game, Space Crew. Never having played Bomber Crew, it is impossible to make any comparisons. However, if the game is anything like Space Crew, I would be amazed that any Dams got busted. Still, let’s go to space and face the new alien threat.

 


 
That is the basic reason of Space Crew, the ever-present threat of an alien race known as the Phasmids. Some missions in Space Crew may be simple deliveries, and others could be just to pick up a scientist or whatever. The thing is though, you can be guaranteed that the Phasmid force will show up at some point and make what was a relatively straight forward, albeit still tricky, mission into something far more likely to end in tears, and space death.

 
The most important thing a player can take into Space Crew is the ability to juggle plates. The game asks an awful lot of the player. Let’s break it down…

 
The player is given a space ship and a crew of six. The ship has different stations that need to be manned in order to function. The captains station is responsible for manoeuvrers and making jumps from one area of space to another, while the communication station will spot incoming enemy fighters. The security station deals with shields among other things, and engineering will keep the engine ticking over, or make it work beyond its usual capabilities. Then there is the tractor beam station which can be used for retrieving objects from space. Not all of these stations need to be manned at all times, but when you also throw in four turrets that each need someone to be used, it is easy to see where things may get tricky.

 


 
But it doesn’t stop there. The ship has a fixed amount of power depending on the engine, and so turning off less necessary systems, such as gravity, in order to boost other systems may seem like a good idea. However, no gravity means that the little crew will move more slowly, and when a fire breaks out it will take longer for the crew member to reach it and put it out. Before that though, they will have to grab one of the extinguishers from one of the item stores that are dotted around the ship, but the last time it was used it wasn’t put back, just dropped on the floor, and now it is floating around because the gravity is off. And because the captain was busy manning a turret when the Phasmids attacked, rather than ensuring evasive manoeuvrers were being used, the Phasmids have boarded the ship and are running around causing aggro. And the engines are offline due to damage, and the security officer is in the medbay being healed. And everything is going to hell.

 
Okay, maybe not hell, but there really is a lot to think about in Space Crew. Each successful mission will result in some research, cash and experience for the crew. While taking on new crew from the space station hub will be something to get used to for most players, as there are so many different ways for them to die, these newbies will not come with the benefits that experience grants. As the crew level up they will unlock abilities that can make a big difference, such as the communications officer being able to call in support when the ship is under attack. This makes the loss of an experienced crew member even more frustrating. The cash gained can be spent on a wide range of different ship upgrades, from the engines to the weapons and shields, which may well help. Losing the ship in a mission will certainly be a blow, but not every upgrade is lost.

 
With almost everything about the ship being customisable, including the paint job, it should come as no surprise to hear that the crew can similarly be customised. Varying levels of protection are available from the different outfits that crew members can wear, and they all come with their up and down sides. Such as boots that can either offer more speed and less protection, or less speed and more protection. These are the decisions that the player will have to make and then look on in horror as their best kitted out crew member floats away into space after someone purged the loading bay.

 


 
It is not that everything is an uphill battle in Space Crew, but it takes a while for everything to get easier. with damaged engines leaking harmful radiation that will eventually kill the crew, to mini boss aliens that will harass the spaceship and then laugh at the demise of the crew, the odds are certainly stacked against the player from the start. But as they progress and complete missions, earn some cash and experience while also learning how best to approach different situations, things do get easier. And besides, sometimes difficult can be fun.

 
With that said though, the difficulty of Space Crew could be toned down a touch. It has to be said that the mission types are not the most varied, and the hands off approach to space battles, in that the player simply has to tag the enemy craft and then leave the gunners to it, could have been more involved.

 
Space Crew is a nicely polished game that has a healthy dose of charm in the design of the crew members and the aliens, following on from the oversize headed Bomber Crew cast. While there is only so much that can be done visually with the depths of space, it is a good looking game. The UI is laid out in a way that quickly makes sense, with each station being displayed at the bottom of the screen, and it is easy to see where everything is going wrong.

 


 
Space Crew may have the look of a flashier FTL, but the reality is something far more chaotic. The difficulty is high, but more due to how many impossible choices the player has to make in any one moment than due to lacking any level of skill. Difficulty aside, Space Crew has a lot going for it, from nice visuals to a solid progression, and so anyone looking to run their own crew and save the Earth should sign up now. Space Crew Needs You!

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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Coming later this year to Xbox One, PS4, PC and Switch.

 

King Of Seas Switch Trailer

Posted by GG Goblin
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