||Shattered Galaxy 1.5 Review
December 17, 2002 Rory McGuire
Summary: So everyone likes to say they hate the big publishers and support indie games. Raise your hands if you own one. I thought so. Shattered Galaxy wasn't just any independent game though, it was the first to earn the coveted FiringSquad Editor's Choice Award. Now up to version 1.5 with a huge array of changes, resident SG nut Rory re-reviews this massively multiplayer team RTS!
A year ago, Firingsquad reviewed a little game called Shattered Galaxy. Shattered Galaxy was one of the first of its kind, a massively multiplayer real time strategy game, and for being such an ambitious project, it was being put on by one of the smallest development companies in the business. The track record for the massively multiplayer market at the time wasn’t looking all too great, 10six was on its last legs despite being backed by one of the largest companies in the business. Sovereign, Sony’s contribution to the massively multiplayer strategy market, was well over a year behind schedule (and Sony/Verant have been quiet like the dead on it since a bad E3 2000 showing –ed.) Even some roleplaying games like Shadowbane had no publisher and no release date.
| Overview||Page:: ( 1 / 9 )|
|<% print_image("01"); %>||<% print_image("02"); %>||<% print_image("03"); %>|
Shattered Galaxy brought players their first real experience with a MMORTS. Players engaged in battles fighting for their faction with other teammates, attempting to control points of contention (POCs) with artillery or ground to air batteries to push back encroaching enemies. Players not only engaged in this online warfare with their fellows, but were also rewarded as they did so, with experience, wealth and watching their units turn from tiny footmen firing peashooters to launching IRBM Nuclear weapons that laid waste to a whole screen’s worth of units. Shattered Galaxy merged the level production and advancement paradigm of games like Everquest and Asheron’s Call with a gameplay-centric game model that followed in the footsteps of legends in the strategy genre, such as StarCraft. The result was a game that was not only incredible from a design perspective, but appealed to the average player enough to have them charging POCs with their infantry until the wee hours of the morn.
|<% print_image("04"); %>||<% print_image("05"); %>||<% print_image("06"); %>|
That’s not all she wrote
It didn’t end there. Shattered Galaxy not only met Nexon’s expected results, but continued to draw in players by the hundreds. As a result Nexon has continued to support Shattered Galaxy, not satisfied with simply running the servers, but adding content and continuing to balance and create. Shattered Galaxy went through one major patch in their 1.3 update and with interest in SG beginning to wane a bit, a few days ago SG went through their 1.5 update bearing hordes of new units, changes, tweaks, new items and a new interface. The game has undergone so many changes that the minimum system requirements listed on the Shattered Galaxy site have almost doubled since the game’s first release.
We sat down to re-examine Shattered Galaxy 1.5, and see if the radically changed game still maintained its revolutionary and addictive gameplay that earned it an Editor’s Choice Award over a year ago.
SIDEBAR: 433 Mhz processor
64MB of RAM
16MB of video ram
300 meg install
Download the 14 day fully-functional free trial (no credit card required) of Shattered Galaxy here.
| Graphics and Sound||Page:: ( 2 / 9 )|
Die 2D die!
2D graphics are the wrinkles and varicose veins of aging games. Shattered Galaxy’s interface and gameplay functions entirely in the second dimension, and as has been pointed out prior, it’s not the most brilliant application of 2d graphics either. The graphics are passable, but compared to the 3D present, shown off in games like WarCraft 3 or the up and coming Command and Conquer: Generals it requires more than a mention.
The units and maps of Shattered Galaxy are decent: it seems like a massive indestructible tank as a Grizzly rolls across the ground, and the Condor is convincing in that it might orbit a Deathstar as its dayjob, but the graphics simply lack. We’ve noted that a number of the units in Shattered Galaxy have a minimal number of animations, and a limited count of frames within those, so the game looks somewhat stilted and mechanical. Some of the effects these units produce are decent: Javelineers lob grenades at their targets, leaving a stream of smoke and flame behind them. The massive Condor hangs in the sky and the whole front end of the ship illuminates as they prepare their devastating fusion storm attack, exploding nearly every aerial unit caught in its blast.
|<% print_image("07"); %>||<% print_image("08"); %>||<% print_image("09"); %>|
Shattered Galaxy touts a good 50 or more units, of different marks and makes, but visually there’s very little detail separation amongst the units. A skirmisher for example armed with a flamethrower doesn’t look any different from a skirmisher armed with an assault. The only differences are weapons effects, like a glowing laser beam or streaking missile. Moreover, the units don’t represent damage visually on the unit with pock marks or broken armor. Nor are units shared among different factions all that different. A Skirmisher hailing from Priston will have blue shoulder pads, while a Skirmisher from Argus will have purple shoulder pads.
Though the battle visuals are passable, the interface, new to 1.5, is very impressive. Visit a workshop to repair or purchase new units and you’ll see a scaling view of all your units like chess pieces, with a worker in the corner guiding you through. Change perspectives in the lab from equipping a unit to upgrading its type and you’ll see a smooth transition from one beautiful scene to another as the laboratory changes before your very eyes. Click on a unit and it brings that unit up, then click on a part of that unit and you can see its individual slots, engine, weapon, armor and more. You can then click on that inventory slot and see what is available; click on a potential new engine and you’ll see your resulting weight, space and complexity.
|<% print_image("10"); %>||<% print_image("11"); %>||<% print_image("12"); %>|
The same is true of the map overlooking the master view of the battle. In an intuitive interface Shattered Galaxy maps out every territory players are in, showing if a fight is taking place, if it’s full or closed, as well as Overlord commands such as what units to bring, which province portal to enter from and so forth. All in all, the master interface is quite intuitive, with a legend in the corner, as well as popup tooltips that break down what each symbol and color may mean.
What is the sound of thousands of men dying?
The sounds in Shattered Galaxy are just downright poor. Infantry units all make the same sounds as they walk, tanks make no sound as they move, airplanes make no sound as they cut through the air, huge battle-cruisers that look like they could deafen you from miles away make no sound. In fact, there’s a good 20 or so battle sounds it seems like, and you’ll be hearing them constantly, the sounds that are there are plain, with the rare exception of the Fusion Storm or Nuke attacks to break the monotony a bit.
There are several sounds that just aren’t there that should be. The classic RTS sound event of “We’re under attack!” is nowhere to be found, there is no sound event when reinforcements arrive on either side (though there is usually a visual indication), nor is there a sound when a unit is out
of energy/ammo etc.
The music for Shattered Galaxy is decent, quiet enough not to stir you away from the action but pleasing to the ear when it does catch your attention. The music is sweeping, but tragic as well, appropriate given a war torn future. While the soundtrack to Shattered Galaxy is acceptable, it’s nothing you’ll think about when you think of the game, nor will it be something you listen to in your off time.
|<% print_image("13"); %>||<% print_image("14"); %>||<% print_image("15"); %>|
This isn’t sounding good
If you got the chance to read our UT2k3 review you got to read Jakub’s ominous words midway through the review: “That, ladies and gentlemen, is all that we have to say about UT2K3 that’s complimentary.” ( Rory doesn’t know what he’s getting into by opening up that can of worms. Take it easy on him, he’s new. -ed.)
We’re put in a similar dilemma in this situation, but the opposite. Once you can move past dated graphics and a minimal attention to sound, Shattered Galaxy is simply unparalleled on a gameplay level. There is simply nothing like it available on the market, and while we may have a few more gripes remaining, the rest of the review accounts how incredible this game still is. What’s more, it is all too easy to forget the graphics, sound and outside world once you get a hang of the game.
SIDEBAR: The name Terence used when playing SG during its first review: Pimpachu.
| Gameplay||Page:: ( 3 / 9 )|
Killing people is bad
In the far flung future mankind does some kooky teleportation experiments similar to this one and end up warping a part of Earth off to an even further flung planet. A war for the limited resources of these planets happens amongst the reluctant pioneers, and the rest is history. However, due to life being so precious and at the risk of destroying themselves and their colony, the explorers use mechanized and robotic machines to fight their wars for for them, all overseen by a single human mind - yours.
Each player in Shattered Galaxy represents a squad commander, a real human who is in command of groups of combatants. As a commander your goal is to go forth and claim land with your 6-12 units. The more land you control, the better off you all are. The opposing factions are looking to do the same, and inevitably, conflict will result, and it’s gonna be a blast.
|<% print_image("16"); %>||<% print_image("17"); %>||<% print_image("18"); %>|
Killing machines is good
You as a commander maintain four categories, Aviation, Mobile, Infantry and Organic. Each of your units in these categories also maintain levels, and it is their levels that give you experience, so when your squad of tank hunter bombers levels up, odds are your aviation will too, or at least get a notable boost. As you level up each of the four categories you will then gain trait points that you can spend on one of your four traits. Traits are the real important issue and what are defines a player, starting off at five, and maxing at 120. The four traits of Tactics, Clout, Mechanical Aptitude and Education represent how your units may be modified.
The higher your Clout you will gain access to higher mark units, which will in turn give more space to modifications, allowing for accommodation for larger computers running them, armor, weapons, and so forth. A higher mark unit will also be faster and have more hitpoints.
With Mechanical Aptitude a player will be able to put heavier items on a unit, got a Grizzly tank and you’re a few weight short of putting on that heavy steel plating? You could drop some key components, or you could pick up Mech Apt. and with ease be able to accommodate all your wishes on a unit.
Education determines a unit’s tech level. The higher your education you will gain access to better technologies earlier on a unit, with a very high Education a player can have nukes on a unit much earlier than he would theoretically be able to. In addition, unit levels only go up to 60, but tech levels go up to 120, so to access the highest tiers of weaponry and modifications a player must invest at least a bit in education. (And it’s still a very long road to 60th level, so you should get it a little early.)
The last trait is tactics, every 20 points in tactics allows the player to field one more unit in addition to his base-line six units. A player specializing in tactics can theoretically bring 12 units to a battle, and though his technological level may be a bit lower as a result, he can outnumber his opponents by more than a thin red line.
|<% print_image("19"); %>||<% print_image("20"); %>||<% print_image("21"); %>|
It is this conflict amongst the traits which makes Shattered Galaxy so profoundly addicting and well balanced. A player obviously wants all of the traits maxed, except he cannot max his traits, he may only max one, and it’s a very long road to get up there. Every level you will be constantly considering which trait to pursue; Education for the better weapons and armor, Mech Apt. so that you might put said armor and weapons to use, Tactics so you can field more units, Clout so you have better chassis’…
The question remains, how to kill
Away from the stats, with so much to choose from on your units, you’ll be stuck wondering about your overall strategy in what to field as well. In each of the four categories you’ll be given a choice of more than a dozen units, some of which are native to a given faction, but players may easily switch factions and keep their units. Some units, such as the Hawk, are lightning fast aerial fighters designed to hunt bombers, or the bombers themselves designed to hunt tanks, and there are Orbus or Triage units to teleport and repair units. Some units are designed to kill air units from the ground, from the air, via long distance, short distance, or simply by ignoring the air units. Other units are equipped to call in nuclear weapons, may have cloaking technology, mindwarping, healing, mine laying, anti grav harnesses to bypass mines and much, much, more. The amount of customization you can fit on each unit is as varied as the units themselves.
Each unit has several slots that items may be equipped in, a weapon, an engine, a power source, an ammo hold, a computer, an armor port, and two miscellaneous slots. From all those inventory options, you then have the items to place in them, you might go for the long range weapon with a fast rate of fire, or the short slow weapon that deals ludicrous amounts of damage, or perhaps you prefer the one that simply consumes less ammo. Don’t neglect the ammo slots themselves, as players can slap in fire ammo, laser, ballistic, any broad range of ammunition types to optimize against a chosen armor. Armor gives hitpoint bonuses and usually protects against a specific kind of attack, at the expense of others.
So varied are these slots and what you can do with them that if you come up with a concept, and with the right amount of optimization you can probably pull it off. One of the major roles in the game is POCing, or gaining points of contention to control a map, it’s quite common that all artillery, nukers and tanks will set up around these POCs to control them to win the map. After a few bad experiences of POCing under artillery fire, we sat down to come up with the ultimate POCing unit.
We chose the heaviest ground chassis possible, the Grizzly, and with our high mech apt, we had good hopes. We slapped the heaviest engine we could find on our Grizzly to give it a few more hitpoints, we then put anti explosive armor on it, to avoid the damage from mines and artillery that we would be our main opposition. We then realized that in order to POC quickly, we’d have to be able to activate our boosters without running out of energy, so we slapped a large ammo case on it to insure it could get to its target quickly without running dry on juice. Now, with all that done, we had a problem, we were highly over our unit weight, and our complexity was way too high for our computer we had mounted. We then dropped the stock computer, and put an appropriate computer on there for the complexity level necessary. Unfortunately, it weighed the proverbial ton. So to accommodate all this, we decided to go with the ultimate commitment for our monstrous POCing tank, and dropped his weapon, he would be POCing after all. All we need to do is survive for a few seconds to as much as two minutes. We went over our adjustments one last time, and renamed the unit “REALLYBigGun” to adequately confuse dimwitted enemies, we then saved the modification, and loaded it to apply it to our remaining five Grizzlies.
Now, the only thing that remained was a field test.
SIDEBAR: Our personal favorite unit out of Shattered Galaxy is the Virus: the sovereign lord of annoying the hell out of an enemy. A healer assassin hybrid, the Virus can infect enemies with a bacteria to reduce them to a certain percentage of health, as well as a slow-to-recharge one shot kill which causes the enemy to not only die once infected, but then explode damaging all units in the vicinity. The Virus also has a wide variety of other options, such as cloaking and mind warping, causing the enemy to attack the nearest unit, whether friend or foe.
| Gameplay Continued||Page:: ( 4 / 9 )|
The first battle we visited was a one POC map just past the central crater deep in enemy territory. The battle had been going on for a bit, and once our tank’s treads hit dirt, our faction had but 5 minutes left to get the 2 minute POC. New to 1.5 for veteran SG players is a different POC system, a number of the maps have varied POC times, if a map has only one POC, it takes an extreme 2 minutes, while the maps with four or more POCs take a mere 30 seconds a piece. So while the enemy needs to take only one POC, he has to keep at least one unit on it for two minutes straight. The initial unit who took the POC can die or step off of it, but if at any time a unit steps off or all units on the POC are killed, the POC timer resets.
We began charging with our REALLYBigGuns straight to the heart of the POC. We paused for a brief moment while our allied air to air Fighters scoured the skies free from bombers. Seeing a hole in the enemy defense, we made our way in. Knowing that firepower wasn’t the key, but lasting power, we began sending in the tanks in pairs, and as our enemy blew nukes and wasted artillery ammo trying to oust each REALLYBigGun. At the end of two minutes, we had been pounded non stop with two enemy artillery batteries, had witnessed three nuclear strikes, and watched hordes of tank hunting mobile units swarm in to be countered by allied artillery. We were left with one half dead REALLYBigGun, five repairable dead tanks, one controlled POC, and one map. Victory!
Every map in Shattered Galaxy plays like the above scenario. POC control is a desperate pressing issue, allies scream at each other to haul in air to air, ground to air, air to ground to counter bombers, fighters or tanks. Every situation is entirely dynamic, and given that each player is fielding an entirely unique unit, you have no idea what to expect. As the bombers swoop in on your infantry you yell for Air to Air, but when you don’t have that, you might make a mad dash for an allied Orbus shield generator to take cover until it arrives.
Players who specialize will truly excel in their chosen situation, but the more they specialize a unit, the less they are to see the situation where they will excel. Our REALLYBigGuns for example, while excellent at POCing are regularly torn apart by tank hunting bombers with laser damage and are generally useless unless performing a POC. For defense it’s downright terrible. When we were caught off-guard after a battle and forced to field them on defense we generally had to lose or retreat to the portal to bring in new units.
|<% print_image("22"); %>||<% print_image("23"); %>||<% print_image("24"); %>|
These counter-measures are the crux of what makes Shattered Galaxy so perfect, with players in control of only a minimal number of units filling a specialized role, it becomes imperative that you apply those units to their maximum potential. Every battle players are hunting their chosen prey, and avoiding the predators that would counter their chosen role, or luring said predators back to allies for a group pounding. In this respect, Shattered Galaxy very much so inherits a major appeal from Starcraft, and that is the presence of defined counters. Levels play an issue in how strong a unit is, how great its hitpoints are, but regardless of how high of level those artillery are, a Beetle or Condor of any level will be able to take them down over time. However, the more time that artillery piece has, it has a greater chance of splitting and repositioning itself to shoot down the planes that are attacking. The same artillery could wait for a group of friendly Sharks to come over and throw some missiles into the sky, or for friendly air to air to fly over and get a few free kills.
An eliminated player will bring back the necessary units to POC, or to cover advancing armor, and a player can always message his overlord and have him shout for backup in a chosen role. As such the field is always dynamic, when you eliminate a player you will always wonder what he is bringing back to the field, and when you clear the skies, there is still always a wonder of what those players may be returning with, or what reinforcements may bring.
|<% print_image("25"); %>||<% print_image("26"); %>||<% print_image("27"); %>|
For the overlord
The teamplay elements on the battlefield are staggering in how effective and simple they are. Off of the battlefield there is still just as much going on. Players, should they so choose, can spend a good amount of time politicking and discussing strategy on the built in message boards Nexon provides, or by chatting it up in their capital. Eventually the player may become Overlord or a council member, and can direct other players and strategize an opposing faction’s demise. So even when you are retired from making a name for yourself on the battlefield, you can apply that name off of the field and lead other players to victory. This gives even further depth not only a long term replay value, but also that Overlords play a quintessential role in communication between players.
Moreover, when one becomes frustrated with the newbies around on your first planet, you can move on to the next planet, and engage with the veterans of Shattered Galaxy (12-30th level and 30-60th level) who have been playing the game for far longer, and don’t accept newbie incompetence.
SIDEBAR: Why don't you fix your little problem and light this candle?
— Alan Shepard Jr., to Mission Control during his four hour sit atop the Redstone rocket while last-minute problems were being fixed, just prior to the United States' first manned space mission,May 5th, 1961.
| Features and Changes||Page:: ( 5 / 9 )|
The nitty gritty
Players of Shattered Galaxy seem to be ranked pretty high in Nexon’s book. Nexon has currently led a number of player events, from the activation of abominations to alien round-ups to quests of sorts where players can get unique items that may never see the light of day again. As we pointed out in our first review, players can also visit the Shattered Galaxy website and vote on the priority of bugs and features. Nexon reacts accordingly and adjusts their itinerary to players’ demands.
In a year Nexon has significantly overhauled the game twice, gave players tons of new content, units and the requisite gameplay polish. The most recent patch delivered all of this, as well as more focused and deliberate gameplay for long-term playability.
|<% print_image("28"); %>||<% print_image("29"); %>||<% print_image("30"); %>|
For the older beta or early Shattered Galaxy player, there will be quite a bit of adjustment. The game is now quite defensive, with artillery and nukers playing a very large role in the defense of POCs. However, with the different armor types as well as IRBM shields and more available to a number of units, there are established counters for each of the major defensive mechanisms. Shield generators, nuke shields, and so forth are now common on a number of units, and are almost a necessity in securing some of the single POC maps. The teamplay element, such as requiring a number of different units to secure a poc amongst several players, is elevated quite a bit in Shattered Galaxy 1.5, but it’s not impossible to simply wipe out an opponent’s defenses as well for easy POCing.
The focus of 1.5 is the established thrust-counter-counterthrust element of earlier versions of Shattered Galaxy, with each strategy or unit having a wide variety of counters, some more effective than others in certain situations. For all this counter and re-counter gameplay, there are no useless units. Nearly every single item and unit has its place in neutralizing another unit or strategy.
Some players would prefer to have nukes on their skirmishers to transform them into artillery. But that same player can also put on infiltration technology to make them un-targetable by artillery, and anti gravity technology then makes them immune to mines or earthquakes. With a few customizations a player can make a unit which could be construed as long range artillery just as useful in an offensive role charging a POC if properly equipped, as well as run of the mill infantry.
Nearly every unit is useful, and nearly every setup on those units has its place, meaning not only does the game have fathoms of tactical depth, but it also allows the player to be as creative or streamlined as he wishes to be. There are no alienated play-styles in Shattered Galaxy 1.5.
|<% print_image("31"); %>||<% print_image("32"); %>||<% print_image("33"); %>|
One thing we were hoping Nexon might add to Shattered Galaxy is a functioning economy. Land used to actually mean something besides an offensive advantage. It used to be the provider of the game’s wealth, now it means essentially nothing, as every 15 minutes players get the same amount of money. We had also hoped that Nexon might implement an economy, games like Everquest and Asheron’s Call maintain complex economies with enough depth that economists even write about them. Players could be selling old units, new technologies, rare alien finds and more.
It’s easy not to compare Shattered Galaxy as a whole to anything else, but the main focus of the game - the battles - can easily be compared and contrasted with other strategy games. While each individual unit is incredibly important in Shattered Galaxy, it doesn’t quite require the intense micro-management that a game like WarCraft 3 does.
We had mentioned it prior, but Shattered Galaxy’s battles have the closest resemblance to StarCraft, at least in the realm of counters and how the game is perceived and played. StarCraft did place a palpable importance in base management, but the actual battles themselves are quite similar.
|<% print_image("34"); %>||<% print_image("35"); %>||<% print_image("36"); %>|
SIDEBAR: You can hit the tab key in the middle of a battle in Shattered Galaxy 1.5 to see who is doing the killing, the POCing and more. It lets you easily spot the slackers. (or Jakub, for that matter. Oh wait, they’re one and the same. -ed.)
| Ballistics Report||Page:: ( 6 / 9 )|
Gameplay. Absolutely unique, enchanting and addictive. The individual battle’s gameplay is very well balanced and beautiful and would keep you coming back for it alone, but the architecture behind it all - level gain, unit gain, and item procurement, will keep you addicted. Shattered Galaxy is unique in that it produces not only revolutionary gameplay, but it’s gameplay that is just downright fun, something that can’t always be said about ground breaking titles.
Balance. Each of the units is incredibly balanced with defined counters and sub-counters. However, even with this definition, players can still get entirely creative and come up with unit builds that can pull off things they weren’t meant to do.
Creative. Come up with an idea and chances are you’ll be able to do it, if not now, then in a few levels, little bit more mechanical aptitude, unit level, or a higher mark. The customization options alone in Shattered Galaxy 1.5 allow for endless building and creativity.
Price. 14 day free trial, followed by 15 dollars for your first month, and ten a month after that. Does it get cheaper for a massively multiplayer game? On top of that you get Nexon’s support, message boards, in game e-mail and messaging, and you get to vote on key issues that spring up in the community.
Stability. The servers were stable and for the most part lag-free. The only time we encountered lag and problems was during patch-day to 1.5, where we managed to cuss up a storm as the Nexon servers were pounded by eager players. Before, and since the patch release, there hasn’t been a single problem.
Diversity. The incredible amount of variance amongst the units and factions offers uncounted strategic options. Even when you get to the top of the level scale, you’ll be eager to go at it again, or continue tweaking and changing your character.
Supported. We mentioned the in-game message boards, and e-mail, but players are also given a virtual encyclopedia every time they go to upgrade items. Not sure what an item is? A player can right click it, and have it reveal precisely what it does, as well as any pluses or bonuses it offers.
|<% print_image("37"); %>||<% print_image("38"); %>||<% print_image("39"); %>|
Graphics. Bland and outdated, the graphics aren’t terrible, but they’re not intriguing by any stretch of the imagination. 2D doesn’t have to be bad, but in this circumstance it’s not all that impressive.
Sound. The music is decent, some gameplay sounds are acceptable, but a number of sounds are lacking or non-existent, and the few sounds there are get repeated far too often.
Minimal bugs. There are a small handful of bugs in Shattered Galaxy, no extreme desktop crashes or anything of the like. But we saw one battle where we randomly lost though no POCs were claimed. Pathing on units is occasionally poor as well, grab a group of units and order them towards a POC, the ones in the front will head that direction, the ones in the back are likely to run off the opposite direction. Given that a player in control of a small handful of units, it’s not a big deal, but it’s certainly an annoying issue.
Rough around the edges. Shattered Galaxy does have a few issues with some clunky interfaces or an outdated game-encyclopedia, but there are also a few things that just rub us wrong. Why does all the infantry use the same sounds while moving, why is it that aviation, organic and mobile units have zero sounds while moving? How is it an infantry scout unit can make more noise than a 200 ton Grizzly tank while moving?
No economy. It may seem like a minor gripe, but a working economic model provides a game quite a bit of depth, with some players doing nothing but wheeling and dealing in their spare time. To some, an in-game market in massively multiplayer games is a game within a game.
SIDEBAR: After playing Shattered Galaxy for awhile, you’ll be able to speak fluent “Singlish.” Shattered Galaxy maintains a strong following in Singapore. Soon after playing you’ll soon understand the intricacies of “liao” “lar” “ar” and “la.”
Like a fine wine or your grandfather’s Scotch, Shattered Galaxy has simply gotten better with age. The development team has paid close attention to teamplay and gameplay elements to heighten the online experience, as well as giving up a wide variety of items, damage types and more which keep the game spontaneous and fresh. Every unit can counter another with a certain armor type, a special ability, a specific weapon and more, there are so many different options to find your place in the game. Even when a player hits that esteemed 60th level cap, which symbolizes curtain fall in most massively multiplayer games, Shattered Galaxy still offers replayability in different traits and complex unit and item combinations. With the reincarnation events cropping up the player doesn’t have to start over either, he’ll be given the chance to play around however he wishes.
| Conclusion||Page:: ( 7 / 9 )|
Shattered Galaxy did receive 93 percent, it’s not a perfect game, the graphics and sound continue to hold the game back, but even looking past the graphics, there are still a few rough edges. A year after Terrence pointed it out, looking around the map with fog of war on will still give the sound of unseen infantry walking allowing players to know where enemy infantry are. We also sorely miss sounds and effects for a number of the abilities and units.
|<% print_image("40"); %>||<% print_image("41"); %>||<% print_image("42"); %>|
However, the Shattered Galaxy team at Nexon has shown they are continuing to support their product, offering a ton of regular new changes to keep the game fresh, and there is still more on the chopping block. In an IRC interview conducted by SG-City.com the Nexon team revealed they intend to continue to support SG by implementing useful ideas like voice communication software and more.
A year after its release, Shattered Galaxy has gone even further in defining an up and coming genre. Sovereign, Sony’s entrance into the MMORTS market, has changed its gameplay model a good half dozen times in the course of its design, and the last build we saw at E3 left it looking quite similar to Shattered Galaxy, suggesting even Sony knows how incredible a job Nexon has done.
SIDEBAR: Is Shattered Galaxy still that good or was it never that great to begin with? If you have opinions on the new Shattered Galaxy 1.5 let us know. Sound Off!
| Changes||Page:: ( 8 / 9 )|
A list of changes
For the beta or older player returning to Shattered Galaxy, we have summarized a few of the changes from SG 1.3 to 1.5.
A number of new units and items, such as the Satcom or Beetle. Almost all original units have been significantly tweaked with new weight, space and item allocations.
New interface in several shops, loading screens, unit arrangement, battle screens and more.
Units are now limited to factions, the units one faction offers cannot be bought by another on the same planet, but players can “Collect ‘em all” via becoming a mercenary and bumming around the factions.
Players can now activate and become a mercenary, every time they log on they play for the faction with the least amount of players .
Players can not only make use of formations, but now properly save their custom formations to a wide variety of keys.
Infantry now has ammunition, which dictates what kind of damage their weapon does. Players can swap these around out of battle, giving a wide variety of damages.
Units in battle are saved that annoying “Running out of energy” embarrassment. Units that are out of energy can still move on auxiliary power. On top of that, all allied units can now refuel each other, trading energy.
Players examining items in the lab can now right click them for further description and numerical breakdown.
You can now view enemy unit HP the same as you would view allied units, by hovering your mouse over them.
POC countdown times are based on the number of POCs in a given map. For example a four POC map now has 30 second countdowns, while a single POC map takes two minutes to tick off.
SIDEBAR: Jakub’s been playing a lot of SG as well.
| Gallery||Page:: ( 9 / 9 )|