We’ve all been involved in activities that could be deemed questionable. Sometimes we get out before it’s too late, and no damage is done, but other times we go too far and we must live with the consequences. Galaxy Squad uses this idea at its core to develop a deep story with many twists and turns.
Developed by Kazakov Oleg and published by Big Way Games, this is a rogue-like strategy filled with random events. You control a band of mercenaries who must race from the starting position across many unnamed solar systems. You’ll manage resources, search derelict vessels, complete quests, and battle to stay alive. With clear inspiration taken from Xcom and other great tactics games, this is one indie title that wants to stand out from its peers.
Galaxy Squad offers an awful lot of content and tactical elements!
When I first loaded into Galaxy Squad, I wasn’t too hopeful of what I was going to experience. The UI looked simple and dated, and it appeared unnecessarily complex. I was, however, wrong! The gameplay is detailed and uses many layers to create an interesting and challenging experience, yet it’s simple to understand. The normal squad-based approach has been utilised and using cover and line of sight are tactical elements you must exploit. You’ll love the familiar feel and the interesting tweaks the rogue-like mechanics bring to the party.
The story at the centre of Galaxy Squad is straightforward and revolves around a heist that is a success and a failure in equal measure. Your band of mercenaries successfully steal the desired cargo but unfortunately lose many teammates in the process. Those that remain must transport the illicit goods to a planet that’s light-years away, but many opportunities arise and anything can happen before you reach your goal.
Node-based exploration and random events.
Each attempt at the story begins with you choosing three randomly generated soldiers. You select between a sniper, medic, and grunt. Each has strengths and weaknesses that impact your play style, and you’re free to pick any combination you fancy. As the game progresses, you hire new troops to maximise a squad of six soldiers who can be upgraded to compliment your approach.
The core concept revolves around node-based exploration and random events. You a free to explore as much as you wish but, a central story path must be followed to progress. The federation is understandably annoyed that you stole their property and they are constantly hunting you as you fly through space. If they catch you, your vehicle takes damage and your run will be cut short.
On your journey, you’ll experience turn-based combat, ship battles, space stations, quests, and more. Heading to each node will reward you with items, credits, and other useful resources, but it’ll cost you fuel and will damage your ship. You must balance unnecessary exploration with progressing the story because if your ship blows up, or you run out of fuel, it’s game over!
Plenty of modes, unlockables, and tactical choices.
What makes Galaxy Squad so moreish is its array of modes and unlockables. As you finish each story playthrough, you earn credits based on your success! These are used to unlock weapons, perks, and new game modes. You can play a sandbox game, survive waves of attack, or fight a giant galactic war. Each offers a fresh tactical approach and was fantastic to try.
Alongside the new modes, you can unlock additional tools to aid you on your journey. These extra perks give you the upper hand against the computer and were great to experiment with. Ultimately, though, how does it stack up against its competitors? Do all these additional elements work or do they paper over the cracks? Galaxy Squad is competing in a field full of exceptional titles and it more than holds its own. Many elements aren’t as refined as the larger triple A-titles, but you’ll thoroughly enjoy each encounter and the random nature of each playthrough.
Galaxy Squad uses Voxel inspired dark imagery with a futuristic twist.
Combining isometric viewpoints with Voxel inspired graphics risks producing a low detailed and blocky mess. Fortunately, Galaxy Squad’s combination of the two elements works well with its futuristic cyberpunk twist. The excellent free moving camera allows for full visibility of each combat area and a detailed red line clearly highlights the boundaries. The characters, however, lack detail, but this isn’t an issue as you can easily identify friend from foe. The landscapes vary in colour and style, but sadly, they all look similar. This wasn’t an issue, to begin with, but I imagine it will quickly become tiresome.
I’m a massive fan of your characters acknowledging orders, and I normally love their repertoire. Unfortunately, though, Galaxy Squad got this wrong as the noises they make are extremely annoying! Other than this, I enjoyed the electronic music that enhances the futuristic theme and the OTT sound effects. There was one issue with the music where it paused between tracks. The noticeable silence was unnecessary, and it tarnished the otherwise polished finish.
Lots to learn, but it’s surprisingly easy to play.
When a game asks so much of you, you may worry about playing it. Fortunately, Galaxy Squad has a great tutorial and a well-designed UI. You quickly understand the fundamentals, and this allows you to focus on the tactical and more complicated elements.
Rogue-like games are always addictive, and this is no different. With its multiple modes, random events, and varied endings, there is plenty to keep you playing. The small achievement list requires hours of your time to complete, and this adds to the high replay value and longevity already on offer.
Galaxy Squad: A tough but enjoyable rogue-like title.
Galaxy Squad delivers an enjoyable fantasy rogue-like title. The gameplay can be brutally tough, and you’ll experience some harsh moments, but this only serves to add to the rich tapestry of events. If you love the genre, this is a title I recommend, so buy a copy here! Can you make it across several solar systems to complete your mission? Manage your resources, select your crew, and survive for as long as possible.