After getting home from work you want to play videogames to relax and enjoy. Unfortunately with Spacebase Startopia it feels like another job to deal with.
Spacebase Startopia is an RTS, base builder type game set in space. The predecessor called Startopia came out in back in 2001. For such an old game to be reimagined for the current gen is an exciting proposition. Was it worth reimaging?
Usually I would describe the plot first, yet I felt this was the most important thing to say. My experience is based off the Switch which is the weakest console on the market. However no matter how weak the current consoles are this is awful. The graphics are extremely poor reminding me of a PS2 game, but graphics aren’t everything so how does it run? Not good. The game was often dropping in frames heavily for me when it was populated particularly when I had the Switch connected to my TV.
My biggest problem was the menus functionality. The menus are full, not in a good exciting way but mostly with things that just fill the screen confusing you especially for the first hour. The menu kept freezing on me while trying to hire workers and so on. It would often just stop for a few seconds then go to a species of aliens I hadn’t clicked onto. I looked at gameplay on other consoles to see how it runs on a stronger system. It did run better from what I seen, however the graphics were still extremely poor.
What do we do on Startopia?
Our mission after being appointed commander is to make a utopia for many alien races. The AI named VAL who helps us on Startopia will give you guidance during this important mission. At first her humour is refreshing and entertaining while building and doing tedious tasks. Unfortunately VAL never stops and the cheesy outdated dialogue and the poor jokes start to get annoying. You can turn her dialogue off which almost makes it feel like the developers knew she would get irritating. We have three decks to manage on Startopia. The first being the sub deck which is for your employees and to keep the station in order. Then my favourite deck, the entertainment with a disco inside it which was a nice change. The third being the bio deck which had flora and fauna to manage.
As you progress each deck you earn more items to place in them like the recycling facility in the first deck. You’ll then be able to pick up bombs and garbage which helps the recycling facility. The game does not hold your hand when starting off. The tutorial was little help at best giving you no tips on how to do objectives. The menus at first are overwhelming with so much on the screen it was hard to know where to start. You get use to it after about thirty minutes, still a decent tutorial would teach you how to navigate the menus especially in a base builder type.
There is a single player campaign to delve into with ten missions, but it feels pointless and unsatisfying compared to the free roam. There is multiplayer and co-op available if you can stomach playing it after getting through the main game. Excitement can occur on the station as pirates can invade and set bombs off. Even though it was never thrilling or nerve wrecking when something went wrong it was nice that the station had an urgency for the commander (you) to do something.
Just poor in general
The game doesn’t really offer anything a consumer is looking for now. The gameplay at its core is fine, but it never felt satisfying building my base since it always looked ugly no matter what I did. It never really felt like my base was running better because of me either. Even though you get rewarded with gaining more space on the deck by opening the huge doors on each deck, yet I still never felt any satisfaction. The game ran poorly making me not wanting to even start up my Switch again. I could see a sequel improving upon this and becoming a good game, except I can’t see this Spacebase getting another chance to create another Utopia.