Dead Star Review
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Dead Star. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
Growing up, all I ever wanted to be was a an X-Wing pilot. Sure, I liked characters like Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and even Boba Fett but from the first time I saw A New Hope, all I wanted to do was fly with Red 5. That's why Dead Star appealed to me so much. Yes, other games have allowed me to fly through space but few featured the cooperation and strategy I saw in the assault on the Death Star. In theory, Armature Studios' long awaited moba/ twin stick shooter should fit the bill perfectly but in practice it crashes on burns long before the mission is complete. It's a valiant effort for sure, but Dead Star's shortcoming far outweigh the things that make it worth playing.
There isn't much story to be found in Dead Star's galaxy. A bunch of war criminals and otherwise shady characters have been banished to a dying solar system to battle for scrap and resources. There are more story bits hidden throughout the game but this is pretty much a combination of elements from successful universes like Firefly and Battlestar Gallactica. For what it's worth, I actually did find some of the expanded fiction the game seems to hide away pretty interesting but that's just it, the game seems to go to such extended lengths to hide these story elements that few will likely even try to find them or even know they're around. To be fair, few similar games even feature this much story, but why even incorporate it it's just going to be such a hassle to access.
Visually, Dead Star is in the same boat. It takes the standard far reaches of the galaxy type visuals we've seen so many times before in games like Elite Dangerous and even in movies like Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. It may not be that inspired but Dead Star does create a striking looking universe with what it has. Constellations flicker in the distance and explosions flood with the screen with brilliant effects that I just wanted to keep blowing stuff up, which the happily obliges. The game is at it's best when there's a lot going on and the screen is flooded with awesome effects and visuals. After playing for a while I found out that part of the Metroid Prime art time worked on this game and it shows in the amount of detail and care given to the galaxy.
The core of Dead Star is likely similar to a lot of games you've already played; engage in 5v5 or even 10v10 battles, annihilate the enemy and earn resources to unlock new abilities and fortify your home base. Battles are often frantic and fun and there's a good amount of strategy and quick thinking that comes with winning, especially when it comes to the ships you're using and just how you're using them. There are only nine ships to choose from, and that may not seem like a lot but Dead Star let's you pack all of them going into battle and switch as you see fit, which expands the amount of strategy needed greatly. Each of the ships features different features and allows you to play the game remarkably different. Most of these follow the same characteristics of common roles in games like this, like ships serving as medics and offering buffs to friendlies surrounding it or rouge-like ships that allow for quick movement and attacks.
The issue with this though lies directly in the game's matchmaking process. All too often a match seems like it's over very quickly after begins since one team will usually race to get as many resources as they can, fortifying their base and becoming nearly unbeatable. It's this snowball type effect that can make matches less fun and make you not want to even get started. Combine this with the fact that I was constantly placed into matches where this had already happened and the team unlucky enough to be in the losing side of that snowball effect and have pretty much topped communicating and you've got a pretty frustrating experience. It does open up the possibility of being the heroic lone survivor to save your team but the odds of that happening are so incredibly slim that I often found it not even worth my time to try.
Is Dead Star worth your time? Sure, but I just don't know if it's worth your frustration. There are moments of sheer moba beauty here and when the game does everything it's meant to, it's a great experience but there's no denying that everything it does other games have already done and already done better. If you have a PS4, the game is a free download this month (if you have the PS Plus service) and it's more than worth a look but otherwise you may want to wait for a sale.
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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