Star Conflict – Preview (PC)

Not just another space combat game- Star Conflict

If the name Gaijin seems familiar to you, it’s because it is the creator of the smash-hit ,and main competitor to Wargaming’s World of Tanks and World of Warplanes, War Thunder. We’ve played  Star Conflict before this preview, but with the addition of the INVASION mode, what was once a spacefaring version of War Thunder has made its way into becoming its very own smash hit.

list-star-conflictWhen most people think of Gaijin they immediately think of War Thunder, what they may not know is that Gaijin isn’t one-trick pony as some free-to-play companies tend to be. For an example of what a one-trick pony looks like, merely look at the top games on Facebook. The willingness to change-up its formula, as it did with War Thunder, allows Gaijin to reach out to audiences that may not be interested in a World War 2 war game, but who are interested in a Space flight simulator, or a fantasy adventure game.

In Star Conflict, things are pretty straightforward, you choose between one of three factions, though this will not majorly affect you in-game. You receive missions from your contacts based in a station controlled by the faction you chose. You then  go out into battle and shoot down some bad guys… or good guys.StarConflict_Invasion

Ships have five tiers each with their own roles and abilities. The Gunship specialization is a hard-hitting, high health beast, yet it can be savaged by the Recon Specialization whose purpose is to disable shields and be a disturbance. There are brawlers, snipers, even support ships who spawn protective drones and repair their comrades. The battles in Star Conflict can be as diverse as the ships that fight in them. In some battles you must capture and hold points, in others you must protect your Flagship that is chosen amongst your team while at the same time destroying your opponents Flagship.

If you’ve played a flight simulator the controls won’t faze you; inverted or non-inverted camera, left-click is primary weapon, and right-click is your special weapon. In Star Conflict there are additional weapons and abilities, we’ll call the, ‘Equalizers’. These Equalizers allow you to take the fight to your opponent or to escape them based on which ones you bring into battle. These differences mean that you could fight the same ship three different times, with each battle being an entirely different experience.

This type of system alone makes Star Conflict an incredibly fun and exciting experience, but just as the Late Great Billy Mays always said…”But wait! There’s more!” Now there is the new Invasion mode. What’s invading the galaxy? Filthy bio-morphs with their big meaty tentacles and brain-sucking orifices, you may remember them from your latest endeavor into understanding the art style and voice-acting of Japanese Animation that is totally not for kids. With the addition of Invasion this allowed us to take our ships which were usually only for blowing our opponents out of the sky in pre-built arenas and matches unto the wide open ranges of Space.

303524Bio-Morphs can now attack players and space stations, and players must repel these assaults with their mighty warships while at the same time either resisting the temptation of destroying other players while they are pre-occupied, or blow them from the sky and focus on the tentacles of death later. Invasion also adds scenarios where players must band together to achieve objectives through destroying starships, capturing outposts, or flat-out destroying their AI opponents.

Star Conflict is a welcome change in the Space Simulator community, one which is filled with EVE Online and The Old Republic players. It  isn’t as easy and carefree as The Old Republic, while at the same time it isn’t as time-consuming and difficult as EVE Online can be. You can sit down and devote an entire day to Star Conflict, or play a couple matches against some friends or strangers and walk away with no repercussions. The ‘Pay-To-Win’ aspect of most Free-To-Play games isn’t present in Star Conflict. Gaijin, as well as its competitor Wargaming are both moving away from this way of thinking in most FTP titles. The main reason to get this ‘Premium’ status is to gain money in the game itself.

If Star Conflict continues moving in its current positive direction, Gaijin will have no problem competing against EVE Online, Elite Dangerous, and even Star Citizen. We  recommend anyone who enjoys space combat simulators  to install Star Conflict and give it a go.