Star Renegades (PC) Preview

By Eric Ace 25.08.2020

Review for Star Renegades on PC

Players of the strategy or JRPG genre might remember a cult hit from the company Massive Damage Inc. a few years ago called Halcyon 6 which was a type of Star-Trek-meets-X-COM galaxy simulation against an alien threat. Completely coming up with a new game with vaguely similar feel has led to its newest creation called Star Renegades, where humanity finds itself fighting off similar over-powered aliens. With far more 'J' in the JRPG feeling this time around, Cubed3 checks out an Early Access version.

Star Renegades could best be described quickly as an anime sci-fi JRPG. From fighting aliens in mech suits, dealing with time travel or other dimensions, and managing various squads, it's got a lot here that shows good potential. While the game is only in its very early stages, the previewed build was version 0.6 - the hands-on time was highly enjoyable if marred by some issues that will hopefully be fixed.

Taking place in some future where humanity has spread across the stars, this starts with a bang with some teleporting aliens coming in, wrecking everything, and a scientist having to send a robot back in time to try to warn humanity about what will happen. It does not stop the attack, and players are forced to pick up the pieces, commanding a rag-tag group that moves around a map and engages the enemy. The story starts with a bang with some surprising twists even early.

One thing that stuck out right away was the graphics. This reviewer, while being a huge fan of sprites, is generally not a fan of 'pixel' style graphics as they often are simply not that good. Star Renegades's backgrounds however are stunning. While the player characters (bad guys seem to not suffer as bad) are more simplistic than would be preferred, the backgrounds had serious 'wow' factor to them for this type of game. The moving train battle, or the alien forests were very cool with their multi-layered artwork. The detail and likely work that went into them could easily be seen.

Screenshot for Star Renegades on PC

Combat is where most of the game will be spent, and the system it has here is pretty cool if a little confusing. It's a turn based system, but each attack has a wait value, and other than life damage, some attacks do "Wait damage" to the enemy. So, an attack with only 10 'Wait' will be done quicker than a 20 wait attack - enough wait damage attacks can potentially make an enemy not even take a turn for the battle. It actually is a pretty cool system, and solves a problem prevalent in many RPGs where despite all the moves simply picking 'attack' is the best option. Here, players have to think what they are doing, and try to carefully plan combos.

One problem, and this might be a tutorial issue if nothing else, was the whole 'critical' system of combat was confusing. Certain situations should make attacks critical, which then gives bonus effects such as doing armour damage, or bonus effects. However, even when the screen claimed the attack would be a critical, many times they were not. It was a minor frustration and will likely be fixed or clarified. Another complaint is how the time bar is confusing as to who is attacking who, and what "time" they currently are at.

Though still in its infancy stages, it shows a lot of promise. It feels novel and new in a genre that seriously needs some new blood. Some minor graphical gripes aside, such as wishing for more depth to the actually character models given their apparent skill elsewhere; along with some combat problems, this was very interesting. One last note is the developer was very good in the past about listening to players feedback and complaints on Halcyon 6, which goes a long way these days when far too many developers ship out a game and never touch it again.

Screenshot for Star Renegades on PC

Screenshot for Star Renegades on PC

Screenshot for Star Renegades on PC

Final Thoughts

There were some problems and difficulties encountered in the early build, but there is tremendous potential here. The pixel art graphics here are outstanding, the story is cool, and the overall feel lends itself to being a game very easy to recommend keeping an eye out for. The company's past history of listening to players to make improvements will hopefully continue, and this is destined to be a good hit when it comes out.

Developer

Massive Damage

Publisher

Raw Fury Games

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date TBA   North America release date TBA   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date TBA   

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