The action of Star Wolves takes place in the distant future. In order to fight piracy on intergalactic transit lanes humanity has legalized the institute of "head-hunters" - mercenaries owning high-speed space interceptors whose main goal is to struggle with all sorts of criminal scum. You're one of those head-hunters, armed only with a small amount of money, a couple of ships and a strong ambition driving you ever forward.
Age requirements: PEGI Rating: 12+ with Bad Language.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1.8 GHz Processor, 256 RAM (512 MB recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), 2GB HDD, Mouse, Keyboard.
Posted on 2010-05-20 20:09:54 bystonesurge:
I'll start off by admitting to only playing 4-5 missions, but the game so far has been enjoyable and I understand the general mechanics. The game starts with some... interesting cutscenes filling you in on some backstory if you care to watch them though the voice acting seemed a bit bizarre. I recommend playing through the tutorial since it's really short and fills you in on allread more you need to know, which isn't very much as playing the game is super easy.
You are the commander of a carrier, the Star Wolf, that can fire some pretty big guns but mostly just deploys fighters to battle pirates and other foes. You select a starting mission after choosing your fighters load out from some weak equipment stored in your carrier, and off into space you go. Despite it's appearance the game isn't a "roam the galaxy freely doing as you please" kind of game. Selecting a mission will bring your carrier right into the relevant system (which are thankfully not so big as to make travelling through them tedious). From there you can fly around and blow up whatever you want, so in a sense each mission is a sandbox-lite type of affair, but mostly you will just go to your objectives and fend off attacks from roaming Bad Guys. The missions so far have been pretty entertaining, and after each one you can choose your next mission from a set of about 2-5 (from what I've seen so far), but once you pick one from that set you can't go back and do the others. Again, this is just from about an hour or two of playing so that may change later in the game.
Blowing up ships and starbases yields some nice loot in the form of weapons, systems (support stuff like ECM or afterburners), or even empty fighters that you can collect and immediately equip mid-mission. This feature is pretty cool as any fighters you have docked on the carrier can be re-fitted and re-armed on the fly. They are also repaired slowly while back on the carrier. I have yet to discover if this loot is randomly decided or pre-set as I'm only on my first playthrough but if anybody knows please leave a comment.
The Star Wolf is your home base. Your fighters can be destroyed and the pilots recovered to fly another day, but if this thing blows up it's game over. With 4 huge gun slots and 5 system slots she is a pretty powerful beast, but the large guns you start with can only hit fighters somewhat reliably at close range (hence the need for well equipped fighters of your own). Having the Star Wolf open up on an enemy capital ship while your little interceptors pick off fighters and bombers is pretty damn cool, and made even better by the ability to pause and zoom in super close, or out super far.
Fighter pilots can be customized by assigning their earned experience to a variety of skill branches such as Gunnery(cannons,lasers), Missiles, Piloting, etc. The further you advance down a branch the more expensive it becomes and there's about 2-3 choices per tier, so choosing a direction for your pilot early on is essential. Advancing through these branches seems to offer real benefit and is just not fluff. Level 2 Gunner gives you a +20% to hit for example, and doesn't cost much experience.
The controls are simple and straightforward, the interface is clear and concise, and the camera works wonderfully. Those screenshots make it look kinda cluttered and confusing, but the graphics are really clean and nice. Space looks fantastic and the ships are detailed.
The time it takes to cross a system is so miniscule that I really don't know where the complaint in the last review comes from. They are small enough to cross in a matter of seconds, especially on 4x speed, which you should be using as encountering an enemy auto-pauses the game. You would really have to be searching hard for nits to pick if you list that as a gameplay issue.
What more can I say? Probably a lot since I apparently love typing... Anyway, the game is fun and looks great! It's not a huge space sandbox game, but it's definitely a fun Space RPG that I think everyone should try if they like one or both of those things.
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Posted on 2010-05-20 20:21:11 byVeloxi:
Star Wolves is, in my opinion, a successful mix of tactical and role playing elements in a science fiction wrapper. As most eastern European games go, the writing is questionable and the voice acting is atrocious, but the real star here is the gameplay. Being a linear mission-based game (unlike its two more open-ended sequels), Star Wolves has you following a merry band of...well...Starread more Wolves dealing with pirates and other criminals.
The gameplay is fairly polished, allowing for fun, tense battles. It's in pausable real-time, allowing you to pause the game to give attack or move orders, for example, so things to get too hectic, and hectic they will get. The battles in the game are a joy to behold, as you watch your little fighters dart about, fencing with their targets at both short and long range. Pilots and ships can be customized to a degree, which is where the RPG element comes in. Pilots gain experience, which they can use to gain more specific abilities, like specialties with missiles or sniping or what have you. This allows you to custom tailor your crew as you see fit.
The story of the game is pretty good too, what little I remember of it (I played this ages ago), but it was engaging enough to keep me going to the end. Overall, if you like the idea of small-scale tactical space combat with personalized pilots and tense gameplay, you should give Star Wolves a try.
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Posted on 2010-06-08 09:12:33 byElsydeon:
This game is like the son of Baldur's Gate and Freelancer. The combat system is much like BG's, especially with the ability to pause and order your units. The equipment and setting are similar to Freelancer, X, Darkstar One and other space games.
Also, the Russian accents are definitely there, especially for the male characters, but the voice acting is very easy to understand and none of Chekov's famous w-v butchery.
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