StarDrive: Let’s Get This Party Started…

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24 Responses

  1. tboon says:

    You see “Kilrathi”, I see “Bulrathi” from MoO :)

    Agree with everything in the review so far; I think this is a really good game but not a great one. Of course I have not gotten any further than you have in this review in any of my games so far, so I am waiting with great interest to the next installment!

    • Brian Rubin says:

      Yeah, so far the word I’d use for it is “solid”. It definitely gives a solid experience, which is better than other recent installments to the genre. ;)

    • Kelly says:

      Yeah, I was gonna comment about the Bulrathi as well. I guess that Bulrathi + Kilrathi = Kulrathi, some kind of tiger-bears.

      I enjoyed reading this installment and look forward to part 2. I am assuming that you will cause me to put yet another new game into my overflowing queue.

  2. Kordanor says:

    When I play a 4X game I want to control everything. I never set an AI to control my cities in Civ for example.
    I somehow want to like Stardrive, but it just doesn’t let me. It’s simply no fun to me at it’s current state.
    And that isn’t because of bugs, but because the game basically tells me to not play it.
    Example: You build your scout. It’s finished and you get no message. Then you send it out to a system you want to explore. At some point it arrives. You don’t get any message. And it does not explore the whole system. You try to make a route to explore each planet of the system – not possible only one planet at a time…god damnit, ok I just put scouts on Auto and don’t bother anymore.
    Basically the same with freighters…
    It feels like the “management” part of the game is reduced to check lists of what the scouts explored, to think what planets to colonize next, regardless of their position. Even the production of most of the planets is probably better off with the AI.
    And that’s not because the AI is so good, but because the feedback you get from the game amout the options is so bad.
    If you want to get some anomalies, you build troops, get zero information when they are ready. Then you launch them in space and can’t use them directly in space. You unpause and pause again and then set them on their wait until…you get no message that they arrive. You land and get the anormalies…no feedback, no fun. At least for me. Can’t even stand playing till big battles occur.

    • Brian Rubin says:

      Huh, those are all very valid concerns, no doubt. Didn’t even realize about the lack of feedback until you mentioned it. I’ll keep an eye out for that on my next go ’round. Have you played Distant Worlds at all?

      • Kordanor says:

        Let’s say that “I took a short look into it at a friend’s”. Didn’t play around with it more and half an hour or so and can’t judge it regarding to the feedback you get there. I’d probably check it out if there was a demo or buy it if it had a reasonable price. But they seem to have a “we only want your money if we get all of it”-policy :P
        You think it’s better there?

        • Brian Rubin says:

          I ask because in a lot of ways in Distant Worlds you have even less control. You don’t control the private sector at all, for example, so I was curious if you had a take on that.

          • Kordanor says:

            Having no control is better than having the option of poor control I’d say, even if it’s not my kind of game then.
            But what I mean is: In Civ you have control over the cities or you can give it to the AI. You know you can do a better job than the AI, so you do it yourself. In combat you just order your units to attack and the result is randomized. You have no control there and you don’t miss it.
            But in StarDrive you are teased at every corner that “you could do it better but we don’t give you the interface to do so with ease”. I mean in theory you could outperform the AI in stardrive. What you need to do is to press pause after each tick and manually check each system. This is when you play the best you could. Is it fun? Not so much.
            Other pausable Real Time strategy or tactics games have either notifications and/or a “log” and some options to “pause game if XYZ”. If stardrive added that, it would solve a lot of my issues with it.

            • Brian Rubin says:

              It sounds like your beef is less with control and more with feedback, which makes total sense. An emperor needs to know what’s going on in every corner of their empire. ;)

  3. Mezmorki says:

    There is a manual for the game – you can download it from the Steam Page if you bought the same, or google “StarDrive Manual” and there is a pdf link to it. Also below direct from Steam:

    The manual is actually pretty good and clarified a lot of things. And it isn’t horrendously long either. Worth a read.

    • Brian Rubin says:

      Welcome to the comments Mezmorki, and thanks for the link. I looked on the Steam page and didn’t see it. Yeeeeeeeesh, they need to make this easier to find.

  4. carllundstedt says:

    Hey Brian,
    I’ve been waiting for your impressions on this one. This has been on my ‘watch’ list but, so far, I don’t think it’s going to make it to my ‘bought but too busy to play” list.
    I was curious on how it compares to Endless Space from the same publisher. ES was a solid if uninspired 4x that I enjoyed but didn’t love.

    • Brian Rubin says:

      Hey carllundstedt, welcome to the comments, and it’s not fair to compare it to ES since that one was turn based and crap. I’m initially enjoying this more than ES, however, if that helps.

      • carllundstedt says:

        Actually that does help. The real weak point with ES (for me anyway) was the tactical clip shows. I was really grateful when they patched it to accept the battle cards and resolve but the game didn’t really hold my attention after a couple of play throughs.

        I think the real problem for me is that I’m not in the mood/market for a new 4x. I always think I am, but then I don’t play them as much as I used to.

        Keep up the great site.

  5. Mr. Bevalacua says:

    Unfortunately, StarDrive is an unfinished product, despite the 3 years that the developer points out that he has been working on it. Perhaps in 3-6 months it will be worth buying, but not in its current state. The publisher of this game, Iceberg Interactive, has a history of allowing games to be released by developers before they are are ready for prime time. This is the same thing that happened with Endless Space, also published by Iceberg Interactive. It was released for sale on July 2012, but was not finished for general public consumption. Only now, 9 months after it release, is ES worth the $40 price tag ($30 + $10 to ship from Europe). StarDrive is suffering the same fate, thanks to the publisher. Again, if you are the type of consumer that simply expects a game to work when you buy it and expects a good value when spending your money on gaming entertainment, then pass on StarDrive…for now.

    • Brian Rubin says:

      Hey Mr. Bevalacua, welcome to the site. As for your post, I can’t fully disagree with you. :/

    • Joshua says:

      You really hit the mark here. I’m noticing a major trend in nearly ALL publishers/developers releasing buggy/unfinished games well ahead of time. People should honestly be demanding their money back, and allowed to choose purchasing the game at a later time. Without taking a hit in the wallet, none of these companies will care that they have angry customers; I mean, they’re STILL customers.

      It’s time to send a message.

      • Brian Rubin says:

        Sadly I think there will always be a subset of gamers who either have to buy a game immediately upon release or pay for early access. While I’ve been guilty of both, now I almost always wait for a sale (unless it’s a space game, because I’m weak). ;) But yeah, that’ll always just be a constant, I think. :/

        • carllundstedt says:

          I recently thought about this pre-purchase fever that’s taking place in the market. I think it gives people a greater sense of ownership in the game. I haven’t pre-purchased or kickstarted many games but each one I’ve done that with I’ve been very eager to promote once I’m convinced they’re not crap. I’ve also felt more invested to play that game and give it a greater share of my time.

          I think Joshua is correct in that we need to stop that, we’re reaping what we sow.

          • Brian Rubin says:

            I was just listening to the latest Three Moves Ahead podcast which talks about the very dangers of early access. I think the level of transparency is indeed awesome, but you’re right, the sense of entitlement has gotten noticeably worse.

        • Joshua says:

          This has been a major pet peeve of mine since online content patching became possible (the point, I think, when games started releasing unfinished MUCH more often). We don’t suffer the same problem buying a new car that’s missing a muffler and battery, why does the tech world get a free pass?

          Keep it real, dude. There’s not enough honest reviewers anymore.

          • Brian Rubin says:

            Yeah, this has been a sad trend for years. I recall the days wherein if you wanted a patch, you had to get a floppy disk freaking mailed to you. Ahhh, simpler times. Post-release patching has indeed set a dangerous precedent. Thanks for the kind words, by the by. :)

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