Stellar Impact: Not the Most Impactful of Beginnings…
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Shortly before I began this blog last year, a little multiplayer game called Stellar Impact, was released. Since it came out before the blog started, I figured I’d get to it once I reached that point on my list. Recently, however, the game was re-released on Steam and I was asked to review it, so here we are. :) I’m not big into multiplayer games, I’ll admit right off the bat. With that said, let’s dive in and see how my first session went.
Like any other game that offers one, I began with the tutorial, as I like to start as fresh as possible. The tutorial gave me a small ship and had me do some typical tasks, such as moving around. This was going great until the tutorial told me to go to a specific marker, so I did…and nothing happened. I moved away from it and moved back, no dice. I moved back to where I started, then moved back to the marker. Still no new message. I quit the tutorial and went back to the main menu, hoping that it would restart the tutorial and I could try again. You can imagine my chagrin when I saw that the tutorial began in the exact same spot I left it, with a message telling me to go to a marker I was already at.
After a while more of this, I just gave up and decided to try the game proper. There are several buttons about your spinnable ship view — which reminded me of EVE Online — to apparently automatically find certain types of games. I selected a corvette to command, pushe the 2×2 button and waited a while. And waited some more. I then clicked the 3×3 and waited some more. Still no games found. I was starting to get a bit frustrated here…
Eventually I got fed up and I clicked the menu button in order to find a game manually. I saw that there was a tutorial link, which I hoped this would restart the tutorial, but nope, it was a bunch of crap I had to READ. I SOOO wasn’t in the mood for that. ;) Regardless, I went to the games list…and found one game…
So I joined that game and waited for it to start. I was also allowed to choose between all of the ships, even the DLC ships, which was nice. I went through the ship selection screen for a while, looking at the stats and capabilities, and finally settled on a carrier. I figured, I love aircraft carriers, and this would give me a chance to be in a support role while I watched the other, more experienced players, slug it out on close quarters. Oh…how wrong I was…
Finally jumping in the match, I ran into my first problem, or at least it’s a problem for me. My mouse was always slaved to my ship, so I couldn’t just look around the map, I could only move the camera in a certain radius around my ship. This, I thought, would limit my long range potential, which I thought was the bread and butter of carrier operations. I could only therefore target nearby ships, and only send fighters and bombers a short distance, which really limited my affectiveness. Couple that with not really knowing what I was doing, and I met a quick end early on in the match.
I flailed around a bit more, trying to figure out what I was doing, and actually ended up causing some minor damage to a few of the enemy units. Because of the cumbersome mouse/camera controls and very linear map, I never really made that much headway. I tried to help as best I could, but I died repeatedly, falling to faster, more maneverable ships piloted by more experienced players. It’s times like this that remind me why I rarely play multiplayer games such as this.
As a reault of me being pretty terrible, the inevitable result was pretty much a crushing defeat. This only added to my frustration with the game. Our team was pretty overwhelmed by a superior enemy, and in what felt like no time at all, our base fell under their guns. It was downright annoying and embarassing.
So while Stellar Impact sure looks pretty and vibrantly colorful during my first session, everything else was just…not fun. The broken tutorial didn’t help prepare me for the game, I felt, and the lack of variety in both players and available games really didn’t help either. I’m gonna play more with smaller ships and see if that adds the fun, but I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it six hours with this one, either due to furstration or lack of available games. I’m not even close to recommending this one, but maybe future sessions will change my mind.
Thanks for reading my review, and please enjoy all of the screenshots I took of the game in the gallery below.