Developer RAW FURY brings us Star Renegades. Out now on the PS4, Star Renegades is a turn-based, sci-fi roguelike RPG. Your goal: save planets from the evil empire hell-bent on obtaining titan power cores. You’ll go from planet to planet until you eventually get to the enemy mothership.
The animated intro hooked me from the beginning. No words were spoken and no text on the screen. It was just a haunting score with beautiful, fluid animation. You felt the anger, rage, and sadness that the character on screen was feeling. It’s time to save the galaxy! I knew what I had to do. I had my party, and I was ready to go. The tutorial was easy to understand and brought you up to speed with the basics of combat and strategy hints. Armed with this knowledge, I set out to take on the empire, and bring them down. My first few fights went well, and progress was being made. I met the level’s boss, a behemoth, and it had to be destroyed. I carefully chose my actions and set the battle in motion.
Then, I died a lot. You may deal with party wipes often, but as you’re sent back to the beginning, crafting a new run feels fresh. Especially when you have some powerful unlocks and new party members. I had a certain class always with me, and you might do the same. This game is fun, but make no mistake, it can be and is hard. Some bosses hit like a truck or can one-shot you seemingly out of nowhere. The enemies can be promoted if they beat you in combat, but don’t let that get you down, because you’ll have a great sense of accomplishment from beating the one that took you out.
There is a camping system in place that can increase your relationship with your party members with a card-based conversation system. Build up your relationship enough and you can unlock combo moves or passive effects like faster attack speed, or passive shield generation. The cards will have an action point cost, and you only get a set amount of those action points to use, so you’ll want to choose carefully.
Combat is where this game truly shines. The battle plays out on a timeline you’ll see marked at the top of the screen. Here you’ll see your party, the enemies, and who the enemy is targeting. You can cycle through your party members to select an attack or ability. The possible damage is shown before you finalize your command. The outcome is potential since that attack is before any buffs or de-buffs are taken into consideration. If you’re able to attack an enemy knocking them off of the timeline, you “break ” them and they can no longer attack for that round of combat. Attacks can vary between light, normal, and heavy, but you also have AoE, Flurry, and Pulse-type attacks. I liked that I was able to take my time, craft my turn, and then watch the ballet of destruction (even if it was on me at times) unfold. Combat never felt repetitive to me. I never got tired of seeing the action play out, grinning widely as my plan worked and each enemy fell one by one.
Loot! This game does have loot that can be purchased, or found in boxes that are scattered around the planets. Loot items include things like new swords, guns, or armor-like shields. The loot adds more ways you can customize your party as you work toward the goal. Recruiting new renegades helps with the already high replayability this game offers, and being able to equip some gear on a fresh renegade will only help. The loot doesn’t do too much for you if you’re a hardcore min-maxer, but it does offer choices on how to deck out each member the way you want based on what you get.
This game not only looks incredible, but the music really adds a layer that you don’t notice unless you really think about it. The music of the overworld map where you explore the planets has a foreboding air to it. There’s an eerie feeling about as you explore your planet seeing where the fights are, where some loot could be found, and coming up with the ways to get there. Once you’re in a fight, the music swells with the action taking place. The sound effects as weapons clash and guns are fired are crystal clear.
The solid combat system, excellent music, and story will make you want to play again and again. RAW FURY has done an outstanding job on this game, and with it out on PlayStation 4, it’s a great way to sit back, relax, and save planets from the evil empire. Pick this one up, and get out there and save some planets, renegade! You’ll be glad that you did!
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Star Renegades for the PlayStation 4 provided by RAW FURY and Massive Damage, Inc.