Game Opinion – Dead Star
I want to start by saying that I wrote this post about half a year ago, back when Dead Star was released and the possibility of a shutdown didn’t seem likely at all. Somehow, it didn’t get posted, so I am gonna do so now. Beyond the addition of this paragraph, I didn’t change anything to reflect the current situation, but now that the game is off the shelves and soon you won’t be able to play multiplayer matches, it feels sad and weird to read a recommendation to check out the game, even if I personally didn’t enjoy it greatly. Always a pity to see a game gone.
Dead Star is a team-based top-down twin-stick space shooter (that was a mouthful), where you need to destroy the opponent’s base via capturing outposts – to make way to it to attack directly or to accumulate enough points to use an orbital cannon. And the game is alright. I can see how it can captivate and engage people, so I would recommend to take a look. That said, I’ve played about dozen and a half matches and I don’t think I’ll play it again.
My biggest gripe are the controls. I’ve played on PS4, so maybe this wouldn’t apply to a mouse/keyboard configuration on PC, I’m not sure. But I’m facing a sensory overload. So the two sticks control movement/rotation (left stick) and weapon aim (right stick). All your abilities, including standard shooting, are on bumpers and triggers. The problem comes from the fact that there are some abilities the targeting of which is based on your ship rotation, and others are based on your weapon aim, so in the late game where the ships are upgraded and there’s a bunch of AI on the map as well, to be effective you have to think about both, and it’s very confusing to me, especially when there’s tons of lights and explosions happening all around.
My second issue with this game is the lack of player stories to tell. All my currently favorite multiplayer games that I play a bunch, like Hearthstone, Rocket League, Rainbow Six Siege, Awesomenauts, they have one thing in common: plenty of times things happen that you can transform into a story and tell someone, and it doesn’t take long to happen for the first time. And this applies to a lot of other games as well. But I haven’t experienced it in Dead Star. The stories that you’re left with after matches are very sterile, strategic, high-level, and this is why it doesn’t engage me enough. But maybe it’s got something that you’re looking for, so give it a shot!
By the way, there’s also a Battlestar Galactica-inspired mode, where you have to guard a capital ship, surviving several hyperspace jumps, but I never tried it. It requires special items that you get from normal conquest mode, and I don’t know how rare those are. Sadly, this particular mode seems like something I’d particularly like, being a fan of games like FTL and Battlestar Galactica table-top game.
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