Fans of MMOGs set in space can (sort of) rejoice – yet another contender for their time and attention has entered the ring. Battlestar Galactica Online is a browser-based MMOG, currently in open beta, set in an alternative universe of a popular IP of the same name. Brought to life by Bigpoint, in conjunction with Artplant, the game was developed using the Unity Engine. Is BigPoint’s new title a relevant entry in the increasingly popular space setting and does it do justice to the IP it is based on? Read on to get some initial impressions.
The first thing you notice is that the title looks great for a browser game. You can witness some really nice art assets, as well as imaginative and vivid portrayals of space. Gameplay systems present in BGO are pretty standard for an MMOG. You get your quests from NPCs located inside the stations scattered throughout the game world. The main storyline arc is driven through special missions, but players can opt to skip them altogether and dive straight into gameplay and exploration. However, once the main line of quests is over, you are left to grind only a handful of daily missions. Doing this can quickly get repetitive, so skipping the main narrative isn’t recommended.
However, PvE isn’t the only experience that BGO has to offer.
Player driven battles for different sectors of the world map are an essential part of gameplay. Both Humans and Cyclons seem willing to jump straight into factional warfare and stop the other side at all costs. The good thing about PvP content in BGO is that it is available from the get-go, with no artificial level restrictions. However, gaining some money and upgrading your ship before venturing into the wild lands of player warfare is a wise decision. Otherwise, be prepared to get blown to bits, unless you have an advantage in numbers.
Combat is handled in a simple yet effective manner. Your ship starts firing automatically once you select a target, and only certain weapons have to be activated by pressing a hotkey. This leaves opportunity for tactical thinking, as maneuvering and positioning your ship the right way plays a key role in PvP combat. It’s a shame that the system is really brought down by the game’s controls. They don’t feel intuitive at all, and even after fumbling with the settings and remapping buttons, navigation still feels clunky and more suitable for a beta release. Character progression is present in the form of being able to buy and own several ships, as well as purchase upgrades to outfit your vessel. Player ships can significantly vary in size, and seeing the huge figure of an enemy ship approaching you can be a daunting feeling.
The presence of a cash-shop and the intention of developers to support microtransactions can be felt throughout the game. You can buy various ship upgrades, experience boosts, in-game currency and much more. At times, this tends to feel intrusive to the core gaming experience, and as you see a player with one of the best ships in the game, you tend to wonder – has he earned it or just paid his way to the top.
What true preview would be without a gameplay vid, right? Check out the video below for a quick look at the game.