Darkstar’s Starpoint Gemini Review
Little Green Men’s Starpoint Gemini published by Iceberg-Interactive is a space based action RPG for the PC. Starpoint Gemini features an interesting story in a for the most part free roam star system. With a few bonuses for people who just want to do their own thing or even create their own thing. That’s right folks the game is very moddable so as long as people are playing this game their will be more to do and see than what I’m going to talk about here.
In SPG you take on the role of a Captain who’s ship has been trapped in time. You are brought out of the rift to find out, you’ve missed a lot. That includes that the war you fought for ended up being for nothing. No happy reunion of lost pilots here. Sort of a strange start as your thrust into doing whatever you want until you find the next person you need to talk with. This is a good thing as you can hopefully get in a nice upgrade or two before going on your next mission (or Campaign storyline). Much like in real life no one seems to want to give it to you straight and they all seem to be holding information back.
For me, this gave me a bit of early on resentment towards the very people who saved me. Your character seems to be agitated by it as well. I could be wrong he tends to seem agitated by most things, as if he’s better than them. Anyways, into this new system you go to find your way amongst the stars, bandits, merchants, miners, researchers and militant folk. Early on your motivation is to find out what happened to you and the Gemini system as a whole and what is happening to it now.
Since I won’t ruin the story of the Starpoint Gemini campaign mode lets move on to the modes of play and the features of the game. When you start the game up, you can go to options and alter some settings like the difficulty as well as the sound. I recommend turning up the voice volume up. Alright, now once you start the game you will need to create the appearance of your character and his name. It lets you alter facial structure, hair style, skin color, and what primary abilities he will start with. After that bit of the game is taken care of its on to picking the mode; Tutorial, Starpoint Gemini, or Life Goes On.
Lets start with the tutorial. It’s long, so don’t start this until you can set some time to really work through it. This game is not a jump in and just go game. There are a lot of features and abilities to learn and options available to you in this game. Now I know this may scare some people off, but the tutorial took me an hour and a half to complete. I’m glad I did it though, as I learned a lot about how to play and what I was doing that just reading the manual would have left me wondering what I was doing.
Starpoint Gemini is the campaign mode of the game. This mode is a mix of free roam with story line progression. Your actions will affect how the different factions and organizations see you. You’ll also gain experience from doing storyline missions and taking commissions from starbases. It’s pretty important to save often since it isn’t that uncommon to start a fight only to find that more enemy ships arrive to make things more difficult.
Finally there is Life Goes On mode. This is a completely free roam mode. You have all the features of the campaign without the storyline to force you into specific paths. You gain experience and gain levels and abilities just as you would in the campaign mode. With 50 sectors to explore and do as you will in. Life Goes On mode offers that freedom you may want away from having to follow any storyline.
The RPG elements of the game allow you as the captain to gain abilities and stats that give bonuses to your ship and other aspects. With multiple choices each level as well as reasons to save level points to increase stats that follow your play style you can play the game a different way every time you start a new game. With that in mind the LGM team decided to make the game extremely moddable. They have on there site a community tab that will bring you to a forum that discusses mods to the game and will have User created mods on it as well.
If you’re like me you probably won’t go through the extra effort of creating any modifications, but it is nice to know I can and that as long as they help keep the community going they can continue to bring fresh ideas and ships to the game.
The downsides of the game are the learning curve and some bad voice acting. The incredibly long tutorial is a bit of a turn off.
Based on the initial content alone I give this game a 4 out of 5.
I think the games initial difficulty may turn away many players, but I recommend keeping at it. SPG definitely gets better once you get the feel of the game.
Final Score: 4/5