Stellar Impact: An Unknown Love-Child

So it would appear that League of Legend’s fame has managed to allow it to sleep around without thinking of the consequences. Now however, after a one time hook-up with the slightly less famous Eve: Online, the consequences of LoL’s lifestyle have come full circle. The resulting love child of the unlikely coupling was the brand new indie game: Stellar Impact.

Seriously though, at first glance Stellar Impact,by Tindalos Interactive, is a rather impressive blend of the two games. For those you who don’t know Eve: Online is an MMO in which you are a Spaceship Captain and you fly about the Universe, slowly building more and more upgrades for your ship or even just building yourself a better ship. In Stellar Impact, the style of gameplay is very much LoL style: top-down where the ultimate objective is to fight your way through enemy minions, towers and players to destroy their base. However it looks and feels a lot like Eve as instead of heroes you control spaceships. There are (at the moment) only five ship classes to choose from, but they can be customised to a very large extent, with items, crew-members, upgrades, abilities etc.

The graphics are very nice, and the main menu is also rather cool to look at. I’ve always had a soft spot for menus where you can look any direction in 360 degrees (complete manoeuvrability!). So the game does look really good.

The game style involves getting command points (which I assume are like money, you’ll find out why I only assume in a minute or so) by destroying enemy escorts (minions), spaceships (enemy players) and turrets (towers). You can also capture different places which give command points and probably other tactical advantages. Perhaps more damage, or an income of command points. And then the game would probably go to whoever can amass the most command points and get the best nukes and shit.

It’s a nice idea to have tactical points and I can certainly imagine vicious player fights taking place over the control of them.

Unfortunately my praise for the game stops there. Not because there is a lot of bad things about the game, but simply because… I have NOTHING else I can say about the game really.

You see, the way I discovered how much I liked LoL was by playing a few matches against other people and that also showed me the way the game worked (money, items, towers and so on). When I went online Stellar Impact last night (at around 12:00pm, early by any gamers standards) there were a grand total of 5 people online and not one single game being played. Worse, today when I tried again, there were 13 people online and still no games.

So I tried creating a game in hopes of getting to test out the game. After a while I realised that nothing was happening so I created a Practice Map and started up on my own (a 1 vs 0 is better than nothing I supposed). Then the game just became annoying. the movement was incredibly laggy. Both me and the escort ships spent a hell of a lot of time just jumping up and down and around the place, which was annoying as hell. And eventually it became so bad I simply gave up in frustration.

So I had a chance to see that in game it looked good. But I didn’t see much of the tactics at all, barely any combat, didn’t see any special effects from capturing some strategic points, didn’t even buy an ability or an item. It’s just a shame really.

I can’t say why it was laggy. I assume it was the server as the Menus and other such things ran perfectly well, which would make sense seeing as a small Indie game company like this one wouldn’t be able to afford massive servers.

One last thing I would say about Stellar Impact. It looks very complicated. The buttons to move (you need to accelerate and decelerate using keyboard keys) actually took a fair amount of getting used to as I kept forgetting to stop my ship. And the amount of customisation just confused me (remember I didn’t have the opportunity to try anything out on that score). It looked really, really complicated and so I imagine it would require faaar more careful thought and consideration than LoL to get a reasonable build for a ship.

Now I really hope that this article doesn’t make people think it’s a bad game. I have to say I was really looking forward to jumping into some space battles (“I’m in space!” “I know we are mate…”) and to actually trying to make my Dreadnaught the most powerful ship in the galaxy, so in reality it’s just a massive shame that there isn’t a larger player base.

I really hope it grows, and they iron out the kinks in the server, because if it ever gets to the stage where you can actually play games, I would love to try it out again.

My god this barely even counts as an impressions… let alone a review! Sorry, Tindalos Interactive!

Due to my lack of play-time with this game and the fact that I couldn’t even get a game started, it strikes me as unfair to post a grade for it, so I won’t.

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