Star Renegades Review
Are you ready to save the galaxy? Because today, we are talking about Star Renegades.
You can find this review in video format as well.
Star Renegades is made by Massive Damage Inc. famous for their other galactic adventures game, Halcyon 6. Being a proud owner of the collector’s edition of Halcyon 6, I have to say I was quite excited to see the announcement for Star Renegades. Once it came out, I jumped into the fray and put a lot of my time into exploring all the new things the devs I loved had created for us in this new game.
It was, quite an interesting experience.
Published by Raw Fury this time and not independently anymore, Massive Damage Inc. is here to bring us a treat for all sci-fi, roguelike, turn-based lovers. I am personally not very big on turn-based games anymore, since I believe it has become a very saturated market with very little innovation coming out of it. Despite that, Star Renegades managed to surprise me with its timed combat system.
Each attack takes a certain amount of time to charge and therefore is placed on a timeline bar at the top of your screen. If you hit an enemy before they launch their attack, you automatically crit. As innovative and interesting as this may be as a mechanic, it was very easy to exploit from the early stages in the game. I literally had zero reasons to be using some other attacks in most situations since I knew the easy way out. This is for the normal difficulty though, so expect much harder encounters in other difficulties.
The game plays like a roguelike in the sense that, if your party wipes, you have to restart the playthrough. The title also offers you the option to build relationships between each character by spending time giving buffs to each other when you are camping. This brings a new level of customization to the already existing leveling system for each character. It also adds a bit of flavor where there was none.
Needless to say, the combat gameplay is very well done and despite it sometimes feeling a bit boring due to the fact that I could easily figure out how to abuse most fights, it was very interesting and fun to go through.
Having talked so much about the game’s main attraction though, I feel we should say a few things about the rest too.
The game’s visual are outstanding. If I were to give a 10 out of 10 on one of the many things that make Star Renegades a good game, it would be the way it looks. The characters are all fleshed out in such a way that they feel unique and all that is done with pixel art. Very, meticulously made pixel art. The animations all look very organic and together with the special effects, they give life to the game. It is honestly very pleasing to look at any part of the game, from the parts of roaming around to the combat itself.
Star Renegades even has one of the best opening cutscenes I’ve ever seen. I was honestly hoping there would be more, since it made me feel like a kid again, sitting down to watch my favorite animated series.
The sounds are all great, but nothing too special. Just like with most games lately, a good soundtrack is always one that you don’t want to mute after multiple hours of gaming. In this case, the soundtrack and all the accompanying sound effects were all very well placed in order for them to not annoy us, but instead put a certain kind of atmosphere to each place. I would have preferred if the different locations played more of a role in the actual gameplay though, instead of just changing the visual and aural aspects of the experience.
The story is kind of simple, yet cool enough to keep you interested. It is your classic “oh my god we are all going to die to this alien robot invaders, but wait, there’s a bot from another dimension here to give us information on how to save ourselves” kind of trope. As much as I love a story inside a game, especially when it is well tied to the gameplay, I honestly did not care much for it. It was very obvious that it was not the main part of the game the devs worked on and it showed.
The game offers quite a bit of customization through gear, leveling up perks on each character, different team compositions and relationship building, but overall, it gets quite repetitive really fast and really early into the game. Despite that, the game offers multiple hours of fun content and should you decide to invest your time in it, you will be rewarded with some very cool challenges. The biggest plus for me was most certainly the unlockable characters that you can get by improving the relationships.
Star Renegades is a game with a brilliant combat mechanic that will keep you wanting to explore more how to best optimize your party before heading off for your next boss fight. If you are a fan of turn-based roguelike games, this should most definitely be in your library. Its price may seem a bit steep for some, but it is in my opinion perfectly reasonable for what the game offers in return. Should you decide to go for harder difficulties, you will be rewarded with hundreds of hours of content.
You can follow the development of the game on the studio’s discord channel.
Find Star Renegades on Steam.
Watch the game’s trailer here.
~Konstantinos “Kelfecil” Christakis
We would like to thank the developers/publishers for providing us with a copy of this game for coverage purposes. As a non-commercial press website, it is our honor and our delight to be able to provide our opinion on it.