Starforce Delta review: so you want to be a mercenary in space?
Xairylle | On October 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm
Do you know those games where you play as a genius rookie, a trainee, a hero or a commander in space and everyone likes you? This is not that game. And I think that’s good.
Starforce Delta is currently a Friendster exclusive browser game that throws you in the space boots of a mercenary who has been hired to help finish a series of missions for a military space group. They really don’t want you, but they need you. The story takes on an interesting start. As you protect beacons, blow up enemy ships or get blasted in the middle of the fray, you may start to wonder if these people will ever come to like or accept your character. You’re risking your in-game life for them after all, but that is a story you have to play for to find out.
Gameplay: Pew! Pew! Pew!
One thing I usually look for in shooting games is the trigger-happy feature. This means I don’t like keeping an eye on bullets because shooting lasers shouldn’t require bullets, right? Thankfully, this game satisfies me in that department and I enjoyed firing at different enemy ships that come my way.
Starforce Delta lets you choose among three different ships. You have the thick-armored, burst damage Buffalo, the fragile drone-deploying Mosquito, and the balanced beginner ship Hawk. You can test pilot each ship before you decide so choose wisely, as it will take a while before you can change it. I like how the game asks me what kind of ship I would prefer. I chose the Buffalo because it has thick armor and burst damage, which is quite suitable for how I intended to play the game — trigger happy charge-charge-charge. Different players have different preferences and I think this is an important thing to consider. As a player, being stuck with a ship I don’t like would most probably cause me to drop the game.
The game also allows you to upgrade your ship and improve it with equipment. You have slots for autocannon, longrange, shortrange, supportive, shield, and armor. These aren’t readily available in the beginning so you would have to pay attention on upgrading your ship as you continue playing. I like how the equipment actually matter to the ship in Starforce Delta. In most cases when I play space shooting games, I get armor and weapon changes and upgrades, but I still manage to play the game and win without having to pay much attention to it. In Starforce Delta, not caring about your equipment will end up having you blown up into smithereens at one point unless you’re seriously skilled.
Aside from the main mission given to you in campaign mode, you also have side objectives called the Special Operations. These side missions may be accomplished by doing other things in-game or completing it during a campaign mission. Special Operations give you extra rewards, which is helpful in improving your ship.
Audio and visuals: They say there’s no sound in outer space, which isn’t dark in this game
Outer space in Starforce Delta has a variation of shades. This means you don’t have to be stuck playing in the vast darkness sprinkled with stars, meteorites, space debris and whatnot. I like how this game made outer space look interesting by giving it a hue of whatever planet or celestial body is within the area of battlefield. From time-to-time, you will come across the darkness that we’ve all accustomed to with regards to outer space themes, but at least it doesn’t have to be dark all the time.
The sprites for Starforce Delta are commendable for a browser game and remind me of units from StarCraft. The laser beams are also okay though I wish the burst damage skill was improved since the animation and effect don’t make it look like I’m dealing heavy damage. The lasers were confusing at first, but you will eventually get the hang of dodging the enemy’s fire as you continue playing. The interface, on the other hand, although nice, sleek and techie, doesn’t really bring anything new or distinctive and resembles most technology-related games that I’ve played in the past. I like how everything is readable and easy to understand. The game doesn’t use too much space and tech jargons as other games would, but still gives you that sci-fi language that’s quite easy to catch on.
What I didn’t like, though is the sound effects for the laser beams. They sounded like bullets being fired on land, making the game dwindle with the techie sci-fi ambience that the rest of the game elements have been impressively building. And since I’m a trigger-happy player, I had to hear those sounds over and over and over again, which was actually quite annoying.
You control your ship using the keyboard and the mouse, but the overall feel of it may take some getting used to for people who don’t often play shooting games. I found myself getting dizzy at some point and I had to stop playing for a while. This could be a case-to-case basis, though. This could also be fixed by adjusting mouse sensitivity. If you’re using a gaming mouse, this issue would be solved in a jiffy with the sensitivity adjustment option on most gaming mice, but if not, it could be a hassle adjusting mouse sensitivity every time you play the game.
If you’re the type who loves sci-fi, spaceships and laser beams without being hardcore and too picky with the details, go give this game a try. It isn’t, however, for those looking for hard core science fiction stories with plot twists, amazing technology ideas or out-of-this-world realms. Starforce Delta brings you the usual sci-fi techie game in its own way. It doesn’t give you something extraordinary, but it does give you something out-of-the-ordinary.
Starforce Delta is currently available on Friendster where you can register and play for free.