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Battlestar Galactica review

Terrible
AT A GLANCE
  • It's free for half an hour
  • It's mercifully short
  • It's based on a cool license
  • 2D space
  • Wasted license
  • Gets boring in 5 minutes

Dec 14, 2007

How do you go about creating a game for one of the most important science-fiction TV shows since Star Trek: The Next Generation? Why, you resurrect the ghost of Wing Commander of course - hiring the voice talent of the series before casting the player as a new recruit under the stern tuition of Starbuck - then having the player dogfight their way through the space-bullet-ridden battles seen in the first seasons of the updated Battlestar Galactica.

Then you have FPS sections for Caprica-based action, and when a ship gets boarded. Then, for multiplayer fun, you have Cylon base star vs. Battlestar Pegasus bouts, with tons of player-controlled units flying around everywhere. And ooh! How about a deathmatch mode in the stylings of The Ship, when no one knows who the sneaky Cylon agent is?



That was fun wasn’t it? Thinking about an imaginary game like that. Now lets look at what real people actually did to ruin the most intelligent, astute and relevant sci-fi franchise that’s ever drawn breath: They turn it into a game where space is two-dimensional; where you might as well be flying the ship from Asteroids after it flunked its physics exam; and where Vipers have a stupid purple force field that is definitely not canon.

So basically you pilot top-down ships from the show, shooting top-down Cylon raiders with guns and missiles in a rough approximation of what happens in dogfights during the TV series - and you can turn around quickly, and roll from side to side (not up and down). And that’s pretty much it. You zip around grids filled with meteors and gas clouds, gently nuzzling the edges of bizarrely restricted space, getting killed and respawning again and again. To call playing this a drudge would be insulting to other menial, thankless tasks.

The only good thing about this game is that you can be bored by it for free for half an hour before it mercifully drops you back to the desktop with a demand for cash that you should never, ever give it. The game’s ludicrous brevity is technically another blessing, though not if you’ve been suckered into parting ways with money. You’d think the multiplayer could make up for it, but no. This is, frankly, an amateur attempt to mop up the residue of the froth that’s been coughed up by the past few years of Battlestar-praise. It’s an insult to both fans, and the creators of the show, and serves as a lesson for developers on how not to treat licensed material.

More Info

Release date: Oct 23 2007 - PC (US)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PC
Genre: Shooter
Published by: Sierra, Sierra Online
Developed by: Auran Studios
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Fantasy Violence

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