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Ever wanted to round up your own rag tag group to explore space: the final frontier? Well in Space Crew I was able to do just that. The voyages of the starship USS Abdou involved exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations, and boldly going where no one has gone before.
If you've ever played Bomber Crew then you should already have a pretty good idea of what Space Crew is all about, but for new fans here's the gist. Space Crew is a sci-fi strategy game where you're in control of a group of people on a spacecraft and your goal is to complete a variety of missions while maintaining the ship and keeping your crew alive. Now while that might sound pretty straightforward - and all seems pretty straightforward during the training missions - let me tell you that it is not that straightforward.
Once the training wheels come off you will immediately feel the pressures of being in charge of a ship and crew. It was on my third mission, which was deemed a low-risk mission, that I lost about three quarters of my crew thanks to being blindsided by an attack from an alien menace known as the Phasmids, the main antagonists of the game. It was harrowing seeing my crew die and having to get one of the security officers to run to the captain's chair to tell the other last remaining crew member to abandon ship. While he managed to stave off the Phasmids and save the other crew member who was drifting in space in an escape pod, it was pretty devastating returning to base to see all the other members marked as KIA.
While the Phasmids in the early game can be a bit much, thankfully the mechanics of the game itself aren't as difficult to handle. You'll find it's pretty easy to quickly pick up the controls and operate the ship with each crew member. Certain members specialise in certain areas such as weapons, engineering, comms and captain. Generally when it comes to operating each crew member it's just a matter of pointing and clicking and then they'll crack on with what they need to do. Something needs repairing? Well, you just click on your engineer and point them in the right direction and Bob's your uncle, you're sorted.
Flying the ship as well is pretty straightforward. After you select a mission you then switch into the target locking mode to select where you want the ship to head to. Easy stuff unless whoever is in the captain's chair isn't a captain, and then you'll quickly discover there's a reason crew members specialise in certain areas. This is something I discovered when my captain died, but I needed my weapons officer to perform some defensive maneuvers to avoid the ship being destroyed by the Phasmids.
All in all the game is straightforward and for the most part is enjoyable as you do feel like you're basically a captain of a Star Trek-style ship. It does unfortunately start to feel a little repetitive as the missions go on, as they tend to just be things like heading to a certain location to pick something up, or heading somewhere to clear the area. But there's a good amount of content in here to keep you entertained, such as unlocking new parts for your ship, recruiting new members, and being able to customise the look of both your crew and ship.
Truth be told, I just would like to play a Star Trek game, but Space Crew is a nice fun parody of that that fans will probably enjoy.
Pros: Easy to pick up sci-fi strategy game with fun and unique visuals that parody Star Trek and other sci-fi franchises in a nice way.
Cons: Missions are just too repetitive so it can get pretty boring pretty quick after trying to stave off the 100th Phasmid attack while you're simply trying to deliver something.
For fans of: Star Trek, Bomber Crew, FTL
Space Crew is released on October 15th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch. PC version tested with code provided by the publisher. Find a complete guide to GAMINGbible's scores here.
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