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      STAR CONFLICT

THE GAME

STAR CONFLICT is a game on STEAM that is not going to break your bank balance by making you pay to win.
It is a beautifully structured MMO (of sorts) where you choose to be a member of one of three sides in a non complex
strive to conquer the Galaxy or at least live in it peacefully and equally by killing and destroying everyone and everything
that is not of the same opinion as you.

There are many nods to Star Wars, which is natural when you consider that this is set in a time of conflict, moral and
military, between the Empire and the Federation (aka The Alliance of Freeworlds), and indeed it is played out very much
as you imagine and remember many of those Star wars battles from movies and comics, though perhaps without the much
vaunted, singled out heroic and amusing characters.

        

My entry to the game was quite fast and surprisingly painless. I was given a basic ship and the chance to select one of two
game modes:- either the Team Battle or Domination (these being the only 2 available for Rank 1 players). Both of these are
fairly straightforward shoot and kill missions with sidebars of having to deplete the enemies team control or just deplete the
enemy. My vessel had an Engine Suppressor which reduces the target's speed for a short while - handy for hitting an enemy with
and then running away. It also had a Target Painter that reduces the target's defence. Some ships also have drones that automatically
pop out when an enemy approaches and begin to fire on that enemy.

The ship's controls can be modified through the Options menu and indeed I have become a little paranoid about these controls
since halfway through a battle my ship failed to respond to steering and camera angles etc. I was easy meat and quickly killed.
I accepted "rebirth" but then I exited the battle and checked my Control Options. Sure enough my Mouse Control had somehow
been switched off and I had not known to modify the keyboard to function in a manner that would allow me to steer as well as
accelerate. Once I had this under control I saw that my Ship was still in battle and that there was no way (that I could see, no
key to press or button to click) for me to get back into the game, so I had to completely leave the game and begin again.

The action is fast and it is deadly. Like so many of these type of games you have to have eyes in the back of your head, or at
least be able to quickly read and assimilate the information from the onscreed HUD map. Each time I have played I have been a
member of the Blue Team against the Red Team. This means that I see Blue IDs on my team mates' shops and Red IDs on the
enemy ships and that the lasers and weapons are denoted by blue or red lines across the darkened skies.

Racing in and out of and around a field of mighty asteroids is extremely impressive, and also if your guns are overheating you
need to be able to dodge and sway as they cool down, so it's sort of like a vacation in space while you wait, of course keeping one
eye open in case of the sneaky enemy attacking you while you gallavant freely.

        

The EMPIRE is into all things Imperic - wholesale genocide, destrucytion of people, technology, equipment and planets, oh yes
and of course, the Federation.
The FEDERATION or ALLIANCE (of the Freeworlds) are basically the opposite of the Empire. They want peace and quiet to
reign on the planet and they don't care who they have to kill or destroy to get it.
The poor old JERICHO are the much-far far far away descendents of the people who used to inhabit the Planet but who were
cast out and banished for their politics, ideals and for being diffrerent.

Once you have killed enough and been successful enough to have risen up a Rank (level) or 3 you need to start looking at the other
Challenges or Game Modes:-

The BEACON HUNT - is a Rank 4 challenge in which Teams have 175 points of available damage to them - ie if a Team suffers
175 or more points of damage the team is no longer a Team it is Toast. There are 3 neutral Beacons - go get them !

DETONATION is a Rank 7 Mission where you need special equipment (EM Bombs) to destroy the enemy's control stations. Only
two of these special bombs are ever available in the battle at the same time. The craft that carry them are slowed down a lot because
of their size and weight and so need constant supervision and defence.

CAPTURE the BEACONS - As you probably have learned already, Beacons are the name of the game when it comes to what you
are fighting for. There are only 3 Beacons that you fight over and you need to capture all 3 of them. You cannot capture one, lose it
to the enemy and recapture it and call that 2 on the capture beacons scale; oh no! This is a Rank 10 game and as such it is not as easy
to capture all 3 Beacons as you may at first think.

Overall the gameplay is just what you want. You can get straight into a game (okay there may e a little wait while a game is found
and then filled) but basically you are soon strapped in and not cogniscant, in fact almost totally unaware of all that is going on around
you in reality - the onscreen battle is so intensive it is possible to lean (subconsciously) so far towards it as you become more and more
involved, that you may well find yourself slipping off your chair or falling prone onto your desk - possibly drooling.

Graphically this is also high up there with the best and the audio is more than acceptable. So if you are looking for an inexpensive scifi
shooter with touches of adventure and meaningful background, STAR CONFLICT is definitely a game you should seriously consider.

        

THE STORY:

PART I

2062
A powerful radio signal is registered. It’s a digital wave that’s heard on most frequencies and is sometimes strong enough to disrupt television signals. Though it is obviously of artificial origin, no one is able to decode it, find its source, or figure out any possible patterns or further details for many years. Over time, people grow accustomed to the signal and leading electronics manufacturers integrate special “jammers” into their equipment to override it. From time to time, self-declared “visionaries” claim that they’ve decoded the signal and attempt to describe their visions, but these stories are full of gory details and can never be proven. Soon, such tales come to be thought of as cheap tabloid fodder.

And so, the strange Signal becomes just another part of life.

However, the Signal’s affect on mankind is enormous. It prompts a division between “classical” believers and a faction of paranoid conspiracy theorists who speculate about the signal’s alien origin and, in the hysteria over potential extraterrestrial life, begin to form a new religion. Space exploration sees a major boom.

THE END OF THE 21st CENTURY THROUGH THE 22nd CENTURY
There is a breakthrough in space technology due to the success of new photonic engines, which make it possible to reach the neighboring planets in a few days. The ships are extremely cumbersome—much too large and too heavy to launch from Earth—so they must be constructed in space, already in orbit.

Major achievements of this period include exploration of near space and the solar system and the first successful experiments in planet colonization, with surprisingly good results in human adaptation and habitation in new environments.
Humans go on to actively populate all planets in the solar system.

26th CENTURY
Developments in technology have stalled, with the main achievements of this period ensuring the comfortable existence of the colonies. Because attempts to make space ships smaller and more efficient have been unsuccessful, researchers on the Lunar science base—the first of its kind, and largest base in the solar system—begin to design and construct a so-called “Frontier” on the Earth’s orbit. This is a giant booster that will be used to travel to distant worlds. Its initial test run fails, however, leading to disaster. The complex destruction that results severely impacts the Earth’s surface.

Dark days of confusion follow as the Earth becomes the epicenter of multiple conflicts. Society experiences a massive split, with the new religion’s fanatical believers accusing non-believers of sabotage, and vice versa.

 

27th CENTURY
Social unrest extends across the most of Earth’s advanced countries, greatly weakening the government’s ability to control the colonies on other planets. Global carnage ensues. Religious fanatics prompt numerous rebellions with their leader and messiah, Bartle, intelligently organizing and directing them. Possessing a natural gift of persuasion and armed with advanced implants of his own design, he gathers billions of followers in a few short months in support of his so-called Frontier rebellion movement.

The United Nations, which had not met since the initial colonization of Jupiter's orbit in the 2330s, convenes in an emergency meeting and forms the Direktorium to deal with the mounting crisis. This new governing body is endowed with special powers to strike down Frontier, which is already a serious threat not only to sociopolitical stability, but also to the security of Earth’s population and that of some of the colonies.
In the long war that follows, the Direktorium wins. Bartle escapes. An era of repression begins, marked by the adoption of the Decree on Frontier in 2780. Gigantic prison ships are built to contain all fanatics and sent into deep space. These shuttles are pre-programmed not to return piloting control to the crew until 10 years after launch. Bartle is still at large.

Soon, the huge autofleet leaves the solar system.

 

31st CENTURY
Direktorium eventually turns into a new world government. The civilization that has adopted the same name is thriving. Technology development is surely progressing. Terramorphing technology thrives and the Solar System is densely populated.
In 3046, the Signal disappears—just as suddenly as it appeared nearly a millennium before.
Direktorium attempts to organize a research expedition in the depths of space, but communication with the expedition breaks down 16 days after the ships leave the system.

32nd CENTURY
A breakthrough occurs in space travel technology: it’s finally possible to build the first experimental warp facility, although extremely cumbersome.
Rebirth is given to the "Frontier" project. The new plan is less adventurous than the previous one, with a focus on building several massive plants that provide travel between the planets of the solar system.

33rd CENTURY THROUGH THE BEGINNING OF THE 35th CENTURY
This is the golden era of the Direktorium. Warp systems are becoming more efficient. Humanity goes to the stars and rapidly spreads to neighboring systems.
Primitive life forms are discovered on other planets, leading to breakthroughs in biological sciences and medicine (implants and neurochemistry in particular). Facilities able to create the first fully identical clones are now available.

35th CENTURY
Outlying worlds are attacked by unidentified spaceships. After some time, it becomes clear that the attackers are the descendants of the Frontier-convicted participants—named “the Gone” by the official propaganda—who now call themselves Jericho.
Never agreeing to negotiate, all captured Jerichos are surprisingly resistive for questioning. They will admit that Bartle is their leader, but nothing else.
Because of this, this region of the galaxy now is known as Sector Bartle and the war is known as the First War for that sector (3479-3611).

 

36th CENTURY
Jericho becomes amazingly advanced in their technology as they defend themselves in the struggle for survival. Their advantage in most battles has been evident, and one world after another is lost.
The Direktorium‘s collective form of government fails to outperform Bartle's authoritarianism. Growing discontent in the army helps one of the most influential generals commit a takeover in 3570 (the so-called Purity Revolt lead by the 4th Separate Mechwarrior Brigade). Declaring a state of emergency, the general seizes power, disbands Direktorium, and declares the foundation of the Empire. Then he renounces his name, becoming a faceless Emperor.
The entire vast territory of the Empire begins to work for the war. Media tacitly accept a centralized program of propaganda. The answer to Jericho's cruelty: doubled cruelty. As the Cult of the Emperor is cultivated, he proclaims himself a direct legacy of the Great Emperor of the Earth.

PART II

37th CENTURY

Jericho falls back.

The Empire fails to chase their fleet (the reason, oddly enough, is excessive bureaucratization of the Emperor’s Executive Assembly).

Some of the Direktorium’s former leaders travel to Earth to recover files that disprove the Emperor’s origin. Conspirators are seized and executed. Their home worlds raise a rebellion. This finds support in other star systems and generates a quiet discontent among some military units.
By order of the Emperor, the Solar System is surrounded by a special military unit, which later transforms into the Warden Order. Its objectives include protecting the Solar System and the Emperor, who travels frequently in the known part of the galaxy.

38th – 40th CENTURIES

A period of protracted conflict that devolves into civil war as some worlds support the Emperor, who practically defeated Jericho, and other worlds revolt against the usurper. The heart of the war for independence remains in the homelands of former Direktorium executives. They are supported on the one hand by some outlying worlds that refuse to remain a raw materials appendage of the Empire and on the other hand by some rich worlds of the inner ring, with flourishing economies and a desire to eventually earn administrative independence. As a result of negotiations, a union is formed calling itself the Free Worlds Federation.

Because the Empire’s military power is much greater than the rebellion’s, the Federation has no choice but to pursue guerrilla warfare. In turn, emissaries of the Federation develop active propaganda in the imperial worlds’ population centers, which is often successful. Multiple riots and rebellions spring to life.

Realizing the obvious threat of the protests, the Empire agrees to recognize the Federation as a legitimate social and political institution.

42nd CENTURY

Again, the Empire turns its attention to the Sector of Bartle. Irritated that a sworn enemy resides nearby, the Emperor initiates a massive military campaign known as the Third War for Sector of Bartle.
The campaign brings no success: the Jericho have recovered after the fatal retreat five centuries ago. Their closed caste of scientists called Techs not tied by the limits of common morality, have managed to create stunning weapons. In direct confrontations, their ships are far superior to imperial ones and only the massiveness of the Empire’s fleet allows it to hold its positions.

On Jericho’s giant nomadic bases—spiritual successors to the very prison ships that expelled their ancestors from the Earth—arise in various systems around the Empire, causing sudden and significant impacts.
The Empire withdraws from the Sector and focuses on protecting its controlled areas.

 

44th CENTURY

Constant Jericho raids, which may strike any system or planet without prejudice, force the Federation to retaliate with stealthy attacks on the heart of rebellious civilization. Specially-formed Vanguards, comprised of the Free Worlds’ most elite fighters, conduct a brilliant operation aimed to destroy Bartle. Jericho’s social organization falls apart. Many drifting orbital cities that serve as homes for family clans are cut off from united operational centers, and their people stop obeying the common will.

Separate Jericho armies spontaneously form and strike out in desperation, making no distinction between the worlds of the Empire and the Federation. The largest families, having lost their connection to centralized development, begin to enjoy peaceful co-existence. Their envy of the Free Worlds Federation citizens’ luxurious lifestyles encourages these Jerichos to abandon direct violence.

Diplomats of the Federation methodically and purposefully persuade Jericho's family leaders to contain their attacks. Eventually, the Federation has essentially become a commercial intermediary between the Empire and Jericho.

44th-46th CENTURIES

Fragile peace.

Occasional Jericho raids break out; the family leaders try to distance themselves from these, officially considering raiders to be criminals and outcasts.

 

The Federation continues provocative underground work on some Empire planets continues, as well as sponsoring local rebellions and revolutions.

The Empire continues to spread its influence into new, unexplored systems while maintaining a high level of internal control. Totalitarianism triumphs.

4610

A member of the Empire’s regular recon fleets dies during a routine examination of a new sector with the working number 1337. The log entry that reveals what the pilot encountered says nothing special and only mentions “giant constructions.”

The Signal once again flies through the Galaxy, a weak echo of what once was heard on Earth.
While the Empire is rebounding from a one-time loss of many ships, the Federation urgently sends in the Vanguard squad to explore the sector, taking all possible precautions. Perhaps it is this extreme care allows them to remain undetected from a drifting bases of Techs and to intercept their communications with the center as follows:
"Bartle orders not to go in there. We found them, but it's deadly dangerous inside."
Shocked by what they've heard, the Vanguards decide to retreat.

Sector 1337 becomes the first of many abandoned worlds where the ruins of an ancient civilization are discovered. This ancient and mysterious civilization is named

the Precursors...

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015