Getting an Early Look at Rebel Galaxy

Imagine if you took the greatness that is Firefly1, and combined that with space trading of Elite: Dangerous (while removing the complexity of having to worry about pitch), while tossing in a lighthearted RPG and you’ll have a basic idea of what fun to expect from Double Damage Game’s first game, Rebel Galaxy.  They call it a “swashbuckling space adventure” and that is very apt.Double Damage Games is a 2 person studio, ran by the guys who co-founded Runic Games and created Torchlight  and Torchlight 2, both fun and lighthearted takes on a Diablo style game, which is no surprise since one of the guys, Eric, was the co-creator and lead of Diablo and Diablo 2, while the other guy, Travis, created the RPG video game Fate and was project lead of Mythos prior to the studio closing.

The game should be coming out sometime later in 2015 to Windows and Mac via Steam, as well as XBox One and PS4 shortly after the Windows release. The present expected price is only $20 USD. Not a bad price at all for what so far is a really fun single player only game.

I was lucky enough to be given early press preview access to the game. This preview only includes the first solar system, which they say should take six hours to play through (I’ve only played perhaps a couple hours and haven’t concentrated on the main story too much yet). The final game will have several systems that players will be able to play though.

The game looks beautiful as one can perhaps tell from the screen shots.

Basically the story involves your eccentric aunt Juno having given  you access to her ship the Rasputin and you go about trying to find her while running into all kinds of people, aliens and of course trouble. How you choose to interact with said people and aliens is your choice. In addition to the main story line there are plenty of side missions you can pick up which will change your relationship with the various factions in the game. You can also do trade runs, packing your ship with goods at one station and taking them to another for profit. There is also mining. Eventually you’ll be able to buy a better ship, hire mercenaries and expand your game play options. There are occasional optional quick time events, such as hacking into a communication’s array to find coordinates of a drop.

Below is a commodities window. In it we can see there is a Famine going on at Phystech. I have one Metallic Ore in my hold, I can sell it for 86 credits. If they had any to sell, they’d be selling it at 91. The green and red prices reflect that station’s supply/demand at that time. They are buying Soy Paste for 85 and there’s an exclamation mark that shows it is related to the event going on at the time. White prices are just regular items, so Nuts and bolts ban be had here for 61 with a system average of 100, and they have 9 in stock.

Soon after I took this screenshot I exited the game, came back 15 minutes later and the famine was over and their food supplies were good, so I missed my window of opportunity to run to a station that has a market glut, supply up on this station’s needs and rush them there.

Prices and events are all randomized, so you’ll never have the exact same trade runs to make, and the missions that generate will be a bit randomized allowing for a good deal of replayability.

Combat reminds me a bit of World of Warships in that you use your broadsides and guns to target ships. You don’t have a Z axis, so there’s no pitch. You have some up/down control of your guns when using precision aim however.

Here’s a quick video of game play. Keep in mind this is a very early preview build, not sure if it’s alpha or beta, but there are a few bugs and the game as seen may change some or a great deal before release. I’ve been playing with keyboard and mouse, but one can use a controller as well. I edited a lot of time I spent wondering around, mining, a few battles and the like to bring the video size to something a little more uploadable, but it should still give a good example of what I was playing. I said I was going to make the video somewhat comment free at the start of the video, but I ended up talking to myself a bit so perhaps a bit more commented than planned. Lol.

If you are on Twitch, in addition to following me, you should also follow the developers. Also be sure to follow them on Twitter. They stream off and on and show off the newest builds of the game and are generally helpful in answering questions about the game. Speaking of Twitch, here’s my Twitch highlight of the game.

It is far too early to review the game since this is just a press preview of a very early build of the game, but so far I enjoy it. The lack of pitch turns combat into something more like World of Warships, and your enemy seems to have pitch control. That’s not really a complaint, more of a note. If you are wanting a full space combat simulator, you are still best left with Elite: Dangerous or Star Citizen, both of which have RPG and trading elements in them. Anyhow, your guns seem to have a decent degree of auto-aim and pitch, so while your ship doesn’t you can still kill the enemy while they pitch up and down, so the lack of pitch on your ship itself is just something to get used to.  It makes it more accessible to a broader audience so I can dig it. The game play and the humor are all spot on and enjoyable.

Now if you’ll excuse me, some space pirate is trying to take the sky from me.

Disclosure: While I was given early press access to the game, no other compensation was given. All opinions in the video and on the blog post are my own.

1 If you have never watched Firefly, do yourself a huge favor and watch it. You’ll love it and hate Fox for airing it out of order, and canceling the show…. it’s an amazing show… that link above will take you to Amazon where you can buy the whole show on DVD for like $10 or Blu-ray for $20.