There are few situations in video games as inherently doom-laden as being instructed you are a (principally) expendable clone. Granted, in Crying Suns—launched right now from new studio Alt Shift—you are a vital clone. A well-known admiral, even, rolled out together with a ship and crew as a last-ditch effort to revive energy to a complete (ostensibly evil) galactic empire that has mysteriously gone darkish. However you are still a clone, and that signifies that you are in all probability going to be exploding sooner or later.
Along with your expendability confirmed, it is not too shocking that Crying Sun’s payments itself as a “tactical rogue-lite”, and bears no small similarity to the high-stakes spaceship administration sim, FTL. The place it diverges is its concentrate on narrative. It is a big, unusual universe on the market, impressed by Dune, the Basis novels (which I admit to not having learned), and I am unable to assist however really feel a little bit of Warhammer 40,000 and Lexx inspiration in right here, too. Understanding what makes the factions prowling this lifeless empire tick is crucial for survival, and your clone’s reminiscence is a bit fuzzy on the specifics, a minimum of till you have got an opportunity to ask some questions.
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As with FTL, there is a combination of large-scale navigational selections to be made, tactical real-time ship battles (commanding wings of help craft as an alternative of particular person crewmen, as in FTL) and away crew actions. Planetary excursions, specifically, are much more fleshed out, with the standing of every crewman concerned being broadcast again as they discover the map under. Whereas having sure officers assigned to a mission can choose as much as extra choices and enhance the percentages, it is your life and loss of life name in the long run. From what I’ve performed of an earlier model, it feels prefer it expands properly on beforehand established ideas.
All this loss of life and struggling is on the behest of Kaliban, a sardonic and intimidatingly squid-like robotic. He is an OMNI, and machines like him have been servitors for your complete empire. They stored every part operating, from sustaining risky reactors to rising meals for the folks. So far as you realize, he is additionally the one nonetheless functioning, throwing the colonies into chaos and homicide. The excellent news is there are backups of him too, and he’ll restore your reminiscence of previous excursions (in addition to delivering plot recaps) once you die and have to start out once more. Even once you’re dying, there is a sense of fixed ahead movement as you uncover extra mysteries and meet extra characters.
I’ve had my eye on Crying Suns for some time, and I admit that I have been just a little smitten with it since its Kickstarter debut, accompanied by a darkish and brooding trailer. Now that it is full, I am desirous to dig deep into its darkish and hostile universe.
Crying Suns is out now on Steam and Humble for £19.49/$24.99/€20.99 together with a recently-expanded free demo.