Starcrawlers is a cyberpunk game that plays like Wizardry, Legend of Grimrock, and Etrian Odyssey.
I remember following this game back when it was in early access. Once it was officially released I brought it and I’m glad I did because it’s really good.
If you’ve ever played Etrian Odyssey, or Legend of Grimrock you’ll know how this game plays. You move around by grids and can explore your surroundings while battling robots, pirates, and the occasional trap. Battling in this game is turn based. Think Etrian Odyssey with a mix of Shadowrun and you’ve got Starcrawlers. After each mission you’ll be looking at the main hub. It’s the underbelly of the galaxy and the place where you go to make a living by stealing from corporate, battling pirates, and making yourself richer in the process. Every mission has repercussions. Building a relationship is important and you won’t want to do a mission to sour your relationship with a organization that likes you.
I was a rogue that worked for the highest bidder. And the highest bidder was always the corrupt organization. I’ve had people try to appeal to my heart, tell me that I’m blinded by greed, which is true, and try and get me to defect to their cause, but in the end I remained loyal to my contractor and always got the job done. I want to know what the game would be like if I chose a different route. If I went to work for Aurora instead of Horizon. Or if I had chose the more human path and worked for Workers United for less pay, but more feels.
I didn’t expect a quality story from this game. I thought it was going to be like Legend of Grimrock. I’ll be doing random dungeons, collecting loot, and solving puzzles. What I got was a well told story that can be experience from three different perspectives. It’s well written, has memorable characters, and all the corporate espionage you can ask for. It’s like Shadowrun, but in space. What seems like a right choice isn’t always clear because of the secrets that my employer liked to keep from me. I knew they were corrupt, but my curiosity kept me working for them even though I felt dirty inside while doing it.
I can listen to the music in the main hub all day. It sounds like something I would hear in a Shadowrun game and I love it. The battle music is good, and different themes that play on various stages are good too. The other sounds all sound really good too.Everything from tripping an alarm to getting shot by a laser beam has good quality. No corners were cut in the sounds in this game and Juggernaut Games should be commended for their hard work that’s went into it.
There are eight character classes in this game. Every one of them brings something unique to the battlefield. The Cyberninja can be a good dps unit or great support, the Engineer can summon little mechanical robots to fight for him/her, and the Void Psyker can destroy anything in their path, but they have to be used wisely or they’ll end up hurting themselves. After trying out each class my favorites are the Smuggler, Hacker, Force Psyker, and Cyberninja. I went through the entire game with this setup and I was pretty op by the end of it. I haven’t gone super in depth with every class yet, but I will on my second playthrough.
This would have been in the great section if it wasn’t for a few areas in the game. When I’m breaking into corporate offices to steal their secrets the game looks fantastic. When I’m raiding a pirate base to kill one of their leaders it just looks good, but the quality isn’t there when compared to other parts of the game. I love the character models, and hand drawn sketches of the npcs that I talk to, but as a whole there are some average looking areas in the game.
My Team Can Get Negative Quirks For A Mission:
I was protecting this moving train from a band of pirates when I realized that my Hacker kept missing all of his shots and couldn’t infect anyone with a virus. I was like, “why the hell is your accuracy 30%?” That would be because he got motion sickness. How freaking cool is that. It fucked up my entire run and barely escaped alive. I ended up reloading my file, hiring someone to replace him for that one mission, and praying to the RNG gods that that this newbie wouldn’t have the same problem.
Skill Trees Have Many Useless Skills:
In order to get to some really powerful skills I was forced to invest points into some mediocre ones. Every class has this problem and since I can only hotkey 6 skills it’s not worth investing in another skill just to get the one I wanted.
Starcrawlers has crashed on me a few times. It’s nothing compared to The Surge, but it happened often enough for me to get annoyed with the game. I’ve also ran into enemies with a infinite health bar and was forced to retreat from them and abandon the mission. Hopefully these are patched soon because I don’t want to start another run and have to worry about saving my game because of the crashing issue that I’ve been having.
Starcrawlers is a great game. It has a interesting story, great gameplay, unique character classes, and is one of the best games I’ve played this year. The weak skill trees and bugs aren’t enough for me to not recommend this game to anyone. It’s really good and well worth the asking price.