Review: Rebel Galaxy (PS4)

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Title: Rebel Galaxy
Format: PlayStation Network Download (2.6 GB)
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Double Damage Games
Developer: Double Damage Games
Original MSRP: $19.99
ESRB Rating: T
Rebel Galaxy is also available on Xbox One, PC, and Mac.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Rebel Galaxy is an action-adventure space game with some role-playing elements and a tactical real-time combat system. It’s a love letter to fans of old space adventures like Freelancer (on PC) and Privateer (also PC).

Stylistically, however, Rebel Galaxy siphons some of its personality from the much-adored Firefly TV show. This is a space western, with smuggling and dealing with the seedy side of the law at its core. And if this combination sounds appealing, you might just love it.

Gameplay:
The day started like any other… well except that my Aunt Juno had gone missing and she left me this spaceship. I’m not talking about a shiny new Enterprise type ship here either. No… she left me a beat-up junker before vanishing, and now it’s up to me to take this piece of crap out into wild space and find her.

This scrap heap wasn’t going to get me very far. “Its hull is paper thin,” I was told by a green slimy alien before he offered a job that would earn me some cash. Cash that I was going to need badly if I was going to survive what was out there.

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The first thing I did was pick up a few odd jobs in the mission center on the station. Not a lot was going on for a rookie like me, a rookie with a “paper thin” ship.

But some small-time pirates were running amok and causing hell for some nearby miners, so I decided to take the job. I wasn’t going to find my aunt by sitting around crying about my unfortunate predicament.

… just enough cash to pick up a low-grade tractor beam …
Fortunately, my junker was more than formidable enough to take on the likes of these rogues. And as luck would have it, these guys weren’t traveling light. Blowing them to pieces yielded some fantastic loot. Oh… but my ship wasn’t equipped with a tractor beam, so I had to return home empty-handed. When I find my aunt, I’ll have to talk to her about that.

Fortunately, I had just enough cash to pick up a low-grade tractor beam, and my next encounter yielded some profitable results. I had to be smart about where I was selling my looted commodities, so I travelled to a remote station that was experiencing a famine.

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These guys were more than happy to pay premium for the food I was carrying. Suddenly my junk-heap of a ship was fully loaded with rocket launchers and an improved hyper drive.

The galaxy had all of a sudden become a lot more accessible.

… quite pleased with the sights and sounds …
Visuals:
Exploring the far reaches of the galaxy can be a pretty drab experience. There’s a lot of “space” in between space. Fortunately, there is a lot to see out there. What was even more impressive was the flash and flare of my own ship in combat.

After all, I spent a lot of time engaging bad guys, so lighting up the cosmos with explosives and missile trails was a pleasure to behold, even if some of that firepower was aimed at my own freighter.

Visiting the various stations in the solar systems introduced me to some visually diverse aliens.

Truth be told, I was quite pleased with the sights and sounds of my adventure, especially when I consider what I paid to embark on this little tour of outer space.

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Audio:
The cards fate dealt me didn’t place me on one of those fancy exploration vessels. Nor did it give me the luxury of high-priced equipment for said ship. This was pretty evident when I first left the dock and heard the rumbling of my low-grade engines.

It was certainly a familiar sound, but I didn’t mind. Nothing feels better than kicking into hyperspace and hearing those engines compress before launching me thousands of miles per second into the abyss. It was a tell-tale sign that my ship had a heartbeat.

And never mind what those scientists say about not hearing sound in space. When I was blowin’ up those rogue scum, the ensuing explosions were music to these ears.

Online/Multiplayer:
My space adventure was only possible alone.
(This game is singleplayer only with no online component.)

… an adventure I will remember …
Conclusion:
Admittedly, I haven’t explored space or engaged in tactical combat in years. I’ve done some dog fighting and even engaged in ground battles across war-torn planets. But these were shallow experiences that left me with a very minor sense of accomplishment.

So it was great to take to deep space again, meet aliens, shoot aliens, shoot pirates, and make money. I might have started with an embarrassment of a spaceship, but I gave her a lot of love, eventually replaced her with a faster vessel, and found myself exploring further in my quest to find my aunt, and unravel deeper mysteries. This is, doubtlessly, an adventure I will remember.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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