On paper, Star Wolves 3: Civil
War was a great idea. An open world (or space in this matter) RPG/RTS that
allows players to pick missions as they freely choose, join up with different
factions, pilot different ships, and level up in a complex skill tree, but
unfortunately the patience of the gamer will give out quite early on, and
inspires players to stop playing out of plain boredom, or better yet, sheer
The game opens up with a brief
cinematic that shows a convoy of ships getting attacked and separated,
accompanied by horrendous voice acting that sounds like a bunch of angry guys on
teamspeak. Fortunately, this is about the only voice acting presented for a long
duration. Unfortunately, Star Wolves 3 forces the players to read pages upon
pages to read of dialogue text that is neither interesting nor well written.
A lot of the backgrounds, such
as the giant planets, asteroid fields, and star clusters, look magical. The
ships themselves have a decent amount of detail, and I played the game with
settings on high flawlessly. On the other hand though, that means not to expect
too much from this game either. The music is made up of fitting ambient sounds
when flying through space, but switches to cheesy techno or rock music when
battling and sounds terribly out of place.
The gameplay is similar to many
other real-time strategy titles as players control a mothership, guiding it
through space. A map can be brought up to aid the player in navigating the map.
The problem with this formula of an open world system not working here is that
space is huge, and space is barren. Open world games should have an interesting
world that invites the player to explore, but in Star Wolves, it’s mostly empty
with space stations scattered throughout each area, and barely any other ships
flying around. Another major problem is when flying from objective to objective
– it’s as slow as a snail. Luckily the game has a fast mode button that speeds
up the gameplay to x8. The problem is, during my playthrough, I had that turned
on 99 percent of the time. The game would have benefitted from a strict mission
format. Read the dialogue, accept a mission, do said mission, level up, and move
on to the next mission.
Battles are yet another
frustration that could have been thrilling. They play out in a traditional RTS
format. The main problem with using this format is that the ship can be moved on
an X Y Z axis. Many times I clicked because I wanted to move forward, when in
reality it made my ship move backwards because of the inaccurate depth of field,
which, instead, resulted in my ship to get blown to bits.
When moving on the Z axis, the
Shift key has to be held down while the mouse selects the altitude but even then
it is just way too confusing. The best way to get a clear view of what is going
on is to zoom out as far as you can, and put the camera in a bird’s eye view.
What’s worse is that enemies usually appear out of nowhere, and by the time the
player realizes this, their ship is destroyed. The games leveling up system is
fairly deep, mainly due to its complex skill tree, but I failed to notice the
improvements with a lot of the upgrades.
Star Wolves 3 could have
potentially been a good game, but its cons much outweigh its pros, and ends up
being a boring trek through open space.
The game is boring and its
story isn’t gratifying.
The background planets, stars
and galaxies look great, and the ships have a fair amount of detail on them.
The ambient music was fitting,
but the battle music felt completely out of place. The voice acting, though
brief, was terrible.
The idea of an open world space
game was great; it’ too bad it wasn’t executed well at all.
Star Wolves 3 was a rather big
disappointment that left me wishing for improvements.