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Rebel Galaxy Outlaw rekindles the love of being a Privateer

posted 7 Sep 2018, 03:54 by Dan Woods
If I have one favourite free roaming space combat game my heart will warm up with memories of making a living in Wing Commander: Privateer.  For those unaware of such a classic game, it was an open world game allowing you to trade and shoot your way to earn cash and upgrade your ship.  There was a follow up game, but in name only, titled Privateer 2 and was a bit of a disappointment when compared to it's daddy.  Then of course there was Freelancer.  The X series got in on the action but I found that to be too slow paced and the fighter combat to be uninteresting and difficult for my tastes.

Everything I'm about to talk about is from an hour long gameplay video with developer commentary posted over on IGN's YouTube channel. So feel free to watch that if you have an hour to spare, I promise you will not be disappointed if you love space fighter games (Wing Commander, X-Wing/Tie Fighter, Freespace, etc).  If you are short on time, keep reading for the highlights.

Big ships included. Don't expect to fly them!


Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is a prequel to Rebel Galaxy.  The naval combat with broadside action is out with the focus shifted onto fighter combat.

I have to mention the music first because Double Damage have literally gone over board with it (in fact they've gone overboard on much more than just music).  RG had a western country sound track, and while some of that is still in, the music range has been cracked wide open.  RGO has close to 24 hours of music (categorised into in-game subspace radio stations of different music tastes).  If you decide to switch off the radio then a dynamic soundtrack will kick in based on what's going on.  

Set about 30 years earlier, you play as Juno (the aunt of your protagonist in RG).  Not much information has been released on the game's story driven missions, other than they exist, but you are free to ignore them as you explore the galaxy.

Pew! Pew! Pew!

A lot was shown about the combat, and rightly so!  This is the meat and bones, but those who love to get rich trading wont be disappointed.  There are various ship types with there own stats, from manoeuvrability, speed, weapon mounts, cargo space and more.  You can purchase new ships and equipment on starbases littered around the galaxy (neatly identified on the Nav-map by the ConFed looking logo from Wing Commander).  Various guns (energy and ammo based), missiles and torpedoes all have there own attributes, situational, and have different damage based against shield vs. armour.

When you've fitted out your ship and ready to engage in a bit of dog fighting you can pick up a mission or just go searching for trouble.  A neat feature, for those who hate spinning around to find your target to engage in brief combat before rinsing and repeating, is the Auto Pursuit mode.  Simply hold down a button and your ship will automatically turn towards and adjust it's speed to keep your target in view.  For purists, you can turn off Auto Pursuit so you are never tempted into using it.

Out in space you can insult your targets to try and get them to change targets to you.  Select the taunt from your communications panel, which slows the game speed down by-the-way) to verbally and gesture insults.

As you start to take damage your ship systems will also be damaged.  Not much was revealed about this gameplay element, but the video showed a tractor beam taking mild damage.  So if systems get damaged too badly I'd expect degraded performance or systems going offline completely (like they did in the Wing Commander series).  Damage isn't just represented to your displays screens, you can see your scrapes and scars on the outside using the 3rd person mode, when docked or in cinematic views.  Your cockpit glass will crack and your console will explode and leave scorch marks.  Take a big hit and Juno will raise her hands to protect herself. What a neat touch!

Cockpit damage


Took on a mission to protect a few cargo ships from a pirate attack?  If you want all that reward money you better make sure they all stay alive.  Each cargo ship downed by a pirate vessel decreases the reward money.  Lose too many and you fail the mission with no reward.

If you need an interlude to all that space combat and trading action you can find some mini games to play on starbases.  There is detailed 8 ball pool game, dice poker and an asteroids clone (get the high-score to unlock "The Last Starfighter" mission).

The graphics look awesome, explosions and effects look great and space looks varied and detailed (it's not very empty either!).  Sound effects sound satisfying whether from firing guns or just exploding stuff to look tough.  There is plenty of voice over's from characters your interact with on stations to the "talking heads" of the many pilots in space.

Explosions!


Ship designs look cool.  You can see weapons mounted on the outside, which are not limited to turrets on large ships.  You can see guns and missile launchers attached to fighters.  There are also some very large cruiser sized ships in the game, but don't expect to be able to fly those behemoths, Double Damage have made it clear RGO is focused on fighter combat.  Do expect a tough challenge taking down cruisers.  A pirate encounter showcased a cruiser with many large turrets which effortlessly teared up helpless merchants, unlucky to be nearby, and assisting fighters.

A ship painter is included.  It's a feature packed and owners of Photoshop will feel right at home.  Some of the features mentioned include: brush sensitivity for tablet users, blur, sharpies, clones, UV layout and stencils that can be rubbed onto your ship.  Your detailed ship isn't just limited to virtual space too, you can order a 3D printed version of your painted ship and have it shipped to your door.

There is a lot more to pick up on from the video than what I've mentioned here.  If anything RGO is shaping up to be a sweet looking game with plenty of features going for it.  Double Damage expect Rebel Galaxy Outlaw to be released in early Q1 2019.

If you want to find out more then the Rebel Galaxy twitter account is pretty active and a good way to stay up-to-date on Rebel Galaxy Outlaw's progress.  Why not visit the game's website too?

Big boom!

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