The minute we got our hands on 3030 Deathwar Redux: A Space Odyssey, I was instantly transported back to the days of early ’90s CD-ROM games from companies like Sierra. The game has technically been out in Early Access since last September, but in March we saw a final version be released along with whatever little remaining tidbits and content needed to be added to the game. So now that we had a full version, we threw on whatever version of a spacesuit this game has and dove in.
A lot of the gameplay is a point-and-click-based story — you start the game as human scavengers in what is basically a sandbox space game that’s part exploration, part top-down shooter, and part task-oriented. If you’ve ever seen Titan A.E., you kinda get the gist of where humans stand in this game, only with more emphasis on the idea that humans are just a spec in a galaxy filled with creatures who have been roaming space longer than you. Your main character is a mix of Indiana Jones and Han Solo, so basically you’re playing Harrison Ford two better halves in the future. And much like both of them, he’s always on the run from someone hunting him down for his stuff. It’s up to you to survive being hunted down while taking jobs and finding cool stuff to do.
The game comes off complicated at first but then tends to get simplistic as time goes on. A lot of what you do depends on how quick you are on the trigger and how well you manage to find stuff. Much of what you’ll do is gun your way out of touchy situations (which come up more frequently than you think), follow along with the cut scenes to make sense of the story so far, and then explore for salvage and other goodies in places you’ve chosen to put your life in danger in.
This game has a lot going for it in the simplicity of it all married to the story. You actually feel like your life is on the line, and you get wrapped in the plot and absurd space drama that you find yourself in the middle of. A lot of the appeal of this relies on nostalgia as the game is trying to invoke all those emotions of playing titles like Space Quest. It works in a lot of instances, but I can also see it being lost on younger gamers who don’t care for the genre or the look. That’s not saying it’s a detriment, just a hurdle for people of a certain age who may not get it.
I had a lot of fun with 3030 Deathwar Redux: A Space Odyssey and didn’t really want to put the game down. The story can go off in a few different ways and keep you entertained for a while, but it eventually does have a decent and satisfying ending. This is one you need to give some attention to and try it out for a while, if for anything to watch the story and be entertained.
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