By Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF), OnRPG Journalist
Starforce Delta is a new browser-based sci-fi game brought to us by Pro 3 Games. It is described as “next gen” and promises a high quality gaming experience like nothing you've seen before. It has intense, action-packed space combat coupled with character and ship progression. On top of this, the game requires no extra browser plug-ins to play. All of this combined should help Starforce Delta give its competitors a run for their money.
There isn't too much to talk about. You get to choose your ship, which is nice. You can also choose to level up your ship. Most of the customization comes from picking and choosing components for your ship. That's not to say that more customization options won’t be added to the game later on (they might), but that's about all I saw in my time playing.
The graphics aren't amazing, but they are certainty impressive when you consider that no extra plug-ins are required to play the game. A lot of graphical browser games will ask you to download some plug-in to be able to play. With Starforce Delta, you just load up the webpage and enjoy some 3D space combat. But like I said, the graphics aren't really anything to write home about – they get the job done and are decent looking if you don't focus in on them. When you combine the lack of an extra plug-in download along with fast load times and the fact that I can play it in the browser, I am happy with the graphics.
Controlling the User Interface is done completely by mouse. Flying your ship, on the other hand, is done with a combination of keyboard and mouse. WASD is used for acceleration, and shift for boost. The mouse is used to point your ship in the right direction. Mouse button one and mouse button two are used to fire your primary and alternate weapons. Very simple, and quite effective.
I was impressed with the highly intuitive controls that Starforce Delta offers. They complement the fast pace of the game immensely, making it some of the most intense space combat I've experienced to date. It's rare that a game has such a great control scheme that you seem to pick it up as if you've been using them your whole life. The only issue is, if you're not using full-screen mode, it is very easy to accidentally throw your mouse out of the game window and click on something you didn't mean to. Besides this minor issue, I had a blast with the controls.
Starforce Delta has your typical online community that is a bit on the small side. It's a new game that is very fun, though, so I'm not sure how long that will be accurate. Especially since it's free to play. I never ran into a negative issue while playing. However, I never ran into any good or pleasant encounters, either. It was a bit of a dull environment.
I'm a bit torn on my opinion of Starforce Delta's gameplay. While I do enjoy what is available, I can't help but wish for what is not there. A majority of the game is centered around mission running and offers little more than co-op play in terms of multiplayer. I imagine how amazing the game would be if there was an EVE-like scale. I feel that it would have been a much grander game.
However, like I said, what is in the game is quite fun. The game has a rich lore that makes missions a bit more interesting. You will be completing objectives that are important to the mission objective, so it won’t always be “kill every wave of enemies until we say stop.” Sometimes it'll be protecting freighters under attack, or hold your ground at a beacon while you wait for a friendly armada to warp in.
The combat is done in a way that will keep you enticed. Maybe after an extended amount of playing (as with every game) you will get bored, but I didn't get the impression that it would get boring anytime soon. It has a similar feel to some of my old favorite space-fighting games, while still offering a new experience. As I mentioned in the “Controls” section of the review, the controls really help with making the combat as good as it is by being intuitive – often it almost feels like the game knows what you're trying to do and your ship will just do it.
One of the more interesting features is the Frigate Defense. This is where you customize and upgrade a frigate, choosing its loadout. As far as I can tell, this never really comes into play for you, but is instead an objective for other players to attack and destroy. You can go to your scanner and scan for other nearby players to attack their frigate, which will reward you with experience, cores, and maybe some other goodies. It's kind of a tower defense-type mode.
If you're looking for a fun sci-fi mission runner, you should check this game out. It has a lot of promise. There is mission running, a bit of quasi-PVP, an interesting lore, character (ship) progression, and more. However, even though the game is as fun as it is, you can't help but wish for what it isn't at times (A full blown MMORPG). It has been wonderful spending a bit of time in Starforce Delta and I look forward to seeing how it evolves in the future.
Features: 2/5 – Not much.
Customization: 2.5/5 – There was an OK amount of customization.
Graphics: 3/5 – Impressed with what was available in the medium it was being played in.
Controls: 5/5 – Rarely am I this happy with the controls in a game.
Community: 2/5 – Nothing negative about the community, but there just isn't many options for interacting with other players.
Overall: 3.5/5 – While there is a lot to be wished for, I had a great deal of fun playing.