Space Rangers Reader Review
This is a game to end all games. If you are over 30 you have played this game in a way. It is Elite (but in 2D), it is Sid Meirs Pirates! (But in Space), it is pinball, it is asteroids, it is a multi-choice infocom adventure, it is a 45 degree robotic RTS that with the click of a mouse can become a MechWarrior FPS! It is Star Control 4, it is Starflight, it is Sundog, it is Megatraveller. It is 10% of 10 top classics, making it a 100% game!
At it's core it's Space Trading/Combat. But with a Galaxy that is randomized each time you start a new game, 100's of Star Systems,an invading AI force and competing Space Rangers vying to get above you in the Space Ranger Top 50 chart, what Space Trading/Combat!
Of course, it is also a brilliant RPG game. With dozens of different hulls, shields, engines, weapons and "special items" for each of the five races that inhabit the Galaxy, different benefits/disadvantages for each race you may choose and a dynamic economy just asking to be made use of or suck at! It is a living, breathing universe that just sucks you in and doesn't let go!
I will tell you a very small thing to show how this game can surprise you (leave the rest for you to find out!). I was still on my training missions. Had got to the point where I had an AI controlled ship I had to destroy. Well of course it send me a message reminding me it would be no easy rollover and then sarcastically pointed out that after 70 days it would self destruct if it hadn'r been destroyed by then! (That sort of shows how this game gets it's hooks into you!) But that's not what I wanted to tell you. Oh no... While I was trying to shoot this dummy training ship down I noticed a ship following me quite closely. I sent a greeting and he replied he was a trainee Space Ranger like me, but didn't have the cash to take the training missions and wondered if he could just follow and learn from me? Well, being the generous soul that I am I said "yes". Well, funnily enough, about 30 seconds later I am being fired on, the trainee zooms off and before I can work out what's happening I am dead. I had had the wool pulled over my eyes by a character in a video game - and I loved it! I loaded a save and got to the same point and no trainee around this time, so it wasn's a script, or if it was it was cleverly done! Multiply this sort of thing by 1,000 and you have some idea of the fun surprising things that happen in this game!
I haven't had so much fun since the days of my old Commodore 64, when originality was the name of the game. This game is not only up there compared with my old 64 games (dearly loved still), it is up there with the 10 best games I have EVER played! It really has got those "Elite" feelings back in me, those feelings of awe and wonder as you realise you are playing a little bit of history in the making. Of course Elite did go on to make history. This game deserves to too. It's that good!
10 / 10