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Game Info:

Starvoid
Developed by: Zeal Game Studios
Published by: Paradox Interactive
Release Date: August 30, 2012
Genre: RTS
Mode: Multiplayer up to twelve players
ESRB Rating: Not rated
MSRP: $10

Thank you Gamers Gate for sending us this game to review!

The universe is getting smaller and smaller as more mercenaries are out to make a name for themselves collecting the rare fuel called Starvoid.  Do you have what it takes to stay alive on the outer rim, commander?  Of course you won’t be unarmed as you’ll have your trusty battle droids by your side and various tricks up your sleeve.  

No matter your style, there’s a commander type that’s bound to fit your needs.  You can be a gun slinger, a rogue or an engineer.  There are some others available but you have to purchase them separately.   You can also purchase in-game currency with real money if you want to upgrade your units in a hurry.  

Loot is typically earned by killing your enemies or by winning a round.  Even if you lose, you’ll still get a little something for your effort, but not as much as the winning side.  Besides loot, you can also accumulate bounty in a level and the more bounty you have, the more units you can control. Like all real time strategy games, the more units you have, the better. 

Starvoid is a fast paced game so there is no researching involved for unlocking your units.  When you start off a round, there’s enough energy to deploy some defense robots.  When your energy replenishes, you can add some more drones to your army.    Your army and abilities are upgradable by spending your loot in the armory store.  There are many cool features to be had including auto healing, more powerful weapons, and stronger armor.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Easy to pick up and play
Weak Points: Not many people online, cannot create server
Moral Warnings: Violence and language

I can’t help but wonder if people paid for the extra loot or different commanders and if they have an edge on cheap gamers like me.  Not that it matters since there is hardly anybody online to play against.  It’s sad that this game is only a couple of weeks old and there isn’t much of a community supporting it.  Another kicker is that you cannot create your own server so even if there is someone online, they’re probably not close by which means that you’ll be suffering from some severe lag.  

If you do see people online, there are three different kinds of servers to join.  There’s Battle which is a basically a survival mode.  The goal here is to acquire and hold checkpoints, survive, and rack up the most kills.  Team Deathmatch is similar but this time you have some allies to help out.  The last mode is Sabotage where the goal is to plant explosives into the opposing team’s well.  Planting the explosives takes 10-15 seconds so staying alive is tricky if you’re actually playing against someone.  Sabotage is the mode I played to earn loot and experience when the servers were empty.

While this game isn’t ground breaking, it does have potential if people play it.  The graphics aren’t spectacular but they’re functional.  I didn’t like the fact that the launcher window has a different resolution than the actual game itself.  Once you’re into the game it looks good, the levels are small and barren since they’re desert inspired. Many of the models used are recycled and there’s an awful lot of fans in space.  There are only a handful of human models as the rest are robots.  

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 70%
Gameplay - 12/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls/Interface - 4/5

Morality Score - 87%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 6.5/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

I enjoyed the background music, since this is a space cowboy themed game I found it very fitting.  I’ve recently watched the Firefly series and was reminded of it when hearing some of the music.  The voice acting on the other hand is repetitive and annoying at times.  There’s a wide variety of accents in this game as I’ve heard Russian, Hispanic and a Southern drawl.

The robots obviously sound mechanical and sadly they’ve been programmed with some inappropriate taunts.  There’s some talk of kicking shiny metal butts.   Besides the language you can expect to see some violence and you blast away at your opponents.  It’s not overly gory or graphic though.

There is no ESRB rating but I’m guessing that it would have gotten a T for the language and violence.  The price is a reasonable $9.95 and on its launch week there was a deal where you got a free friend code with every purchase.  I wonder if they’ll do more sales or bundles to help boost its user base.  At the very least, I hope they allow players to create their own servers so they can play private matches with their friends.  Like many games, it's only fun when you have people to play against. 

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About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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