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Game Info:

Heathen Engineering's Terran
Developed By: Heathen Engineering
Published By: Heathen Engineering
Released: Early Access, March 21, 2016
Available On: Linux, macOS, Windows
Genre: Strategy, Action
ESRB Rating: N/A
Number of Players: 1 offline
Price: $39.99 new

Thanks Heathen Engineering for sending a copy of this game to preview.

Heathen Engineering’s Terran is a really ambitious game that aims to combine a couple of different genres. So far it looks like they want to have some 4X, some real-time strategy (RTS), and a bit of spaceship combat. It is a combination of a couple of genres that I like with one I tend not to play that much and that really interested me.

Currently though, the game is still pretty early in development. There only seems to be the basics of a lot of the different ideas currently planned. What was present was sadly not enough to keep me interested in the game for all that long. Right now, there is a campaign mode which allows you to make an empire and then there is a skirmish mode which allows you to set up your own space combat with any loadout you desire.

Heathen Engineering's Terran
Highlights:

Strong Points: Looks pretty and has some cool sounding ideas.
Weak Points: Really early game; A lot of stuff is missing and there isn’t much direction to find what is present; Really, really, really small UI.
Moral Warnings: Starship combat.

I tried playing the campaign, but I couldn’t really find out what I was supposed to do. There was a brief guide that covered the basics, but half of it was how to load a new campaign which wasn’t what I needed to know. The game seems to rely heavily on you exerting your influence, but I never got that to work. Maybe I was supposed to give it more time, but there wasn’t really anything going on that made me want to sit there and just wait to maybe take over a planet. I also couldn’t figure out how to build anything on a planet or to make another fleet. Now, while I couldn’t build anything, the ideas they had about building in the guide interested me greatly. It seems like there isn’t much focus on building stuff on the planets which is a simplification that I kind of like. There was also a research tree, but it was pretty lacking. Most things I saw to be researched had only around a five word description and felt very placeholder.

Skirmish mode had a bit more going on. I was able to hop into this mode and be able to set up a battle between two fleets which was something I was never able to do playing the campaign. One thing I noticed when setting up the fleets was that the stats of the ships weren’t ever explained. When I got done setting that up I got the option to divide the fleet into a couple different groups based off of some different options which I didn’t really understand. Once in the fight, it became an RTS. I got to move around my fleets depending on how I divided them earlier. Moving fleets around was a bit tricky since the controls for moving also performed another function. I could also select a ship to control from here. This mode was decently fun, but I did terribly. I found it somewhat difficult to tell who my enemy was since all ships shared the same design. That was also something I noticed during playing the campaign was that you only had preset ship designs. I was really hoping to be able to customize each design a bit more.

Heathen Engineering's Terran
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 46%
Gameplay - 3/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 5/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 86%
Violence - 3/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

I think art the is the best thing this game has going for it currently. The main menu is just gorgeous and I found the campaign map to be really pretty. The ships looked decent, but a bit too similar. When I was flying a ship in skirmish mode the only real way for me to easily tell what each ship was, was to see how many shots they fired. Some of their colors blended a bit too much with the background of space. The UI could use some work. I found everything to be way too small and not a great contrast with the backgrounds. It is really hard to find the buttons that seemed to be just hidden in random spots. Sound was okay, but it was nothing that stood out to me. Controls were okay except in the space battles where some seemed to be mapped to the same button.

The only moral problem I found present was that you blow up spaceships with other spaceships. As it is now, unless you are a real big fan of this type of game and you would really like to help it out, I wouldn’t get it. It is just too early. I hate to be too critical, but I just couldn’t find much to do when I played. Also, they are asking almost $40 for it which is a bit high for what it currently offers. I do like many of the ideas I saw for this game and I do want it to succeed. Once it does, I will come back to do another review on it, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

-Paul Barnard (Betuor)

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Paul Barnard

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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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