by Chris Priestman
previewed on PC
An Old Star Burning Bright
Our interest was piqued with the recent announcement of Legends of Pegasus from Novacore Studios, and we were pleased to talk to the developers of this promising sci-fi strategy game at this year’s Gamescom. Our first glimpse at the gameplay unveiled a game that definitely outshone our anticipations, and proved that old and often forgotten genres can still impress when in the right hands.
A Needle In A Haystack
There’s nothing quite like life inside a 4X sci-fi game. The tried and tested explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate formula grants the player a sense of satisfaction that even Captain James T. Kirk would be rightfully jealous of. Legends of Pegasus taps into this pleasure and looks impressive from the start. The single player is set within the 23rd century, at which point the human race is dwindling due to an all-out war with an alien race. No one ever said that space exploration was a safe venture.
Playing as the last survivors of mankind, players must take their fleet and rebuild the human population through terraforming planets while fending off the alien threat. The game operates as a strategy game to its core, adopting a turn-based style to navigate the galaxy map but switching to real-time combat when conflicts arise between opposing space fleets. The overall aim of the single player is to find Earth amongst the vast nothingness of space.
Reuniting with Earth will undoubtedly require plenty of space exploration, but on the way the player will want to establish colonies on planets in order to do valuable research in ship upgrades to improve their fleets. The military side of life is not the only consideration though, as spreading the human race is another goal and these colonies will desire all the quality of life that human beings typically want. Research will prove to be a valuable currency with several hundred research technologies with trees to advance through as well. Probably the most impressive part of the game on show was the terraforming process. As the player inhabits each planet they can use the simple drag and drop interface to decide what the main function will be on each one. If a large increase in the civilian population takes place then lights will appear on the dark side of the planet indicating cities. A concentration on creating new chemicals and changing the atmosphere will eventually see water created and spread across the planet before the players’ eyes – a beautiful sight to behold. Another option is focusing on industry growth for a major increase in income.
These investments into the planets are accompanied by a cutscene that zooms in on a certain action and goes quite a way to making the process feel more rewarding and the planet more personable and alive. Whatever choice the player sides with, investing in orbital defense systems will take precedence if the player wants the planet to suffer minimal damage from an invading alien fleet. If an alien fleet does attack a planet, the player can warp to the planet and engage in combat instantaneously.