Hugely addictive gameplay and the first few levels are free!!
Controls may be a little tricky for non joystick handsets
|Time Played||2 hours|
Anannya Sens Review
Keith T Maxwell is back!!
Galaxy on Fire or GOF as it's been labelled here at MGFS was a brilliant game. It pushed mobile gaming to new levels and set the tone for everything to follow (and still does to some extent). It won our Game of the Year award and you can check out the review here. So you can understand how excited we were to get GOF 2 in our hands, and I was the lucky one to be able to play it.
So a quick summary of the changes. Are the graphics better? Check. Is the sound better? Check. Are there new things to do in the game? Check. Is the plot interesting? Check. Does Maxwell wisecrack as much as before? Check. Does GOF2 push mobile gaming to previously unheard of levels in the same way as GOF 1 did? Well, not quite.
Don't get me wrong, GOF 2 is an amazing game, but the problem Fishlabs have now, is that they set the bar so high with GOF 1 it's difficult for something to have the same wow factor. Not that I'm complaining mind you.
What is brilliant about this new version is that it's free. Yes, you heard me. Free. Fishlabs have taken the bold step of offering the first part of the story for free and if you like it, you will have to text through to buy the full game. This is a great way of bringing in new players and seeing if the game is for you. And if it isn't there's something wrong with you.
Onto the game then. Maxwell wakes up 35 years after a battle when his hyperdrive gets damaged (the comical pirates are...well..comical!). He gets "rescued" by a salvage ship and needs to find his way to Earth. I won't go into the obvious Buck Rogers parallels, as the plot has enough verve and humour to make it highly addictive. Mining for ore is a new feature of the game, you pick your asteroid and mine the precious stuff via a mini game where you have to keep a bar in a green zone. Kind of like all the balance type mini games you see. The difference is that to get the most ore or to get the really valuable stuff, you have to mine all the way to the hardest levels, which can be tough. They have the added risk of damaging your ship if you fail so it's a great risk reward aspect.
Mining isn't the only new thing they have added. After a little while you can also access the space lounges on each station where shady characters hang out. Here you can accept all kinds of missions for money or you can just trade goods you may have picked up. The whole thing has a very Elite type feel. Each of the characters are different and the missions are quite varied this time. You get to blow things up within the time limit, escort people around etc etc.
One other great feature is that now, instead of having to use maps all the time to travel somewhere, you can pick out a star while you are flying and then just use your computer to lock on and travel there direct. It's a great way of roaming around the galaxy checking out new systems.
Of course there's a plot to follow as well, but the game gives you more than enough freedom to choose what you want to do. Early on you are told how much time you have left say, before a certain event is happening. So you can go off and do some side missions knowing full well you will be back in time for the important stuff. Later on, however, it's entirely up to you. You can follow the plot along or you can spend your whole time gallivanting around space, taking people out or amassing a huge trading fortune.
The variety of ships and upgrades is just as good as the original and pretty soon you will become addicted to getting those extra credits to buy the improved armour, lasers or automatic missiles. Like previous Fishlabs games, the game also has a trophy system, very similar to PS3 trophies or X-box achievements. This is really cool for the completists amongst you, of which I am definitely one.
Graphics are simply stunning and the lighting effects plus just seeing other ships flying about their daily business is beautiful to watch. Sound has been improved too, with effects during the game as well as the enhanced tunes when playing. The controls are pretty much as they were, so it may be a bit tricky for you to get the hang of really precise flying on a keypad, but to be honest this isn't really needed. The responsiveness is great and the enemies aren't manoeuverable enough for you to ever feel like you can't keep up with them. Of course, if you are playing it on a phone that has a stick, like my K800, then you really notice the difference in the handling and abilities of the ships. Some can turn on a sixpence and others feel like great big chunks of metal in the sky. This attention to detail is what gives the game so much appeal.
The game is huge. I mean really huge. The last one had 50 hours of gameplay, and this one has more I think. Right from the off, the care taken in making this a game that beginners can feel confident in is evident. If you've played the original to death, like I have, it's like trading in your old Ferrari Enzo for the new 599XX. You just know it's going to be better than brilliant.
Once again a contender for game of the year and our first Ice Cold award for a long time.