Posted: November 22, 2014
(Minor spoilers, but it's more a setting than a plot so I'm not ruining much)
I remember picking up this game for five dollars, and a friend preordering X-Rebirth for me at about seventy.
One was an unpolished mess of a program, an atrocity to gaming filled with every single rookie mistake from all of the ♥♥♥♥♥iest indy developers, and an insult to the entire space sim/adventure genre the other was Salvation Prophecy.
(Yes I know X-Rebirth is at least playable now but this was at launch)
Salvation Prophecy is kind of like a very very simplified Mount & Blade, IN SPACE!
You start as a grunt, and this is what I love about the game, I mean a grunt grunt, you are no one to anybody, you don't have a ship or a sweet gun or even a seperate character model. So when you work your way up to commander of your entire race it feels like you've earned it, and the journey feels so much better.
The game takes a bunch of themes and ideas and actually blends it together quite well, I'm surprised this game was able to be at all fun given the scope of the game and the indie developer.
First off you got your ground battles. These are fun because each faction requires a (semi) different plan of attack.
Salvation? Maybe try getting into melee range so you can beat the crap out of them without worrying about their shields.
Free Nations? They're the Jack-Of-All trades for this setting, with pretty good speed, melee, and firepower, but nothing to special of their own. Try using your factions unique abilities to get the edge.
Drone Unity? Keep your distance and try to pick them off that way. They're slow, so strafe/flank them.
Wyr? Target the guys placing the turrets first so you don't get overwhelmed. Use AOE to try damaging them and their turrets as well.
Aliens? AH ♥♥♥♥ FIRE EVERYTHING HOLY ♥♥♥♥
Next is your space battles, which offer much less complexity. All ships fire the same missiles and have the same attack patterns, but the general battling is still fun.
Third is bounty hunting, which are space battles, except the targets are all different and have different abilities, and you have to find your mark and take him on alone. Shakes it up a little, and its cool to unleash your inner Space Cowboy (actually this kind of ends like Cowboy Bebop too) but they're the same bounties for all factions, and I don't get that at all.
Why does the Drone Unity care about some guy desecrating corpses? Last I checked I'm exterminating the human race, shouldn't I hire this guy instead?
Fourth is when you become leader of your faction, and that's awesome, because it turns into a (albeit simple) strategy game where you can still go in with your troops and fire lasers at robots. You then invade colonies to secure resources, build up your defenses to protect your own from others, destroy billion dollar enemy space stations, and generally try to ruin everyone elses' day.
Fifth is when you investigate spooky wormholes and alien planets, trying to piece the titular Salvation Prophecy together and collecting runes that give you sweet powers during land battles.
Ever wanted to summon a space T-Rex to destroy those murder-bots threatening the human race? Well ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ it, SP is your game.
The time before the end game is where the game both comes alive and screeches to a halt. Just when you've almost either negotiated peace with, or exterminated all other factions, holy ♥♥♥♥ aliens invade! Easily tougher than all the other factions combined, threatening your planets and stations.
Did you let each faction have their own system and negotiate peace, so that you would have three friends to help you fight this threat?
Did you, like me, exterminate all other races and RULE THE GALAXY? Then congratulations, you have all the resources in the universe to help you fight the alien menace, alone.
The game comes alive here at first because you probably haven't finished dealing with all the factions yet, so for a while you're fighting aliens on one side and kill-droids on another, and that's exciting.
It screeches to a halt, however, when you've finished everything you need to do and are just waiting for the damn plot to advance and your cartographer to find the final wormhole. Eventually you get bored because there are so many aliens and fighting them takes so long, and the portals respawn so fast it's almost a joke. You just wait for them to destroy another base so you can rebuild it again and cut your lossess.
The plot is alright, although it's more of a setting really, and the setting is interesting, revealed little by little throughout war with other factions.
The game is also really atmospheric, the alien planets have an absolutely existential-horror level of isolation in a hostile environment. Here's a fun game, pan the camera out as far as you can and maybe turn the music off on either the third or final alien world, it's downright spooky I tell you, especially when you're playing as a human. And all the planets in the home galaxy are also unique artistically but really boring. You don't get a sense that that is where people live and work to get resources or anything like that. Same for the stations.
What I like about this atmosphere is that you can mute the background music and make your own atmosphere whenever you want. And whatever music you play will fit no matter what, leading to absolutetly ♥♥♥♥ing awesome results.
Shooting lasers back and forth between humans and drones and want to jack up the intensity? Pendulum.
Flying around hunting space bounties? How about the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack?
Want to act like the smooth rogue you are? Shooting down ships and conquering planets like it isn't a problem? Some electric funk or electro swing, This Head That I Hold did it for me
Drifting through space and feeling contemplative? Throw on Sad Machine
Heading through a wormhole to an alien planet billions of lightyears away and want to awaken your soul and attempt to understand the very essence of the universe? Moonchild.
Final boss? Queen or Dragon Force, send that alien to hell with maximum style!
Really experiment with this, the enjoyability goes up a hundred fold with some music, and the possibilities are endless.
Problems are that it eventually gets really repetitive, so maybe take a break every once in a while.
Second is that it has no sort of quick battle select, which sucks. So in order to do a fun part I liked I'd have to restart the entire game and work back to the part I want to play. And dammit sometimes I just want to get high and shoot some robots with laser guns.
Third is that towards the end game you're basically just drifting around for like an hour waiting for the plot to advance.
Fourth is that every planet and station feels empty. I don't see anyone just living in the faction, or even what day-to-day life would be like for them, this was especially apparent for the humans. And all the stations are the same inside for each faction, so that's dull, but given the budget I don't really mind.
But it's just a fun fun fun game full of robots, laser-guns and laser swords, aliens, and space battles. Totally worth buying, maybe get it on sale, but I don't think you'd regret it if you payed full price either.