Deep Sky Derelicts is a mishmash of old and current, and unexpected ideas for what looks to be a refreshing take on the roguelike RPG genre. This title combines the tactics and strategy of XCOM, the role-playing and challenge from Darkest Dungeon and the management from FTL, in addition to tossing in mechanics from Blizzard’s Heartstone trading card game.
All of which is veiled under an intriguing grim sci-fi story wrought with little hope and a mountain of despair. The game is brought to life by indie studio Snowhound Games and has its publication handled by 1C Company. Derelicts is currently on Steam Early Access and has a full release planned for the first quarter of 2018.
Genre: RPG, Strategy, Tactical, Roguelike, Turn-based
Developed by: Snowhound Games
Published by: 1C Company
Release date: 16 Nov, 2017 (Early Access)
Platforms: PC via Steam & GOG
Deep Sky Derelicts Features
- Fresh take on turn-based combat with cards
- Refined sci-fi comic book look & feel
- Endless customization options for characters and scavenging teams
- High replay value thanks to procedural generation of content
- Story of the human society divided within a dystopian universe
- Two game modes: story and arena
Story & Setting
Into the far-flung future of human civilization, the various pockets of societies within have coalesced into two halves; the privileged Galactic Citizens, who enjoy life on beautiful worlds, and the shunned outcasts, poor stateless who are forced to live off scraps on derelict stations and ships. And you, are one these deemed as worthless.
Seeking a way to rid yourself of this brand, an opportunity happen to chance upon you one day. In exchange for recovering a fabled alien spacecraft, known as a treasure trove of technological wonders, you’ll be emancipated from your days of struggle with a full citizenship to the nirvana you’ve dreamt of.
Will this perilous venture bear fruit, freeing you from a dystopia of life, or will it forever free you from existence itself. Whatever your decision may be, be quick about it, as you aren’t the only one whose had this offer extended to.
Just like with XCOM and Darkest Dungeon, Deep Sky Derelicts doesn’t leave you alone in your exploration of these decrepit shuttles. As it has a party system with three members put in place, which is all laid out to you at the beginning of the game. Each of these members or slots aren’t affixed to a certain type of Derelict‘s various classes, and can allow you to playthrough a session with a full squad of the same type. Among them, you have a damage-dealing Bruiser, a Scrapper for looting, a Leader for morale as well as a Tracker, the Technician and a Medic. With each kind bringing in a set of talents to the table.
And for those who are wondering, yes, you have the ability to name all three to maximize your role-playing experience. Be it the names from your favorite band or characters from a show, you can do so. There are also a number of portraits to choose from, but are all hidden underneath a piece of headgear since all of the character models are helmeted, so far.
Living up to the standard roguelike affair, the space dungeons are all procedurally generated and so are your crew members upon death, since permadeath is a thing here. Combat for Derelicts is a unique one and as mentioned earlier, has introduced mechanics from trading card games. Its similarities with turn-based RPGs stop at the game’s three on three struggle. With the battle system having you unleash attacks, abilities and actions based on a set number of selectable cards that are randomly drawn at each turn.
Making this for either an exciting or dreadful endeavor. And this is where Deck Building comes into play, as almost every facet of your average RPG standoffs are divvied up into their own cards. Be it skills, items, boosts and even pieces of gear; like guns and grenades, all of which are shuffled. Thus, creating an effective deck will be just as important as how you play your cards, since you are at the mercy of what you’re handed.
Audio & Visual
Avid comic readers, both old and new, will feel at home with the retro art-style that Deep Sky Derelicts is presented in. It is well crafted and full of detail, nuances and color, in everything from the mercenaries in your party, to the eldritch space horrors, and all throughout the game’s environments. All smeared with a nice helping of grittiness. And animations on the other hand a fairly limited, with a majority of attacks being displayed in these entertaining flairs of good ol’ comic book action. Further enhancing its inspired aesthetics.
Deep Sky Derelicts at this stage, is certainly a promising game to look forward to. Due to being quite a looker in its own right with the polished aesthetics, along with having a fun and unique, but tense gameplay that can turn sour without a moment’s notice. It’s worth a look at if you’re a fan of titles like XCOM, Darkest Dungeon or even card games like Heartstone and Pokemon Trading Card Game.
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