Star Conflict is a Space Combat MMO, published by Gaijin Entertainment, who have a fair few string of popular titles under their belt. Focusing on combat elements, rather than exploration and other traditional MMO aspects. Star Conflict boasts action-packed interplanetary skirmishes, extensive customization and beautiful graphics, all packaged up in a free-to-play title.
Aesthetics - 8/10
Star Conflict is surprising in many ways, graphically it's stunning, rivalling some AAA titles on the market today. It's beautifully textured, environments have been creatively designed, not to mention the ships also. But the quality of this, all in a free-to-play title, is second to none.
Everything has been carefully created here, shooting your weapons and blowing enemy ships into smithereens, causing a Star Wars-esque explosion is incredibly satisfying. Even just watching your ship trundle along through the environments is a great moment.
Its roster of ships is where Star Conflict's creativity is shown. Just by looking at the ships, you can tell they are influenced by present aircraft and not just to look as "futuristic" as possible.
Star Conflict features a pretty good score of music and sounds. Firing your weapons and boosting your ship sound as they should, and as mentioned before, blowing up enemy ships comes with an incredibly satisfying explosion, that I'm sure will please the ears.
The UI within the game is easy to navigate and is self-explanatory, as it should be. Within the hangar, buttons are lined at the top of the screen each with their own appropriate title, detailing simplistically what each window is.
As the main focus of the game is its combat, the in-combat UI shouldn't distract from the immersion, in Star Conflicts case, it definitely doesn't. Basics such as weapons, modules, shield and your ship's hull are detailed in a form much like EVE Online towards the bottom of the screen, with a small chat box for communication within the team at the top. Leaving a huge amount of space for the game itself.
Gameplay - 8/10
Space focused MMOs are unique. EVE Online is the dominant force within this and rightly so. It's the only MMO to get it right. But Star Conflict shouldn't be compared to EVE, it doesn't have exploration features or extensive progression mechanics that EVE does. Star Conflict is combat oriented, matchmaking focused and competitive in its own right.
The combat is intuitive and customizable, controlling your ship and aiming is bound to the mouse and keyboard, providing a shoot 'em up experience. Ship customization allows you to play within different styles and character "implants" (SCs version of talents) allow overall progression for your character. In addition to this, upon creating your character, the player is presented with a choice of three factions. Each faction has its own different bonuses that compliment combat or loot gain.
Although the choice of faction decides upon which you align with and what bonuses you attain, you're able to buy ships from the other factions as well. Ships are also unlocked every time the player also reaches a rank milestone, opening up the option for a number of ships to be bought for currency earned within the game. Currently there are also three available ship slots within the hangar, with a fourth made available if bought with enough Galactic Standards (Star Conflicts paid for currency), Although each ship can be changed in its own slot.
A variety of combat situations are also present in the game. A practice mode is available for those who just want to get to grips with the game. Arcade mode pits players against one another in huge space battles. Scenarios put the player into different situations, often taking down sizeable space cruisers and the like. The game modes offer a good amount of variety, even taking influence from MOBAs giving the player bonuses on their first win of the day, and ships having little stat differences, characterized by their different modules.
In addition to the basic matchmaking modes, contracts are also made available. Contracts offer other goals to work towards, depending on the faction you sign these contracts with. There are six different factions that you can sign contracts with, but only three can be active at any time. On completion of the contracts your reputation with the faction you have signed the contract with is then increased. An achievement system is also present, which again, gives more goals to work towards to boost your profile within Star Conflict.