by gemakie @ everything2.com
The basis of Pirate Galaxy is that you are piloting a space ship, equipped with various types of equipment ranging from simple lasers too shields or afterburners. All the equipment on your ship is powered by energy which you can gain from collecting energy orbs from the surface of planets. Once you have energy, you can use this to fire your lasers at mantis ships, which (if your lucky) will explode after a while, dropping crystals or a blueprint, which you can then collect. If you rather try your wits against other players, you can toggle your pirate mode on and attack other pirates on sight. The surface is also the only game mode where you can steer your ship or use equipment, so the you can only fight here.
Once you have collected some energy, crystals and blueprints, you might want a change of scenery, equipment or mission, so you can leave the surface and inject into orbit. Here you see the other pilots in orbit flying next to you, but it's mainly the menu that makes it worth hanging around. The menu offers missions to do, player squads to do them with, clans for if your really feeling lonely and the rankings too stroke your ego. From orbit you can also enter all the different game modes like the surface below or if your lucky, the station orbiting nearby.
Those four game modes together make up the Pirate Galaxy game, thanks to a good ingame tutorial and the limited complexity, they make it so that everyone with an interest in space based combat, a computer and a few minutes of spare time can jump in and enjoy themselves.
The main downside however is that while it's free, it still needs to generate revenue. Due to that, some area's of the game have turned into a serious grind, the most noted example is collecting energy. ... This usually means that you will spend half an hour to an hour sucking up energy orbs and then spend 10 minutes to use it up again. All this leads to the ingame shop, where you can buy thousands of energy for a few euros, most likely the reason why gaining energy is so slow.
Still, Pirate Galaxy does have a slight addictive effect to it like most mmorpgs, and the fact that it's free and barely takes up any space (or none if you use the web client), means that it's a great game to keep around to fill up bored moments or just have some fun over the weekend.
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