Atlus Online is actively progressing on being a major player in the gaming portal scene, they've recently got Megaten Online to be under their care, but also they have a new browser based game on the scene, named Battle Space. Battle Space is the first space themed game in their arsenal and is currently undergoing its closed beta phase, which isn't going to last much longer as they plan on closing the closed beta in early May. The game is a sci-fi strategy game putting players in control of an admiral of their making whose duty is ultimately to take over the universe.
The core of the game is in essence an empire building game with a goal that can be completed. The game runs off of a seasonal gameplay model, where during each season players compete in order to be the top. The winners end up with rewards that they can spend/use during the next season. Characters can be transferred with their old data to new seasons, or they have the option to create a whole new persona if they aren't happy with the old one. This creates a more competitive gameplay and requires people to be fairly active in order to stay on top and reap the rewards.
Starting out in the game is the usual task of creating your character. The only choices the players make are the players name, gender, and starting area. Unfortunately that leaves the players portrait to be the same for every one of the selected gender, and doesn't really allow much diversity – though this is due to the game being in beta I suspect, as the site does state that during transitions players will be able to keep their portrait, so that hints that more will be added later on. After those choices are made you're also able to pick out your starting commander who will be the first one to help you in your quest to conquer the universe. Each commander has their own stats which determine what they're good at and their own skills, which provide passive bonuses unique to their own specialties. So the choice of a commander depends on what you would like to focus on first, with a mix of personal taste.
Diving into the actual game itself, the menus look rather daunting as there is a lot of things to choose from, and starting out with the first quest, I thought I would get lost rather easily. This turns out to not be the case, as you go through the tutorial, you will be able to learn more of the game and it covers fairly good amount of what you need to do. After completing it, the former intimidating UI became fairly standard and easy to navigate, which is what tutorials should do for you, instead of complicating things or making you question what to do next.
The options at your disposal are rather plentiful. You're able to manage your own empire which does require placing various buildings on a grid which has only so many available spaces. Building serves various purposes ranging from hiring new commanders, which you can only scout every so often, to building ships and researching technology. Researching technology is what unlocks more buildings and more ships that can be crafted, so it is rather beneficial to keep researching when you can so you can advance yourself properly and keep ahead of the game.
Some more into actually managing your empire is the expansion and combat features of the game. Expanding comes from sending out your commanders to various systems to take over planets. Taking over planets is beneficial to your resource gathering as each planet has its own set of specific resources for you to gather. These points can be attacked by other players, so it is smart to try to defend the ones near other players systems. As for sending out the commanders to “commandeer” these planets, the process is fairly simple. You pick a planet you want to go to and you hit the Sortie button, this gives you to option to send one or more commanders to the destination and you have the several options for attacking, including defending the place if you already own it. Unfortunately though you do not have any control over the actual combat when it commences, the only thing you can do is view it in a turn by turn animation from the log, which feels rather uninvolved and lacking, especially when you don't get a notification by anything but a small indicator that the commander is returning, you actually have to seek out the replay yourself. It would have been nice to have some sort of pop-up that you could watch it when it happens.
Now the progression in the game feels sort of slow. Early on you start with the meager amount of two tasks per category such as technology or building. What is worse is if you're upgrading two buildings on your base which means you need to wait before upgrading one of your resources. So while they're on separate maps, they do share the same queue. This can halt your progression very fast, and make you lose a bit of interest staying in the game's screen as once all of your queues are filled and your soldiers all deployed, you're just sitting there twittling your thumbs waiting for something to happen. This is when I usually get sidetracked and end up alt tabbing and forgetting about the game for a while which in turn slows my progression since I missed when everything cleared by a quite some time.
All in all the game is a nice sci-fi strategy browser game, it is fairly competitive and if you get into it, fairly deep. It does have some drawbacks that can take away a bit of the experience, which can make you lose interest in bursts. But overall it is rather good and adds a bit more flair to the empire building genre.
Self Introduction From Author:
|I have been playing mmos since about 1999, and haven't stopped since, and I cannot even remember when I started console/pc gaming. I'm an avid gamer who does dive back into the real world from time to time. My all time goal is to start my own business, but that is taking a side step as I am going through college.|
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