Back in March, 2010 NBC Universal and Bigpoint announced Battlestar Galactica Online, a browser-based MMOG inspired by Syfy's Battlestar Galactica television series. Battlestar Galactica Online is a free-to-play title which makes use of Unity 3D, a game engine that can serve up slick graphics in a browser environment.
Two years have passed since the initial Battlestar Galactica Online announcement, and Bigpoint now boasts close to 10 million registered users. This might be a good time to mention that registering to play BSGO is so easy that you can practically do it by accident with one-click Facebook connect. Does this mean that 10 million people registered accidentally? Not likely, but those that decided to take a pass on the game are probably the real winners.
Gameplay in BSGO is mission-based, and the core objectives are to mine for resources, destroy enemy ships, and take over enemy space. All of the action is seen from a ship perspective. Although players can dock at stations and walk around inside, the purpose is solely to buy, sell, upgrade, repair and get new missions.
In BSGO players may own more than one ship. Your snazzy space ride is made up of slots in which you can install weapons, computers, engines and hull upgrades. Ship parts can be repaired, upgraded and replaced as needed. Skill training will improve your ability to pilot a ship, thus improving the effectiveness of the ship in general. For example, training Gunnery to level 1 will improve your cannon range by 1% and open the door to train other skills.
Mining asteroids is something that players spend a lot of time working at. The act of shooting at a rock is tedious at best. This is why it’s important to fit your ship with a resource scanner as soon as possible. Blindly looking for resources typically ends in disappointment if you have to shoot up every rock in a belt for a few bits 'n bobs.
On the visuals front, Battlestar Galactica Online looks very good for a browser game. In fact, if you pop it into full screen mode, it can pass for a client-based game. Effects such as flying debris, weapon spray, missiles and explosions are nice to look at.
If you want to see BSGO look truly gorgeous then give it a fly-through with NVIDIA 3D Vision (or whatever 3D hardware you might happen to have). The game looks amazing in 3D, especially the ships. Sadly there are some glitches that make it unplayable in 3D, such as poor targeting.
BSGO is probably about as polished as it's going to get. Bug fixes and bits of new content are released on a fairly regular basis, but as with most MMOs, BSGO is not without its ongoing problems. One of the biggest issues involves poor pilot controls. The answer is not to put a new system in place, rather it is to play enough that you just get used to how bad it is.
Battlestar Galactica Online has a couple of different currencies, one of them being “Cubits”. Cubits are the most sought after form of currency in the game, and can be purchased for real-world money. A small amount of Cubits can be had by completing missions, killing and mining. This currency is also one of the most controversial aspects of Battlestar Galactica Online.
Battlestar Galactica Online isn't without its thrills, but they are few and far between. Getting your finances in order is the ultimate grind. If you make some friends in the game then you can have a pretty good time on the combat front. But if your new-found chums decide to use real-world money to level up or buy uber gear, then you may get left floating alone in the debris. Toss in the wonky controls and Battlestar Galactica Online is a bit of a crying shame.
You can read full review here.
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