The Star’s The Star: Star Conflict

By Jim Rossignol on April 15th, 2013 at 11:00 am.


Can this really be the first game called Star Conflict? The ten seconds of research I applied to the question suggests that it is. Amazing. Anyway, this space combat game from Gaijin is looking interesting. It’s a Russian MMO heading to the west, and it sits roughly along the lines of World Of Tanks or Mechwarrior Online, only this time you’re a space pilot with a big old spaceship full of lasers. So it’s team-based rounds of fighting, with resource-spending and tinkering in the intermissions. The pace of it (at least judging by the gameplay footage I’ve found, some of which you can see below) seems fairly sedate compared to the whizzy zero-G kung fun we’re used to from space games. I understand it’s more of a game of positioning and loadout tactics than reaction time and flight skill, but I can see why that would appeal to a few players. #oldmen

Anyway it’s free, and you can play it here. (I’m jumping in once I post this, so I might see you in there. Will report back if I find it appealling.)

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44 Comments »

  1. Earl-Grey says:

    Star Conflict, Episode IV: A New Anticipation

    • Gap Gen says:

      Space Disagreements Segment Five: The Overseas Territory Downs Tools Dorsum.

      • Velko says:

        Stellar Police Action, 6th Portion: A Fictional Monastic Organization Reappears

        • Wombats says:

          Star Noun: The perfectly reasonable desire to indicate a game’s genre.

  2. Dimonte says:

    Played it in Russian beta, and found it unbelievably dull. Combat took the worst of the Starlancer/Freelancer and added horrific ship class inequality. You just don’t need anything but the armoriest and weaponiest heavy ships.

    • LXM says:

      I’d say currently interceptors seem to have an advantage if the pilot is good enough. I usually play fighters (the middle weight class) and I’ll go after frigates and other fighters before I’ll tangle with interceptors

    • SuicideKing says:

      Looks incredibly dull.

      #Wants_FS3

    • Wombats says:

      >You just don’t need anything but the armoriest and weaponiest heavy ships.
      This is no longer true in Arcade mode.
      In Arcade mode I run Interceptors (smallest) and occasionally Fighters (medium) and get middle to highest efficiency on my team. Frigates (biggest) get a few more kills but are dead weight in regards to missions.
      Frigates (biggest) are the best in the garage fight version but no one plays it for that reason and the devs are on it.

      I would dip your feet back in, its come a long way and I’m playing it instead of Bioshock Infinity atm (!) something I would not have thought was possible.

      • 502true4you says:

        I dipped my feet in, and immediately the water was lukewarm. Jumping in and expecting it to be the “Deep End”, I came to realization that it was only 3 feet! I was in the kiddy pool!

        The game for me was very, very boring. I want something different, something with a wow factor, something that will make grinding interesting and enjoyable. I dunno, maybe I am hoping for too much, or just being stubborn. The game just seems really dull to me. Their isn’t enough interesting content to keep me in the mood and wanting to grind, or pay me hard earned cash. I tired of the same ‘ole, same ‘ole. Someone needs to step up and break the “space ace’ mold.

  3. boldin says:

    Played a week or so.
    On a basic level, the level of dogfighting, – using afterburners, different kinds of weapons and tactics – it’s good if not great. Their interceptor/assault/frigate system is rather deep, with lots of tactics and countertactics. Dull combat might be at tier1 since those starter ships have only few onboard subsystems. But at higher tiers you get a full spectrum of buffs and debuffs. Going from tier1 to tier2 is like going from Need For Speed to Colin McRae Rally and such.

    But that’s on a basic level. The problem is, right now this beta has no metagame. No strategic map no sector holding, no corps fights. So the grinding to get better ships and weapons right now is rather pointless. If you want a bigger picture, that is.

    • Apocalypse says:

      The biggest problem I have with this “free” to play game is the squad system.

      You have to pay to form squads with more than 2 players, which is kinda vital for competitive play. Without a decent squad to use all the tactics the game offers you end up getting ripped apard by those people who pay their $10/month and can form bigger squads to rip-apard random groups.

      That makes the game which is in any other regard fair-game even without spending money a pay 2 win game. It is more subtile than in other games, it is well done in the “pay money to reduce grind”, but this drive me off. If there would be a one time payment option to get bigger squads I would still play.

      • Lev Astov says:

        Yeah, I played right up until the point at which they implemented the squad limit for free players. It’s too deep in beta now for it to be worth my money, and it’s not really worth playing if I can’t play with my friends.

        • realityflaw says:

          You just saved me an evening checking this out, I thank you.

      • Nurdell says:

        In one of the recent updates they did get rid of that limitation of no sub – no squad. Now even free players can bunch up with 3 their friends to play with. So you have no excuse not to check the game (Mwahaha!)

        • Wombats says:

          I was squadding up to 4 unsubscribed last week.
          They cottoned on to the fact this is a major advantage over World of Tanks.
          Its why I play.
          I haven’t had to spend a cent although I will sometime as I’ve paid $100 for games not half as fun.

    • Spengbab says:

      It’s definately kind of stale – while the movement is solid and the action is decent (Missiles whizz past, lasers go pew pew, ships glide between asteroids, etc), there’s just something missing. And that something is probably “the fun”. While the first hour is a blast, you can’t help but realize how much of a grind it’s going to be.

      Doesn’t help that everything looks the same – definately not enough variation in the graphics department.

  4. Moni says:

    Oh cool, it looks like they ripped off the mouse control system from Freelancer.

    • phelix says:

      That’s like saying all cars are ripoffs of the Benz Velo. Just because the creators of Freelancer thought of an intuitive easy-to-use mouse control system doesn’t mean anyone else is allowed to use it.

    • Corb says:

      yeah…this game super just became 20x less interesting now that I can’t use a joystick

  5. HolyDuckTurtle says:

    I’m surprised you would liken this to World of Tanks and MechWarrior when Gaijin are also making a WW2 online flight combat game (which will later feature Tanks and Ships) called War Thunder. Considering it’s using planes and is made by the same company, it makes much more sense as a comparison.

    • LXM says:

      It’s a fair comparison, my immediate reaction on playing this was ‘oh, it’s like World of Tanks in space’. Primarily due to the hangar-esque lobby, arena-based team pvp, and upgrading your way through one of multiple ship tech trees with different weight classes.

    • Wombats says:

      I played War Thunder and went meh.
      This is a very different beast.
      It is taking up the World of Tanks / Mechwarrior time slot for me.
      Especially the not-particularly onerous free to play system, it took me since release to get one Tier 10 in Tanks spending hundreds of dollars. wtf was I thinking.

  6. LXM says:

    I was wondering when RPS was planning on mentioning Star Conflict. Despite having probably the most generic name ever (I kept calling it Star Control, then Space Conflict) I’ve found it to be a lot of fun. It starts off a bit limited but by the time you hit the tech 2 ships you’ve got a good range of options for kitting out your ships to suit your play style. It’s also got pve scenarios you can play with a team, though they could use some variety.

  7. Mr. Mister says:

    It’s worth checking out the deviantart gallery of one of the modellers: http://karanak.deviantart.com/

  8. Monkey says:

    Gaijin’s other free to play game is War Thunder, similar to this but not.

    It’s set in World War 2 with planes and is great. Boom

  9. dE says:

    It’s actually a lot of fun for me. I played it for quite some time. But as time went on, the balancing problems became a bit more obvious. It’s also very prone to trolling. Oh a single person is responsible for your respawns? Watch him repeatedly crash his ship into a rock til he dies. Oh, you need to carry two bombs to objectives? Watch clans grab both bombs and sit in their spawn area all match while you can do diddly all about it.
    But until things like these rub you the wrong way, you’re bound to have a lot of fun with it.

  10. JarinArenos says:

    Not sure about the specifics of this title, but I much prefer starships that feel like they have weight as opposed to “whizzy-bang-bang”.

  11. Ein0r says:

    The game itself is pretty cool, but with the recent patch which reduced the income gain, (10 times less then before the patch) an increase in ship costs and that tier 3 ships are now matched together with tier1 ships seems to have started quite the rage on their forums.

  12. Skabooga says:

    I understand it’s more of a game of positioning and loadout tactics than reaction time and flight skill, but I can see why that would appeal to a few players. #oldmen

    Old men . . . are the future!

  13. Lev Astov says:

    Overall, I really enjoyed Star Conflict, but I’m going to let them develop it further and add some meta game before I really dive in.

    Also, the battles are anything but sedate. They can get quite manic at times if you’re not a sniper or torpedo frigate.

    Also, also, the frigates are really corvettes. Just saying.

  14. nimzy says:

    Every time I see someone playing Star Conflict I yearn for the days of yore when I could come home, dial up my ISP, and settle in for some rousing games of Allegiance.

    What I wouldn’t give to see a remake…

  15. Artist says:

    Star Conflict… Why does it smell like somebody is fishing in the success of Star Citizen…

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Or, you know, just generic naming.

    • dE says:

      Yeah and Star Citizen nicked from Starsector. or was it Star Wing? Starglider maybe? No definitely Star Control, perhaps Star Trek? No, no, no Star Wars. That’s it. Or was it…

    • boldin says:

      Yeah, suuure. Especially considering that Star Conflict started its beta in 2011, and Star Citizen appeared in late 2012.

  16. Nicodemus Rexx says:

    Personally I’ve been playing this a good bit. It’s a good game for playing with friends, but I can’t find much excuse to play it if no one else is around.

    Of course, since I finally let said friends badger me into spending my gold standards on a license so they wouldn’t out pace me so much in the rankings they’ve all gone off to play something else, but isn’t that always the way of it?

  17. CJ says:

    If someone did a version of “Star Fleet Command – Orion Pirates” (a-la “World of Tanks), then I’d be doomed. Seems unlikely, primarily down to an almost vertical learning curve (unless you’d played Star Fleet Battles) but I can dream. This I can pass on.

  18. Thurgret says:

    As someone mentioned above, this same company turns out the mid-20th century warplane game, War Thunder, which is pretty great.

    I really tried to like Star Conflict, and gave it four or five hours, but, past the initial novelty, it’s just dull.

  19. Rian Snuff says:

    My buddies and I have had a ton of fun playing this game.
    It’s quite detailed and really intense, runs beautifully well and looks gorgeous.
    They’ve done a great job.

    PS, you can grab it on steam if you want also, from the free games sections.

  20. Wombats says:

    We run squads of 4 and while we don’t dominate games we can certainly effect it more than World of Tanks. The grind is nothing in comparison and you can customise with modules at all times which is beautiful.

    I’m still logging on every day for a few fights, the meta game is just buying ships atm but will expand to sector control campaign maps and various jollyness.

    Play Arcade mode PvP battles, that is where the fun is.
    There is a little twitch skill in leading targets but deep strategy in equipping modules, taking objectives, hiding behind asteroids and generally watching where their team isn’t looking.

    Definitely give it a burl. Teams are a bit random in Tier 1, get to Tier 2 and you’ll see modules and their counters open up and experience playing with smart teams. Each Tier opens up more modules to modify your ship, give it special abilities.

    If you are starting out I’d suggest Empire contracts, their ships are solid all-round, I only run Federation for stealth Fighters. Doesn’t matter what faction you choose to start as you can change contracts.

  21. Universal Quitter says:

    If you want to see the game in action without downloading it, the Let’s Players on YouTube have already posted a fair cross-section of videos.

    If you need the vocal prowess of someone from the UK, Scott Manley’s a good bet. Unless you’re racist against Scots.