Space Sim Parkan: The Imperial Chronicles Hits GOG

I can’t say I’d even heard of Parkan: The Imperial Chronicles, but some folks seem awfully excited that the Russian space sim/FPS/RPG from 1997 is now on GOG – and in English for the first time. I am certainly interested in gems we missed here in the UK during the years we got our games in boxes from shops, when we rarely saw games from Russia and Eastern Europe. A game where you can do the usual merc-o-pirate sandbox space stuff, go on foot in FPS action, and build colonies… I’m interested!

It’s a big and complex thing, so you’ll excuse me if I turn to developers Nikita for a description:

“The player will appear in the year 4097 since the foundation of the Lentis colony in the forsaken corner of the galaxy and will have to travel on the imperial starship Parkan to find a lost research vessel called Wanderer, which has mysteriously vanished in the deep space vacuum of the Lentis. This won’t be an easy task: at the moment your ship helplessly drifts on a strange and nameless sun orbit — your last interstellar jump has knocked out your starfighter’s long-distance communication system and the hyperdrive. To get back to your base you will have to repair the fighter and provide it with fuel, find new weapons and navigation systems. And there’s more than this — here everyone will be able to create a squadron of auxiliary drones and ships, board a hostile starship, colonize a distant planet, engage in trade or piracy, find himself in political games or even create his own clan. In short — the whole universe of possibilities is open to the player! Your mission is clear: how you choose to complete your objective is up to you!”

Well, that certainly sounds interesting. No idea if it lives up to that! Er, any chance any of you played it in Russian and are able to tell us more? Parkan’s 2005 sequel is on Steam, by the way.

Parkan: The Imperial Chronicles is £4.49 on GOG.

From this site

14 Comments

  1. HeavyStorm says:

    I think Russians seems to like this kind of immersive, open experience (looking at you, Stalker).

    So this means I like Russians. :)

    • dr.denton says:

      Careful. Ukraine ≠ Russia. Just saying ^^

      Thanks for this, RPS! Looks really interesting. Parkan 2 is 99ct right now, so I might pick it up

  2. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Prey for your life, guy!”

    Looks like all those rubles they spent on localization paid off.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      It’s not a threat, he’s just telling you how great the hunting lifestyle is.

    • jj2112 says:

      Then you haven’t seen Fallout 3’s Spanish translation, garbage can = lata de GARAJE, cap level = nivel de CHAPAS (as in bottle caps). I could go on. At least they don’t have much money, what’s Bethesda’s excuse?

  3. jj2112 says:

    Hey the developers are called Nikita, just like my son! Contrary to Western belief (thank you Luc Besson and Elton John), it’s a man’s name.

    • CaidKean says:

      Except in India where Nikita is a feminine name, though completely unrelated to the Eurasian Nikita.

      Just saying.

    • Alien426 says:

      Though names ending in “a” are usually feminine and ones ending in “o” are masculine. That’s why Rosario Dawson always sounds like a male name to me.

      • jj2112 says:

        Yes, usually that’s true in Spanish, but there are men in Spain whose name is Rosario too.

  4. VCepesh says:

    One of my very first “proper” PC games, after we got our non strictly work-related PC. I imagine it to be rather similar to Elite, though I’ve never played that one, so I can not provide you with a proper side-by-side comparison.
    I remember enjoying it at the time, but then again, I was 7 or 8 years old, so my judgement and taste at the time are suspect. It was also the only PC game my mother played and finished, amusingly enough.

    The game world is mostly randomly generated, both the star sectors and planetary bases. The latter are often very large and of convoluted design, but often feel empty. You can see what purpose each room or structure is supposed to serve, but since the world is populated entirely by robots, toilets are mostly used to hide goodies.
    The star sectors are populated by several types (clans) of robots of different strengths, but they mostly stick to their own regions of space and do not interact much. With the exception of “space pirates” clan of Astrons, who prey upon all others and often attempt to take toll (extort) you when jumping to a star system.
    You only have one ship, though it can be upgraded – a lot of upgrades are found, if I recall correctly, not bought. The rumours of their locations (as well as other info) can often be bought from the information ships, orbiting planets.
    Upgrades, are, unfortunately, quite limited and linear. Four types of main gun, two types of missiles.
    You also have a type of semi-autonomous robotic fighters on board (drones, of which there are four progressively more powerful types) to be released during a fight against another starship.
    There is an energy management system, that allows you to prioritize some combination of Weapons, Engines, Shields and Sensors.

    There are certainly trading and quests, though that’s the part I remember the least about.

    You can walk around inside bases and board ships with both aggressive and peaceful purposes, though your equipment and weapons are fixed throughout the game. Do not expect anything good from the AI – robots are magnificently dense, are liable to stand in place and shoot at the railing, while you crouch and blast at their legs with no damage to yourself. Headshots are more damaging, though.

    Planets can be colonized and your own robots will start producing goods (including fuel, acting as money), with types and amount depending on the qualities of the planet.

    The game world is large, but, looking at it now, a bit empty and lacking in variety. Then again, I thought so of pretty much any other space sim I ever played. Supposedly, you can travel between most distant starts just by pointing your ship towards it, but the distance is literally and realistically astronomical. To even travel between planets in a single system in any practical time you have to choose the planet and Autopilot towards it, which will speed up time for you.

    Backstory of the world is much bigger and richer than what is present in the game – I barely remember any of it.

    When you find and explore the Wanderer, shoot it.

  5. Doubler says:

    Never played this one, but I’ve played a fair bit of Parkan II. I wouldn’t call that a good game, but it has this weird appeal to me that makes it a permanent fixture of my desktop.

  6. Eclipse says:

    the sequel is quite bad, this one looks more interesting actually

  7. Catweasel says:

    I’ve played Parkan: Iron Strategy before, I assumed that was Parkan 1. Neat!