Much as Black Lab have improved on their strategic Battlestar Galactica Deadlock with patches and expansions, until today’s DLC – Anabasis – it lacked the TV show’s sense of looming dread. While the new addon also expands the game’s main strategic campaign, its most exciting feature is a new survival mode inspired by the TV series. An isolated fleet retreats back to Caprica from deep space, pursued constantly by Cylon forces across a random series of losing encounters. Below, a launch trailer fresh enough to make me forget for a moment that the show is 14 years old.
Horrible awareness of my own mortality and the rapid passing of time aside, the survival mode looks like exciting stuff, true to the spirit of the first season. A few updates back, the game added a key feature, conspicuous in its absence since launch; persistent, visible damage on ships. That combined with a multi-phase retreat with a persistent fleet makes for an enticing scenario, and possibly one easier to learn than the grand campaign mode. You’re only worrying about fleet tactics and whether you should scavenge or repair after each mission, after all.
The rest of the expansion is split into three parts. Twelve new missions can now appear in the main campaign, with new objective types like collecting data from satellites before the Cylons can, or getting a hacking unit close enough to Cylon capital ship to plant a virus before retreating. The expansion adds 11 more skirmish maps which can either be played solo or used randomly in survival mode. Lastly there’s four new weapons, including anti-swarm mines, EMP pulses, ECM scramblers and a nasty new Cylon weapon that redirects Colonial missiles against their own ships. The gits.
The Anabasis expansion is out now on Steam for £7.19/€8.19/$9.99, although may be a little cheaper as part of the Complete Edition of the game, which is due to be steeply discounted later today. It is published by Slitherine.