Desperate Space (PC)

By Lucas Allmon

Published on Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Graphics: 3.00
Sound: 1.00
Gameplay: 6.00
Replays: 5.00

Asteroids. What a simple premise. You’re a ship and you shoot rocks that split in half each time. Try not to die. Keep a score. People have been taking this formula for eons now and putting their own twist on things. This is the basic premise of Desperate Space. Fly around, kill things, keep a score.

The biggest thing I want to compliment on is the control. Your mouse cursor is a small targeting reticule, and there’s a little line on it that connects to your ship. As you move your mouse the ship moves as though it were that line, which swivels around the reticule. It makes for some fun, if unrealistic ship flying. Especially in missions where you have to play intergalactic tugboat and pull broken ships in to the base. You can’t take too sharp of turns or you will lose the ship. Excellent idea. However this also shows what I consider to be the games biggest flaw. The levels. Or should I say the level? Maybe I didn’t trudge far enough in, but the “levels” were just a square plane, much like the Asteroids of old, except these had pictures of planets and stars like you were hovering over it, if space were a placemat. This makes the missions get boring fast especially since the levels aren’t very big. So the game consists of flying from the four corners, shooting ships and rescuing ships and the like. It gets tedious, especially when there have been many great shooters released in the past few years that jump that Asteroids premise into this millennium. I could also talk about the weapons upgrade system, which is also quite good, but in reality it’s a moot point because of the level problem. I never really felt like picking a weapon ever really mattered, because I was just flying back and forth on a small field. Now, I am not saying that the weapons need to be used to solve puzzles, but situations never arise where a certain weapon is better than others. It comes down to picking what you think covers your ass the best. Certainly that’s not bad, but it doesn’t make for much of a shooting system.

The graphics and sound in the game are your standard outer space fare, they aren’t terrible, the resolutions are nice, the sounds crisp, but it doesn’t make a world for me. Isn’t that what Science Fiction games should be doing, building a world for me? I don’t think shooters should be exempt from this either. Nothing jumps out at me. Blocky spaceships on colored planets that make lazer noises and blast off noises. They aren’t even cheesy, which would at least garnered some points for that.

Desperate Space has some good ideas, and what is there is executed quite well. However, on the whole I wasn’t having fun most of the time. Give the demo a spin sometime though, its not a complete waste as long as you aren’t paying money for it. Once you do that, it’s a Desperate Waste.

Overall Rating: 5.00

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