Once upon a time in the distant, distant galaxy… Wait, no, that’s not true. However, there is an intergalactic body known as the Federation and a group of insurgents in the latest sci-fi space shooter called Stars Horizon for Nintendo Switch. Will John, the hero of the space pilot, be as cool as Han Solo, or will this game end up in a space depot?
Well, I admit I haven’t played Rails since Panzer Dragoon Horta on the original Xbox. It’s a fairly rare genre, but it has a rich history with great tracks like Pokémon Snap and Star Fox 64. I was excited about the prospect of diving into Star Horizon for my return to intense space combat.
As soon as the campaign starts, you’ll meet your rebel space pilot, John, and his ship AI Ellie, who can handle more than enough situations. In a major conflict with the Federation, everything seems lost, but Ellie is able to get you into FTL, both out of danger and into unknown space. John wakes up from a standstill in confusion and oxygenation as a result of a malfunction in the previous battle, and so your space adventure begins.
As mentioned before, Star Horizon is a space shooter on rails, which means that the camera moves by itself while you remain in the screen space under the control of the ship, allowing you to move up, down, left, right, etc. Even if you’ve never played such a game, the controls are easy to understand and even firing shots to avoid incoming fire is child’s play. You also have access to three weapons aboard your ship, each with a strategic function. Their base lasers are used for regular dogfights and fortunately never overheat. You will also receive torpedoes and a swarm missile system, each attached to a button, which automatically reloads fairly quickly and with endless ammunition. This means that you will never feel burdened with ammunition and that you can really get into your space battle with burning cannons. No annoying micro-management!
The battle is organized in such a way that you place a fairly wide border grid over the enemy and then press the fire buttons of one of the weapons. Everything else for automatic aiming is done by the game. Unfortunately, this was one of my first and most important complaints about gambling. Combat operations are too simple and I’d like to have a smaller vision box so I have a little more manual control over where my ship will fire. Simply put, the observation box is too big and lets many enemies bite into the dust too easily.
There is a story and a path to Star Horizon, and it follows many cosmic paths and fictions that have long existed, so don’t expect anything radical there. It’s like a B-movie script, and it’s just great because we don’t look at Mass Effect in the size of a developed game, but I immediately noticed that I was still very irritated by the number of times I was addressed as John. In fact, in the first missions, almost all the proposals started with John, this and John, that one, and continued in most of the storyline of the game. However, the voice over the whole dialogue is quite decent, and they have hired funny actor voices to deal with a lot of characters.
Optically, the game is very nice, but with a few flaws. There is a wide range of ship types, and you will indeed encounter large cruise ships, space stations and much more. The game has a good camera set at the best possible angle, and it was fun to go around the obstacles and sometimes even through them! I want to give you an even more dramatic impression – what you’ll see in the film. Like it’s a space pilot who’s too nonchalant for my taste. Most ships looked pretty cool from a distance, but as we got closer, there were lower textures and many objects were very low polygons, which distracted the overall gaming experience.
During the campaign you also have the opportunity to spend your earned credits on ship renewal. This includes more effective weapons and armour systems and ultimately increasing the attractiveness of your ship. The whole game consists of 10 missions and about 2-3 hours of game time, depending on how persistent you try to complete 3-star missions whose requirements are objectively unclear.
Since Star Horizon hasn’t been in the railroad genre for a long time, it was certainly easy to control and play, and I think it will be too easy for most people because the gameplay isn’t exciting enough, so it’s worth it. The gameplay was tricky of course, but in general it wasn’t great, and if you want a budget game with shots on the ship, there’s always a decent space adventure, but expectations need to be tempered.
Overview of the Starry Horizon
- Graphs – 6/10
- Sound – 6.5/10
- Course of the game – 4/10
- Late appeal – 3/10
Final remarks : MEDICR
Stellar Horizon is a fairly normal rail gun installed in the room. The basic gameplay and the extremely smooth automatic scoring system make the experience quite boring. The visual effects, the language jumps and the graphics are quite decent here, but in general one can wish for a lot.
Alex has been actively involved in games since the release of Nintendo. After turning his hobby into a profession, he spent just over ten years developing games and is now creative director of the studio.
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