[dropcap size=big]W[/dropcap]hen it comes to games related to space (simulations, MMOs, etc) there’s simply zillions to go around. Thanks to a huge love for these genres, we see many titles of this sort also turn up on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Recently, Defect by Three Phase Interactive hit Kickstarter with a more unique pitch than most. In this game you create your ship, complete your assigned mission with it, then have the ship stolen from right under your nose by the crew! With that, your goal then becomes to make a new ship to defeat your traitorous crew… before the new crew uprises and takes the new ship. This endless cycle seems like a great mechanic, though I did have some reservations about it. As such, I went onto Steam and downloaded the Defect demo to see how the game plays out thus far.
Although just a demo, I felt it provided a very good feel for what Defect wants to bring gamers. It starts off easily enough by teaching you how to build a ship (and basically only letting you create a very specific one). The tasks all seem sensible as well, such as scanning a ship, taking down fighters, and the like. I’ll note that the actual battle mechanic seemed harder than expected, as I managed to fail the first real combat portion three times before succeeding. With a manned ship, they’re the ones who set off the lasers, and you have to focus on angling the ship right to hit weak spots. A lot of the issue likely had to do with my own lack of skill in this genre than anything else, though.
Things quickly got exciting as more enemies suddenly warped into the zone and lasers criss-crossed the screen. I freaked out, got caught up in an explosion or two, but finally made it through in time for my ship to be stolen away. Then came the moment of truth. Could I now build an awesome ship without having my hand held by the game? Well, I certainly tried. Every ship must have a core to power it, and this core also needs to be shielded. Beyond that, you can do a whole lot of whatever you want in regards to ship design. As long as you bear in mind the power capacity and weight there’s a good deal of creative freedom. Sure, there’s not a ton of components available just yet but this is only a demo.
My problem came with understanding what exactly you need to have on a ship at all times. For example, my first vessel seemed pretty excellent. It was only once I took it into space that I realized it had no mechanism for steering. It just kept travelling onward in a mostly straight line despite my best attempt to do anything else. It was hilarious when I finally realized the issue! As such, other newbie folks might have similar problems, but enough practice will definitely help. Luckily Defect is not anywhere near Kerbal Space Program levels of building difficulty. If it were that’d be a nightmarish experience considering you’re going to always be rebuilding!
The graphics of Defect are also unique in that they’re all very “clean.” It’s a bit hard to explain really, but they look good. Your crew is pretty fantastic as well, especially the bird-man who you meet right off the bat. There are also one or two superb music tracks which pop up while playing. Honestly, it was a bit epic when a huge ship appeared on screen just as the music began to amp up. The UI is also pretty clean, although it feels incredibly mobile device-friendly despite this being a PC demo. There’s not a need to change this, of course, just something worth noting. So far it appears that Defect is off to a quite the start. Here’s hoping that Three Phase Interactive can manage to pull through with their campaign, or find financial support in another way.