One of my favorite games of all time is Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader for the Nintendo Gamecube, a game which featured a fantastic atmosphere, great controls and a very steep but fair level of challenge in it. Space combat games like that one haven’t been showing up very frequently over the past decade. Derelict Fleet, a game which showed up from out of freaking nowhere, seemed like a nice return to form for the space combat genre, by the looks of some of its preview pictures. Boy, was I wrong. Rogue Squadron, this is not. Good game, this is not.
My issues with the game began right when I booted it up from the PS4’s main menu, and saw a gigantic Unity logo instead of, you know, an actual artwork for the game itself. And then I had to face the sad truth: Derelict Fleet is just one of the hundreds of trillions of cheap Unity games you can find on the Steam store like drunk people at a NASCAR race. The problem is, this is the Playstation 4 we’re talking about, I was expecting a little bit of curation from Sony’s part.
Once you start playing the game, you’re greeted with one huge story screen (most likely made either on GIMP or MS Paint) with tons of uninteresting text. That’s already bad, but it gets worse. A few seconds after the screen shows up, a voice starts narrating it. A Google Translator automated voice. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is what I had to deal with. People now use free automated voices instead of forcing the background designer to say a few words in front of the microphone. But wait, it still gets worse, the game hasn’t even actually started yet…
Derelict Fleet‘s actual gameplay consists on what I assume the pre-pre-pre alpha build of Rogue Squadron II was. You move around one of two ships in a vast empty map, with visuals straight from the most generic space shooters from the beginning of the millennium, and all you need to do is defend your motherships (named after Canadian provinces, by the way) from enemy attacks. That’s it, for every single level. There is nearly no variety whatsoever between missions besides a few asteroids or a different planet on the background. To top it off, that lovely Google Translator voice constantly talks with you, alerting you to the current health of your motherships, as well as attempting to give you gameplay hints, as if anyone could pay attention to a voice like that during a game. The controls are also as bad as anything else in the game, being incredibly barebones in the amount of things you can do, as well as being too sensitive. It’s hard to describe in words how bad the controls are, they’re something you need to experience in order to understand. Then again, that’d require you people having to play this atrocity, and I don’t want you to suffer like I did.
Derelict Fleet is just yet another cheap Unity game released for the PS4. It features no redeeming qualities whatsoever. This game is absolutely abysmal and fails in basically every single aspect. Just like Life of Black Tiger before it, it’s yet another game which makes me wonder what kind of substance the Sony guys are on, allowing stuff like this to be part of the PS4’s library. The game is also scheduled for an Xbox One release soon. Microsoft, for the love of Bill Gates, you still have time to cancel the deal.
This game costs money. It costs actual money. I want my ten dollars back, please.
Derelict Fleet is also available on PC.