Reviews - Updated on April 13, 2022

“Early Access” is a good thing, on the one hand. You can feel the game yourself, and help the developers with catching bugs. On the other hand, it is somewhat unethical in relation to users, since, firstly, constant collisions with these same bugs negatively affect the gameplay. And secondly, the gameplay can be interrupted at the most unexpected moment – at the fourth hour of the campaign, when you do not expect it at all. This is what happened with Deep Sky Derelicts.Deep Sky Derelicts обзор

Calling the interface bright is difficult, but everything is clear.

deep blue sky

It is impossible not to start this preview with subjective indignation at the transience of the available version – when it ends before it even starts, you are the last thing on your mind about work. After all, Deep Sky Derelicts catches in earnest.

Everything shows that the budget of the project is small – the graphics look very poor, the items in the inventory are difficult to distinguish from each other. They saved even on the simplest animation – the moments of striking are presented here in the form of comic pictures. But poverty is not a vice, and developers cannot be blamed for a simple lack of funds. It’s not all that bad – local art perfectly creates the mood of a retro-futuristic setting. This is quite enough, because we have exactly the case when the gameplay is so exciting that you forget about any visual discomfort.

It is also worth noting that the game looks somewhat primitive, not only at the technical level, but also in the way information is presented to the user. This is not to say that this is a minus: Deep Sky Derelicts is simple and utterly understandable. No extra menus, tricky mechanics, complicated descriptions and overloaded interfaces. We went to the bar – got the quest. We visited the first-aid post – instantly cured the wounds of the soldiers. Everything is done with one or two mouse clicks. But for all its straightforwardness, the project manages to maintain a great strategic potential.

Card reading

The gameplay rests on three pillars – this is a turn-based sequence of actions of fighters on the battlefield, detailed “customization” of characters and … card gameplay is the basis of everything! Yes, in addition to the fact that, like a decent “bagel”, Deep Sky Derelicts every time creates a “random” space with new levels and combinations of interesting events, a lot of it is based on another factor of randomness – maps. It is they who distinguish the creation of Snowhound Games from the background of competitors.Deep Sky Derelicts обзор

Where without lyrical dialogues with opponents before the battle!

At first glance, it seems that the developers just took the perfectly working Darkest Dungeon formula and implemented it in their setting. First, we collect a detachment of three people – we will walk with them until the final credits. The classes are quite diverse: duelists, wrestlers, leaders… Each is distinguished by its performance indicators (there are only five of them), as well as the general style of behavior on the battlefield. It is clear that the medic has everything “sharpened” for the treatment of the team, and the fighter – for the use of melee weapons. The inventory of our wards also seems completely prosaic at first – it has three or four slots for weapons and gadgets that determine the set of active skills of the hero during the battle.

But it is these skills that have an unusual expression: they are presented in the form of cards. That is, the value of the thing that your character holds in his hands is completely reduced to the set of those cards that he can draw from the deck during the battle. A powerful cannon is not one that does 30 damage, but one that gives two cards that have the “Deal 30 damage to a single target” stat.

This whole classic picture of role-playing mechanics is suddenly turned inside out, and it turns out that its framework and basis consist of card rules. To make things more complicated, each main item has two slots in which you can inject found or purchased amplifiers. The principle of their operation is the same as that of the main guns: they do not add any parameters to the little thing, but simply enrich our deck with several cards that correspond to the specifics of the weapon.

A simple example: we have a laser machine designed to deal massive damage. Two of his standard cards have the following characteristics: 80% of the base damage goes to one target, and the rest of the enemies take 25%. But it is for this machine that we find an amplifier that gives us three cards that do not harm health, but have a blinding effect. As a result, we have five cards in the deck. That is, by installing this or that gadget, we increase the uncertainty factor in battle. After all, cards are drawn from the deck randomly. What will our shooter get in battle – standard massive damage or a “stun”?

Deep Sky Derelicts обзор

In extreme cases, you can run away from the battlefield. But this is not an extreme case.

The example is very rough, but it indicates the main gameplay feature of Deep Sky Derelicts, which is an extremely curious symbiosis of role-playing and card elements. After all, there are a lot of gadgets here. And the more you wear them, the more the uncertainty of your arsenal increases. The player’s task is to create a deck with high card synergy. Or rather, three such decks.

It is in their correct combination that the main strategic element lies. The tactics you choose should resonate with the character development line. Everything is clear here: we gain experience, move to a new level and invest skill points in existing skills or acquiring new ones. Each time we are faced with an alternative of two abilities. What is better: to add health to our “tank” or to train it to handle weapons better? Complex, complex “customization” of the three characters makes the process of team development an extremely exciting experience.

I would go to heaven

Travel around the world is traditionally organized: there is a schematic map on which we move, spending energy. The plot goal, as it should be in such games, is vague – we are asked to find some kind of mother ship. Where he is – only God knows, but we have little choice: to go and look for a needle in the galactic hay. Along the way, completing additional tasks and strengthening the team.

Energy is the only resource, our fighters do not require any food. But its quantity should be carefully monitored, because if somewhere in the space labyrinths we move far from our ship and are left without “fuel”, it’s all over. It is necessary to plan in advance the duration of the trip and purchase backup energy sources.

Most of the terrain is empty sectors. Among them, you will stumble upon rooms with opponents, as well as areas where you can chat with characters, get quests or plunge into small text adventures.

Deep Sky Derelicts обзор

The game card is generated randomly every time.

The most interesting thing is the battles. Visually, everything is simple: on the left side of the screen there are three of our heroes, on the right – a group of opponents. Fighters in turn, determined by indicators of initiative, perform various actions. The options are determined by randomly drawn cards from the deck. That is, we concocted an inventory of all sorts of combat gloves, rifles and regenerating spheres, equipped everything with additional modules and received thirty cards. The first move is to draw several of them – there is a choice here. And then you have to pull one at a time, and if it turned out that not a single of your warriors holding a healthy cannon in their hands can shoot at the enemy, but is able to increase the morale of an ally or restore their shield, then you made a strategic mistake when compiling the deck, focusing on defense.

***

Deep Sky Derelicts is definitely worth waiting for all fans of the genre. Everything that is remarkable about “bagels” – unpredictability, replay value and strategic – in the Snowhound project is combined with the original card mechanics, which gives fresh sensations. Such that you would never want to break away from the process after a couple of hours of the campaign. Still, this is an insidious thing – “Early Access”.

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