Between the Stars puts you right in the cockpit of your own starship as either Jane or James Scott. YouR ship has been badly damaged while on your way to a summit being held at the Interstellar Republic presumably while in a space warp. The damage to the ship forces it out of warp and you find yourself in a small system that ends up being your tutorial area. After some time learning the basic flight and weapons controls you are thrown into the action, when a group of ships arrives after following you through the space warp.
Having gained some basic instruction on maneuvering your ship, you are now tasked with defeating the ships that followed you. You are able to manually assign where the majority of your ship’s power is focused for combat. You divide up the ship’s power between shields, weapons, and engines. Putting more power into the engines will have your ship moving at an accelerated rate, however your shields will be unable to take as much of a beating and your weapons will take longer to recharge. Much like FTL, Between The Stars wants you to learn balancing various sections efficiently in order to be successful in combat.
Upon destroying the enemy fleet that pursued you so single mindedly, you have the opportunity to loot your spoils from the decimated ships’ remains. The loot from these ships is available in the form of salvage pods, and their rarity ranges from common to rare and possibly even higher tiers. These crates can contain a variety of items, however I noticed that common crates mainly seemed to award you with various materials of no significant value when compared to rare crates. The higher tier crates seemed to drop materials and parts to upgrade my ship. I even managed to get a new weapon for my ship that was a fairly decent upgrade.
As I was going through my various salvage pods I realized that not everything in my inventory was a salvage pod, rather some were the caskets of dead crew members that must have died in the battle. I had actually managed to kill two of my crew when I diverted most of my ship’s powers to its engine and weapons. Unfortunately I didn’t really get to see how the death of two crewmates would actually affect the efficiency of the rest of my crew, however I know that more features are planned that involve crew mood and efficiency when fellow crew die.
Sound effects and music are well put together considering this was nothing but a tutorial/prologue. Every one of the weapons sounds nice and heavy, and all of the atmospheric explosions made the combat feel really epic. Some of the voice acting feels a little bit cheesy at times, but if that’s the worst of this game’s audio problems then I feel confident it will get better as it develops.
Meanwhile the graphics truly blew me away for a game that was funded through Kickstarter. Now it’s not just how beautiful the game is, which it actually is, however it also runs extremely well on the highest setting. From dazzling explosions down to the small details in the exhaust of your ship, this game has genuinely surprised me.
Between the Stars is a game to definitely watch out for. If you are fan of a game like FTL mixed in with Elite Dangerous then I would say this game is worth checking out. The gameplay is a great experience: you truly do feel like you are in an epic space battle when you start firing blasters and suddenly have to shift the ship’s power to your shields to prepare for a lot of incoming enemy fire. I have next to no gripes with anything that has been put into this game so far and am looking forward to the future of Between the Stars.