Space Wars, a unique entry into the MMO genre, is a tactical turn based MMO where your avatar/character is a starship. Space Wars seamlessly blends some of the best qualities of RTS games with MMOs in a new and interesting way.
In general players can move around the maps freely, the turned based actions only comes into play when you are in combat. Places where a conflict is going on are marked on the map so you can hop in and help your faction out or avoid those areas. There aren’t any resources to manage so the player is free to go where the action is though you do have to be aware of what kind of fight you are getting yourself into. There are hundreds of ships to choose from and every ship has strengths and weaknesses; exploiting these abilities is crucial in fights. The environment in maps can also be used in tactical ways to help even the playing field or crush your enemies.
I had the opportunity to play a little bit of the game while at PAX East and it was quite intriguing. The basics of everything was simple to pick up on. On my turn, I had to make choices about powering shields, powering weapons, and just moving around the map and there are limits of what can be done depending on what ship is in use. As straight forward as all of that was, the finer aspects like knowing what the other ships are capable of and how to make proper use of my ship are things which will take longer to learn. Being strategic is a large part of combat in Space Wars and because of this combat should remain fresh as players come up with new tactics.
At launch, there will be two factions players can choose to be part of, and neither one is portrayed as the “evil” faction as is common in many MMOs. They each have very different outlooks and motivations for why and how they do the things they do. Their differences aren’t just limited by their general outlook but also extends to how they build their ships and how they set-up their ships for offensive and defensive capabilities. There will also be a third faction added later who grow their ships which makes them quite different from the other two factions. There is also a large amount of lore and background to be learned in game for anyone who is interested in the stories behind everything going on.
Space Wars is currently in early closed beta but they will be expanding the beta soon to get more people in and test their systems. In addition, they plan to start Steam Early Access in two to three months which will give even more people a chance to experience this unique game.