Now that Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is available for consoles, I gave it a spin and it's quite a cool spacefaring adventure so let's check it out.
Rebel Galaxy Outlaw has you play as badass space outlaw Juno Markev who's in a rough place with revenge on her mind while she struggles paying off a debt. The adventure ahead focuses on these aspects perfectly to create a gameplay-driven story that'll keep you rooting for Juno as she gets closer to achieving her goals. Throughout the journey, you'll meet plenty of folks who either occupy the various space stations scattered across the galaxy or are simply flying around. The characters range from hostile criminals to distressed spacefarers and helpful friends to nogoodnik power-hungry villains. With that being said, I was delighted by the fact that many of the characters straddle the moral line in that you don't always agree with their thoughts and actions which creates a certain uncertainty and grittiness within Rebel Galaxy Outlaw's game world. This aspect makes for quite an immersive narrative, too.
With all of that out of the way, what does actually playing Rebel Galaxy Outlaw involve? Well, you essentially take on jobs in order to earn money so you can upgrade your ship as well as purchase new ones and doing so allows you to take on tougher challenges in the hopes of ultimately achieving the sweet reward of revenge. These jobs are primarily assigned by accepting them at guilds and range from delivering cargo to shooting down certain criminals. The former may involve acquiring the cargo yourself which can be accomplished by purchasing it at a certain outpost or finding it simply floating around in a cargo container while the latter will have you pinpointing your adversaries then partaking in dogfights. You can also sell inessential cargo at markets so it's entirely up to you how you make money.
This open-ended campaign structure is rather rewarding to progress within but keep in mind that learning how to navigate the endless expanse is initially quite a steep hill to climb. There isn't really an adequate tutorial and for the first few hours of gameplay, I consistently found myself looking stuff up on the internet including some basics that should have been more self-explanatory. In fact, this unintuitive setup is my main gripe with Rebel Galaxy Outlaw. On the plus side, after you overcome the hurdle of getting accustomed with how to play, things turn from spotty to rather enjoyable. This is especially the case with the dogfights which will have you spinning around as you lock on to enemy ships and fire your array of equipped weapons. These can be tricky at times yet it's exciting stuff.
Although I enjoyed the large universe with its many intricacies such as an in-game economy with fluctuating prices, I found the gameplay to get a bit repetitive after I started becoming accustomed with how to play it effectively. In other words, I feel as if Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is one of those games with a fun factor on a bell curve as it starts out perplexing which turns to fun after you get to grips with it then becomes repetitive after a while. Another aspect that can be a tough pill to swallow is its ridiculous difficulty spikes. For example, you may be freely flying around collecting loot while you see a distress signal then you approach it and are quickly ambushed by a horde of overpowered ships that relentlessly attack and quickly blow you up. Thankfully, you can continue but much progress may be lost.
Oh, I just wanted to mention the awesome soundtrack which contains plenty of different rock tunes that'll make you feel like Star-Lord as you play. There are so many tracks that it's absurd and it's rare when you hear a song for a second time. Also, the music is intertwined with the gameplay perfectly as it fades in and out according to what's happening onscreen so it never becomes intrusive while maintaining maximum rock. How did I make rock sound so nerdy? Let's end this review before I say something even dumber.
Rebel Galaxy Outlaw will make you feel like a bonafide space cowboy with its fantastic mesh of gameplay elements and memorable cast of characters. Just make sure you're willing to put a lot of effort into learning how to play it before you take the plunge into space.
- + Expansive universe with plenty of interesting and rewarding intricacies
- + Great morally ambiguous characters
- + Fun combat with satisfying weapons
- - Gameplay has an exceptionally steep and unintuitive learning curve
- - Gradually gets repetitive after it clicks
- - Frustrating difficulty spikes