Battlestar Galactica Online

Abraxas reveals what you didn’t know you weren’t waiting for- a Battlestar Galactica online game.

There are 12 Cylon models.

They want to destroy humanity.

They have a plan.

Oh, sure, that plan seemed changed from week to week, and at times really didn’t make much sense at all, and there weren’t really 12  but they had a plan.  And apparently that plan included making a browser-based F2P MMO.   Which, I have to say, sounds like a really stupid plan.

It’s not because I hate browser games.  I don’t.  In fact, I really like some browser games. Seriously, someone needs to take Tetris Friends away from me.  I can’t stop playing it.

And it’s not like I despise every MMO out there.  I don’t.  I play a lot of those too.

But, let’s be honest, a browser game is not going to have the same graphic capacity of a dedicated game platform, nor will it be able to handle the sort of load a face-paced multiplayer game requires.

Having said that, the actual graphics of the game are impressive.  For a browser game.

Detailed models and environments make for a surprisingly good looking game.  Now, mind you, it’s no Crysis 2 (or any other PC or console game for that matter) but for a free game you play in a browser it’s pretty good.

I imagine there’s some sort of over-arching story line to the game.  I have no idea because I stopped playing after about 30 mintues.

You see, the controls for the Viper fighter craft epically suck.

I found the steering to be slow to respond, partially due to server lag but also due to the limitations of a browser game.  The developers of the game went for as realistic as possible with the physics of the game.  Which, in theory is a great idea, but in practice makes for really boring flight sim.

For my money, the best space flight sim is still the X-Wing series from Totally Games.

A second problem with the game is how the weapons are controlled.  The guns are controlled by the computer, meaning as soon as the targeted enemy comes within range the guns start firing.  The only control you have is to keep your nose pointed at the Cylons.

And having to use WASD controls for a flight sim makes it hard enough.

You do get to press a button to fire missiles.  So that’s exciting.  Which is a shame, because I am a big fan of the SyFy series.   The show handled terrorism, war, and intolerance by allegory incredibly well.   Except for the 3rd season (which is highly forgettable) the show delivered a great story season and after season.

Interesting sidenote: NBC Universal (which owns the TV show) purchased the Bigpoint Games, the German studio that developed BSG Online. Bigpoint has a reputation of being able to deliver quality browser games, so I would expect to see Comcast…er…I mean, NBC mining more of its intellectual property for Internet gold.  How long until we get a Knight Rider MMO?

Oh, I almost forgot, the free to play part.  Pretty much it’s free to sign up for an account, and to start the game.  But if you want a better ship, more stuff, or anything other than the basic game you’re going to have to pay to get it.  Some people like that model, and the industry has been trying to make that model work for some time now, but for my money I prefer a flat monthly fee (or a life-time subscription price is even better) rather than getting nickled and dimed.

Overall, Battlestar Galactica: Online is okay.  It’s F2P, so it’s cheap, and the graphics are better than you would expect, but the controls make the game difficult to play and the lack of interaction with the weapons makes it boring.  It’s set in an interesting and dynamic fictional world, but the problems with the controls really interferes with enjoying that environment.

There might be an intriguing story line to the game, but I couldn’t force myself to play long enough to find out.

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