In time, we would learn that life on a frontier colony is neither prosperous nor peaceful. Our first encounter with the nautilid started with hostilities and confusion, and ended with sacrifice. Fourteen years later, our leaders remain politically entangled and unable to see the threats that linger, both afar and within our own walls…
Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy is a game of 3D tactical space battles. Play your part in the Second Contact War in a campaign with a branching story and over 60 missions, or create your own scenarios in skirmish mode battles.
Give your orders, and watch the results in explosive pausable real-time. Tailor your arsenal of crew abilities and assault class ships as your fleet grows with your command. Exploit the enemy’s weaknesses with superior positioning and flanking manoeuvres to inflict devastating damage.
Six classes of assaults ships are yours to command. Make precision strikes with the swift Swordfish Raiders, or lead from the bridge of a hulking Kraken Dreadnought. Change your tactics as you order reinforcements with stun guns, guided missiles, unmanned fighter drones and single-focus DEW beams.
The nautilid threat is as varied as it is innumerable, however, and they will not surrender. Use your wits to overcome the threat of disruption fields, bio-missiles and proximity mines. And not all opposition to your command comes from outside. Raise the shields of your capital ships and engage in devastating broadside combat with the renegade military conspiracists who call themselves the Remnant.
Will you obey the chain of command and strengthen Novus’ defenses, or take your opponents head-on by yourself?
If you remember Relic’s cult classic Homeworld for the PC, you’ll feel right at home withStar Hammer.
You control multiple ships in free space, taking charge of who they attack and when, as well as their position on a 3D map.
The main difference here is that Star Hammer pauses the action every ten seconds so you can re-assess all of your options, issue new commands, and divert power to different systems, all before jumping back into the action.
Why are we fighting?
Despite being a very combat-focused game, Star Hammer actually has a pretty impressive narrative component to it.
The campaign focuses on Valeron Dyce, the daughter of a war hero that is suddenly thrust into command in the midst of a resurgence of squid-like aliens known as the Nautilid.
Besides from providing a good context for the combat, Star Hammer‘s narrative changes based on the way you play the game. If you are a hothead that doggedly rushes into combat, you’ll experience a different story than if you play a lot more defensively, which is a really nice touch.
What’s not to like then?
Although it’s a pretty impressive package on paper, Star Hammer does have a some issues.
The UI, while helpful, can take some getting used to, and the game camera, despite offering multiple views, is really unwieldy.
These would be bigger problems if the game moved in real time. Instead you can just struggle with the camera while everything is frozen in place.
The bottom line
Star Hammer is a phenomenal package, but it definitely isn’t for everyone. There are immediately apparent flaws with the game that can be very off-putting, but they’re totally worth looking past if you are a fan of the genre.Star Hammeris one of the best strategy games we’ve played this year, warts and all.
Game: Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy | 14.99$ | Universal app | Download