Battlecrew Space Pirates (PC Preview)

Battlecrew Space Pirates (BcSP) is an indie action game with competitive online play. BcSP involves you and your crew facing off against an opposing crew to see who is the best. I know that sounds like the story of Step Up (insert integer greater than 1), but alas it is the name of the game for Battlecrew Space Pirates. Being called a space pirate is a dream for anyone who is a fan of any kind of Sci-Fi (that involves space) and I am no different. However, in BcSP it loses its cool factor, its badassery, as we are all space pirates. So should you allow Battlecrew Space Pirates to plunder your wallet, or should you send it on a long walk down a short plank?

There are 4 heroes to choose from; 2 assailants and 2 gold specialists. The assailants are John Trigger and Janger. John Trigger is a ranged hero making use of a rifle and best at suppressing enemies as they try to reach a chest to pilfer. Janger is a Tiger with huge blades (as if a tiger needed more options to attack with) he is best used to rush enemies to get in close and disperse them in a panic. Then you have the gold specialists, Tiburon and Comet. I haven’t made much use of them, but as I understand them they are not as strong but can get gold quicker as well as store more on their person, for transfer to the base, compared to the assailants.

The gameplay is quick and you’ll be able to get a game in about 5 minutes, if you can get connected to the servers. The game modes currently available are Gold Rush and Team Deathmatch. Gold Rush focuses on gathering more treasure than the enemy team. There is a goal Treasure count, but with the games I have played the games have timed out before the goal is reached. Team Deathmatch is your standard affair where the team with the most kills wins. Of the 2, Gold rush is far more interesting, it offers more tactical combat and you get to use your hero’s abilities for more than just taking them out. Gold Rush’s focus on teamwork rather than killing the enemy which is a breath of fresh air in a competitive gaming world of League of Legends and Overwatch.

Instead of a main menu, Dontnod Eleven have chosen to go down the route of a 2D platformer. Even though it’s wonderfully quirky, I can’t say I love this decision. Navigating the menu takes time to find the right game modes or even adjusting your hero. The cool thing is you start off in Tortuga, which almost makes this whole selection method OK.

My main gripes with BcSP all tie to the fact it is in Early Access. That’s not to say it isn’t fun, it’s great and can pack a lot of great experiences into a short gaming session. Issues that have cropped up have been; players getting stuck in the environment, only 2 game modes, and only 4 characters to choose from. There isn’t much to the game, and I don’t know what lies ahead for Battlecrew Space Pirates. What we do know is that there will be future updates and a 5th character is teased in the hero select. I am hopeful the game increases what it offers, I’d prefer it go down a route of furthering the Gold rush game mode, rather than trying to offer further game modes. With Team Deathmatch being added recently we can assume that capture the (pirate) flag and other online gaming trope game modes will be on the way.

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