Friday, February 18, 2011

Battlestar Galactica Onine: Beta Review

Game site:

Battlestar_galactica_online.jpgBattlestar Galactica fans everywhere, your game has arrived! Bigpoint, in association with SyFy and NBC Universal, has been working on an online MMO called Battlestar Galactica Online. Battlestar Galactica Online (BGO) is set just after Season 2, Episode 11 and 12, where Galactica and Pegasus destroy the Cylon Resurrection Ship. According to the story of BGO, the Cylons retaliate soon after for the lost of their ship. But when the Colonial Fleet tries to jump away, something goes wrong. Both the Colonial and Cylon fleet are hit with a massive energy pulse that overloads their FTL drives and triggers an uncontrolled jump that throws them way off course.

Here starts the main story of BGO. One the game site, Bigpoint gives this description:

In Battlestar Galactic Online, both the Colonial and Cylon fleets find themselves stranded in an unexplored area of space at the very edge of one of the galactic arms. Heavily damaged and critically low on resources, both fleets race against time to repair and rearm, struggling for control of systems rich in Tylium, metals and water. The Colonial fleet desperately searches for a way to escape and continue the search for Earth before the Cylons gain enough strength to destroy them once and for all.

Even though BGO is just a beta at the moment, I'll give a short review of it in its current state. When it goes to its actual release, I'll review it again with any additions they've made.

Note: This review is done from the human side of the game. You can play as a Cylon, and I will be reviewing that side of game later.


Gameplay/Presentation 7/10 - The gameplay of BGO is pretty well executed, especially for a solely online MMO with no downloaded client. The game starts you off with a brief tutorial that teaches you how to fly your Viper Mk II, how to attack, and few other basic skills. When the tutorial ends, you can get more training by going and getting missions from Admiral Adama, or you can jump straight into the main game. The main story of the game involved jumping to systems, preferable with a fleet of other player ships, and establishing an outpost in that system. This can be easy if the Cylons don't have an outpost ship in that system. But if they do, massive, multi-ship PvP battles tend to take place, with spectacular results.
If you don't want to jump straight into helping with the raid fleets, you can take little assignments from Apollo and Starbuck. These are usually mining, drone killing, and recon missions, great for getting a little extra money and experience. Hopefully when the release copy of the game comes out, they will have a few more missions. When they do, BGO will definitely get a higher score here.

battlestar-galactica-online1.jpgGraphics/Sound 9/10 - If you run BGO at full graphics over a good internet connections, the graphics of the star systems look amazing. The ship textures are extremely well done and the textures for the asteroids, planets and other various in-system objects look great. Even when you have to turn the graphics down, the game still looks good. The soundtrack of the game is even better. Some of the music is from the show, and the music that isn't from the show is clearly related to the music from the show. But it's not just the music that is stellar, is also the sound effects. The explosions, gun and missile sounds, engine noise are all extremely well done. They sound similar to the show, without being a direct rip from BSG.

Story 7/10 - Here's where the game is lacking a little bit. While there is an over-arching story to the entire game, there are not a lot of side missions and side stories to explore. Mostly, the story revolves around trying to take more systems than the Cylons. But what happens if the humans push them all the way back to their Basestar. Does the game end? Will Galactica jump out from behind the nebula finally? We may never know, but hopefully the developers have considered these, and other burning questions that the beta testers have had.

Overall Verdict 8/10

This game has huge potential, and since it's just hitting open beta, it has plenty of time to work out any hiccups that may pop up. To the developers, I just have to say keep up the great work on the game. I'm look forward to flying my Viper around the world of BGO for many months to come.


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