GAME REVIEW: Satellite Reign

In strategy games, you are in charge of your forces in a way that cannot be matched in any other genre. You will orchestrate your own victory- or your demise. Satellite Reign, a real time strategy game, puts you at the heart of every decision, and makes you work for the right to become a cyber cyborg badass. Satellite Reign takes place in a future dominated by gigantic corporations- and it looks like they’re all evil. As agents tasked with taking the corporations down, you employ a team of four uniquely skilled individuals.

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The first agent, the Soldier, looks like he could punch through concrete walls. He’s your all-around unit, the one you go to when you want to hurt something. Then we meet our supporter, who is equipped with the World Scan ability. World Scan is indispensable, and I fight the desire to keep it on at all times. World Scan is essentially a real-time blueprint. The bystanders, persons of interest, objectives, danger zones, and enemies are all lit up for you to discern. The other half of your team consists of the Hacker and Infiltrator. The Hacker is necessary for most missions, because you’ll have to break through security doors and disable cameras in order to successfully infiltrate restricted areas. The Infiltrator is your stealth specialist. If you have to get in and out without being detected, you depend on the Infiltrator. All units can get around without causing commotion, but the Infiltrator is the only one who can cloak, becoming totally invisible.

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Satellite Reign gives you the room to go in hot, or walk through the game with zero detection, So far, let’s just say that stealth has not been much of an option for me. I still haven’t successfully performed a stealth kill. If you have the patience, you can be a cyber ninja. I am just too clumsy and in a rush for that. I’m glad that I can just whip the guns out- or run like the dickens.

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Your agents are working together to destroy the evil Mega Corporations, but they aren’t so nice themselves. They kill, of course, but they also steal, bribe, and they even take the very physical makeup of random people to create clones. The clone feature allows you to take on the guise of certain people you discover in the world. You can either become a male or female, and also change the color pattern for your outfits. You can even score bonus stats, depending on the base body you choose.  It’s a sinister take on custom character building; a bizarre, yet positively received feature.

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Satellite Reign is a stat lover’s dream. If you’re obsessed with getting the maximum out of your avatar,  and obsessed with seeing how deep the systems go, 5 Lives has designed a playground that will fit your fancy. This is an open world, fast-travel strategy game.  It shares DNA with not only Syndicate, but also Grand Theft Auto and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. Speaking of Grand Theft Auto, Satellite Reign feels like Grand Theft Auto 3 to me; it’s an open world you can poke and prod, but there’s not much being said. The agents don’t speak, and there is only occasional voice work at the completion of a mission. The lack of voice-over is disappointing I feel alone, even though I have a team of four. I am reading all of this text from various people, but where are their voices? The text is well-written, sure. Why did the voice work stop, though? Did the budget run dry?

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Satellite Reign is the first game from 5 Lives Studios. They are, of course, a group of pros who came together to form a new company. That’s not to say that creating their very first game together was a piece of cake. I’ve seen little glitches here and there, and the AI has gotten stuck running into a wall a few times. However, glitches aside, 5 Lives has nothing to be ashamed of. Satellite Reign is a neon-colored, dystopian dream. While not a masterpiece, it succeeds at drawing in a player, and keeps them logging in.

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Rating: 4/5

Reviewer: Vichus Smith

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