Satellite Reign Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Satellite Reign Review




Satellite Reign could very well be the successor to Electronic Arts’ popular 1990’s title Syndicate. Satellite Reign began as a Kickstarter in 2013 and then an early access title on the Steam app but is soon to be moving toward the final stages. From a previous preview of the title, we had our chance to play some of the levels and provide insight of what it has to offer. Now with the final product reigning in I have the honour of giving you a final verdict to see if this cyberpunk, neo-city RTS is what it was hyped up to be.


Even together in the open, the enemy is no match.

Story-wise Satellite Reign begets nothing revolutionary, but a strong story doesn’t necessarily need to be an asset in creating a fantastic game. The city is controlled by a rich, pompous corporation who monopolized the city and gained footing in virtually every area. The player has to control a party of 4 high-profile agents in their attempt to corrupt and destroy the Corporation from the inside-out.

Satellite Reign only has one game mode, and that’s singleplayer. Even though that may be a bummer to some gamers, a solo campaign doesn’t seem to phase this title at all. Upon the first launch, Satellite Reign will have the player go through a short tutorial to learn all the core mechanics of controlling the squad. Only four members can be in the squad at any given moment, but during the tutorial there are only 3 – the last one has to be rescued. The tutorial also explains bribing certain civilians into giving information and activating spawn points throughout the city. After the tutorial, the game really opens up to unveil the neon-light city filled with civilians and police troops marching about – along with security turrets and drones. Hover cars drive by smoothly, and vibrant bright lights shine and flicker from every street lamp or under interesting advertising billboards. This is the best part of Satellite Reign. Every alleyway can be cut through should the security catch on to any mischief or potential infiltration. Alas, I did notice some slight frame rates drop from 60 to 30 while overlooking over certain areas of the city. Also, hover cars zooming by would abruptly stop for my squad, but an occasional glitch did pop up every once in a while (read: my operatives ran through the hovercars). Other than that Satellite Reign has been designed to be a truly free-roam city and – for the most part – this is executed on-point.

I was overwhelmed with the amount of detail that went into the creation of the city but lost the train of thought to what exactly my goal was. I later discovered about the missions’ log and the variety of tasks to choose from. This leaves it up to the player to decide what path to take. Having this feature doesn’t necessarily alter Satellite Reign’s story but rather branches it out, so there isn’t any frustration of being forced to complete a single, perhaps difficult level.


The basic load-out.

Next, I glanced over the details involving my squad and their roles. Each squad member can be equipped with their own skills and weapons load out. The skill tree is different for every squad member, for example; the hacker can hack nearby terminals, but some terminals are of a higher level. If I were to tack on a skill point for hacking level 2, I would be able to access higher-security terminals. Other team members have a unique skill special just like the hacker that can be leveled as players progress. The weapon load out was a relief to the point where I could alter certain weapon specs by buying upgrades or entirely new armaments.

The gameplay in Satellite Reign is not easy – it’s pretty damn tough. Satellite Reign was programmed to be a difficult game so that hardcore fans may appreciate the sense of strategy that’s built upon via the gameplay. There are multiple ways to go about how the squad may be infiltrating certain occupied zones in the city, and those are presented by sneaking through vents or hacking turret terminals. In some instances if agents are equipped with silent weapons they can one-shot kill any enemy unit. If stealth isn’t your forte, then up close and personal can be an option through the clever usage of cover while flanking the police or sniping from afar. There are multiple ways to go about capturing points. I did notice the AI seems to be a bit dimwitted when it comes to discovering your operatives, quickly forgetting their last location or pacing back and forth without knowing how to flank and ultimately having my agents gun the guards down.

Hotkeys are your friends and if not used properly then get ready for some screaming at the screen and potentially damaging your mice. A commonly occurring error would be positioning the agents to duck behind a wall and having an enemy shooting and doing damage whereas the agents repeatedly hit the wall. Usually, death follows soon if the cover doesn’t get registered, but fret not. Should one of your operatives fall, the repercussions aren’t all that dire. If you fail to revive them then he/she won’t die but respawn back at the spawn point nearest to where they’d died.

Finally, the soundtrack is probably one of the best I’ve heard in a while. To match the depressing 1984/Big Brother dystopia atmosphere, some lo-fi, synthetic, futuristic 80’s themes had to pop out somewhere. Not only did this increase up the intensity of firefights as they took place but it also breathed life into the city itself. I was constantly thinking about movies like Blade Runner or Robo Cop or previous gaming titles such as Hotline Miami or Far Cry: Blood Dragon and it brought a slight grin to my face.

Satellite Reign is one of the best RTS titles I have ever played. Although there were some slightly annoying errors and glitches present, it hadn’t affected my experience enough to seriously hinder gameplay or the game’s brilliant atmosphere. The open world, rain, neon city, multiple ways of infiltration, variety of skill trees and load outs, and let’s not forget the killer soundtrack makes Satellite Reign a must play for every hardcore gamer.