Alt Shift / Humble Bundle
Certain titles throughout the PC gaming industry have been powerhouses in that they totally jump-started their own niche in the market or reinvigorate older ones. For instance, visionary games such as in the Dark Souls series created their own “Soulslike” subgenre.
Meanwhile, Red Hook Studios’ Darkest Dungeon put the “roguelike” subgenre front and center and has become one of the more mimicked titles as of late, clearly inspiring the likes of recent necromantic dungeon crawler Iratus: Lord of the Dead, and even 2017’s Dead Cells.
Alt Shift’s new roguelike space opera, Crying Suns, certainly seems to share some similarities with other roguelikes, but also introduces some new twists to the tried and true formula that we’re used to (at least us masochistic roguelike fans).
Crying Suns is a science fiction roguelike experience that “…puts you in the role of a space fleet commander as you explore a mysteriously fallen empire. In this story-rich experience inspired by Dune and Foundation, each successful run will uncover the truth about the Empire… and yourself as well.”
Those are some pretty lofty comparisons to be made such an indie dev studio. But what I’ve learned is that while the triple-A devs have the big bucks, they often lack the heart and vision to carry out anything remotely similar to classics such as the aforementioned Dune and Foundation. No, heart and vision are the providence of the smaller studios these days. And that’s very evident right from the start with Crying Suns.
In Crying Suns, you play as the cloned personage of a starship captain who has awakened after a cataclysm of galactic proportions. Your rather counterfeit captain is tasked with finding out what happened to his empire—why did it collapse and what exactly caused this great calamitous event? There’s also a very interesting little subplot involving you trying to figure out exactly who you are, or rather, who you used to be.
Gameplay-wise, Crying Suns involves traveling from star system to star system, all the while looking for clues as to what befell your fallen empire. Sometimes you’ll meet and make new friends, while other times you’ll come across bloodthirsty miscreants that want to destroy you. These events are all randomized so that although the events themselves may become a little repetitive, you never know exactly where things will go down.
Sometimes you’ll encounter planets that offer the chance for you to explore them for special treasures or resources. When this happens, one of your ship’s crew (based on their particular skills) will be chosen to go on a little mini-adventure in search of fame and fortune. Sometimes you’ll run into dangerous foes, while other times you’ll discover valuables, such as fuel (to power your ship’s thrusters) and scrap (the main currency within the game).
Scrap also lets you upgrade your ship as well as procure other ships for combat such as escort ships. Combat is real-time but you can pause it in order to think about what your next strategic move will be. Buying bigger or more lethal weapons is always a good thing. When you engage in combat, you’ll need to clear away all of the smaller escort ships first and then attack the larger enemy ships.
Graphics-wise, I’m usually sort of “meh” when it comes to pixilated graphics, which Crying Suns has. However, in this case not only are the graphics well done, but they also lend a sort of 90s cyberpunk aesthetic which really suits the game’s atmosphere and writing to a tee. The music is also pretty space opera-ish and adds to the immersion factor.
In all, I found Crying Suns to be a really fun and interesting science fiction title that has great writing, an interesting backstory, fun combat, and cool, retro graphics. Give it a try if you’re into challenging yet fun roguelike games.
Crying Suns has some pretty nice looking graphics that make its science fiction-based gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
Visit CyberpowerPC’s website to check out all of the other great deals as well!