I was given a review copy for Dereliction created by developer ‘ Alex Zimich ‘, Dereliction is a Real Time Strategy game in which you command a squad of 5 soldiers against an alien incursion whilst trying to achieve set goals.
The goal is different for each level although mostly involves getting to an exit, along with sub goals such as recovering items, unlocked doors etc.
“Dereliction” in general
Dereliction is a somewhat simple premise, you have a small squad of 5 soldiers, they are deployed onto a ship so you can recover it, you can select each member of your squad and tell them to move to a specified location, your squad will try to stick together so they will sometimes automatically move themselves, you can request one or more of them to hold an area by themselves, although they will likely be overrun and killed like that.
In between levels you can upgrade your squad using credits you loot from the levels, all squad members and upgrades share the same credits so you will need to prioritise who and what to focus on, weirdly the game suggests to upgrade your pistol first but doesn’t give you any credits to do so, meaning you have to finish the first level and then come back to do what you were told but this time without the prompt explaining it, also weird is that the credits seem to be listed as “Airlock” at the top of the screen, it also warns you when you have available credits and try to deploy, although it doesn’t take into account when the amount you have isn’t enough to actually afford any upgrades.
Along with your pistol you can also purchase both primary and secondary weapons, although none of the weapons (pistol included) give you any sort of explanation as to what they do or how powerful they are, the help prompt does mention that all are useful and will be worth getting for the end game but that doesn’t really help you prioritise at first.
Like a lot of RTS single player titles, Dereliction has a time control element, in most games this comes in the form of speeding things up (however that is more for building objects), in Dereliction you can slow time down, this enables you to move your whole squad without having to worry as much about being overrun before you can move the last person, there is no limit to this power either so if you wish you can essentially turn the game into a pseudo turn based strategy game.
The environments in Dereliction are mostly space stations, a series of rooms and hallways that become very familiar fast, due to their setups being obviously designed as game levels they make no logical sense as space stations which does sort of detract from the experience, although running through the same basic ship set ups repeatedly would get older much faster.
Sound / Music
The music in the game I found to be a bit hit and miss, the intro of the game has a high octane rock sound that is supposed to hype you up, and then the opening level is almost completely silent, with mostly ambient almost not there at all music playing, sound wise, most sounds are pretty stock, guns firing, aliens squelching, as you can select your squad’s genders in between levels (as well as randomise their names), I at first used a mix of male and female units, however after the first level I changed to a full female squad, there are no stat changes, literally the only reason I did it was because the female voice actor is infinitely better, she says a few phrases as you select her and move her around, nothing amazing but they are clear and pleasant, the male voice however has a weird static effect as if the audio is always peaking which is headache inducing, when your team suddenly all move to catch up with the person you were moving around having the guys yell out their phrases made me jump more than most horror games because it’s just so loud and abrasive.
Graphically Dereliction looks ok from a distance and especially in static shots, however when you zoom in the character models and ship textures look more like a game from a few decades ago, the characters also look like they are sliding around a lot as their animations are very basic and don’t fully match up well with what they are doing, when you zoom fully out the screen turns into a kind of overhead map with small icons showing important objects, squad members and enemies (aliens called the Dross), as you can control the game still I found myself using the map mode a fair bit, not only is it easier to move your units the map gives off a sort of retro classic gaming feel to it and as such it feels more acceptable that it doesn’t bother with animations.
I may have been pretty tough on Dereliction but it does have some potential, especially if some of the issues could be ironed out with patches, however over all I’ve found more enjoyment with similar games that cost less, if you see it on sale and want to squash some bugs it could be worth a look, there are a few near little Alien references I noticed while playing so it’s obvious that the developer is a fan of the film series (I also enjoyed Dereliction a lot more than Alien Isolation).
The full price is 7.50 Australian dollars
Price / Quality: Might be overpriced
Rating: 5 – It is playable and i can see people having fun with this.
Genre: Indie, RTS, Strategy
Developer: Alex Zimich
Publisher: Alex Zimich
Release Date: 10 Jul, 2018