Overall - 69%
Anyone who likes the idea of being a bounty hunter in space will enjoy their time with Rebel Galaxy Outlaw. Just don't expect the casino to blow you away.
Rebel Galaxy Outlaw serves as a prequel to 2015’s Rebel Galaxy. Does the jump from 2D to 3D work for the series, or should they have kept the old style? Check out our review and find out.
Rebel Galaxy Outlaw Review
Rebel Galaxy Outlaw has players taking on the role of Juno, a retired bounty hunter who is tracking the killer of her husband. The story picks up right after she first found him and failed to finish the job. She now has to work her way back up the ranks and find him all over again. With no ship, no money, and no idea where to start, she calls up an old client for a favor. He will give you one of his extra ships as long as you deliver a package for him – easy enough for a seasoned bounty hunter.
This does not prove to be the case, however, as you are given what I believe is called a garbage truck. A giant rectangle with engines and a couple of weapon slots, that bounty hunting you were looking forward to will have to wait until you get a better ship. Still, the ship has a lot of cargo space, making it great for multiple delivery missions to other space stations. It’s a slow grind at first, but when you get a couple of lasers, a missile launcher, and better armor, you can start hunting pirates for big money.
After earning enough credits, I finally upgraded to the Sandhawk, and I fully believe that this is the way the game is meant to be played. Your first ship handled pretty much like what you would imagine a school bus to handle like. The Sandhawk makes you feel like you are in an X-Wing, Swordfish, or any other slick speedy space ship you are picturing in your head. I went from dreading multiple enemies to hoping I could get five or more in a single sector. That’s not to say I wasn’t outgunned later in the game; although I certainly was, the Sandhawk just made me feel like I had a chance in these moments.
When you start the game, you are told that a gamepad is the best way to play. That is because you can lock onto enemy ships with the trigger, making it easier to take them out. I tried it without the lock-on for a brief moment and quickly realized my mistake. The cockpit view works well with the lock-on as well, though I mainly played in third person to see which directions the lasers came from. Space combat and exploration is the crux of the game. Note that you don’t walk around on planets or in space stations; just move around in your ship.
Fighting pirates isn’t the only way to make cash in this game. You can be a merchant ship if you want, though pirates will still mess with you. Each sector, station, and faction will have different prices for different goods. If you are willing to buy low in one station and haul the products across the galaxy, you can get a big payday. If you are feeling risky, you can even sell black market goods and drugs for some serious cash, but the police force in-game is deadly. They scan you, see your contraband, and shoot you down. Of course, a cunning bounty hunter can add secret compartments in their storage to avoid the authorities.
The economy is worth mentioning as well. When you destroy enemy ships, you can sometimes get their cargo, or bring in the pilots for cash. A lot of the early stuff isn’t that valuable, but as you progress, more valuable commodities drop. The downside is that if your ship is damaged, you have to repair it, meaning you lose some of your profit. There was never a point where I was swimming in credits or didn’t have something else to upgrade. The economy is balanced enough that you can be a reckless merc or a safe trader and still end up positive money-wise.
Despite these qualities, Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is not without its faults. As far as I can tell, a paltry five ships are included in the title. This didn’t matter much to me, since I loved the Sandhawk, but it might hurt long term players. There is also a cool casino space station right out of Cowboy Bebop, but players can only experience a slot machine. Not multiple slots; one slot machine. Other space stations have pool, dice, and an arcade game, but this casino one only has a single slot machine. Put simply, my expectations were not met.
On the music front, the game has a great soundtrack of all varieties. You can also import your own music, making it even better. I did run into a couple of bugs with optional quests, but the main quests all worked fine. I did have one hard crash, but the game autosaves pretty often, and I didn’t lose any progress.
Anyone who likes the idea of being a bounty hunter in space will enjoy their time with Rebel Galaxy Outlaw. Just don’t expect the casino to blow you away.
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