In the distant future, mankind has spread out among the stars. Interstellar travel is common now, enabled by the use of special gates that make travelling from star system to star system simple and easy. However, this does not mean humanity has entered some kind of golden age. On the contrary, planetside life for most people means total domination either by the Emperor of Earth or one of three megacorporations. Those who want to be free of imperial bureaucracy or economic exploitation have to head out to the edges of known space, where asteroid mining stations and freelance interstellar traders can still make a decent living. But with freedom comes chaos, in the form of ravaging pirates, hostile aliens, and rogue AI-controlled ships.Star Wolves
is a series of real-time strategy games with RPG elements. Story aside, essentially what you do is select a mission, fly out into space, blow stuff up, loot the remains of the stuff you blow up, level up your pilots, and buy shiny new gear for the Star Wolf and its fighters. There are three games in the series:
- Star Wolves (2004): The original game, more or less linear, but still gave freedom in what missions you could choose. A pair of people decide to become mercenaries, and eventually get involved in a war that will decide the fate of the universe.
- Star Wolves: Empire's Legacy: A mod that brings an additional storyline and new ending. Made by fans, but recognised by the publishers as good. Wasn't translated to English.
- Star Wolves 2 (2006): It gave a big, but empty, universe that you were free to explore. Considered to have a strange plot, it was received poorly by the fans. It features the same heroes somehow degraded back to green rookies with all their achievements forgotten. They also lost their previous mothership, which was replaced by an even crappier vessel.
- Star Wolves 3: Civil War: Created by the previously mentioned fans using the tools that were used to make the original game, with official support from the publisher. Exploiting the second game's open-world system, it was filled with A LOT of content. Follows the storyline of Empire's Legacy, totally ignoring the second game.
The story of the first game begins with Hero
, a trader who gets his vessel blown up and looted by pirates, and who swears to restart his life and get his revenge at the same time. With the aid and financial backing of a few friends, he outfits a large cargo-hauler, the Star Wolf, with armor, shields, and weapons, and throws in a few starfighters to boot. The crew and pilots of the Star Wolf become interstellar mercenaries, making their living by protecting traders, hunting pirates, taking bounty contracts, and salvaging the remains of all who oppose them.
The third takes place in the aftermath of the first. The ongoing civil war has not stopped business from being carried out. A trader in charge of a small trading company has sent out an important and lucrative convoy, which is destroyed under mysterious circumstances. Bankrupted by this and unable to find out what had happened to his people through official channels, he decides to launch an investigation with what resources he has left. As he gathers more information, he finds himself being dragged into events that will shape the future of the universe...
Not to be confused with a similarly named chapter
of Space Marines
in Warhammer 40,000
. Has nothing to do with Wolf from the Star Fox
This game provides examples of:
- Adventure Guild: The titular Star Wolves.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
- Back Tracking: Infrequent, but you do find yourself returning to certain special systems occasionally.
- Beat Them at Their Own Game:
- Berserks are most easily destroyed by quickly blasting them with heavy weapons, before they attack you in the same manner.
- Their own lasers are really effective against them, though you need someone with the right perk before you can install them.
- Beam Spam: A great way to quickly deal massive damage to a capital ship. It works well on fighters as well, except for those with laser-resistant shields.
- Captain Ersatz: Berserks are commonly known AI's in many Sci-fi games which includes their needs of replicating in a mass number and urge of replacing all life with their own machinery.
- Character Customization: Limited. Besides Hero, your crew members have predetermined classes with their own development trees, but you can customize them within those restrictions.
- Character Portrait: Each character has a static profile to recognize them uniquely. Even the Motherships in the sequels have their own portraits.
- Cool Starship: The Star Wolf. It's bigger and potentially better-armed than most of the vessels the Star Wolves fight, and using it as a gunship is a pretty good tactic for players who are concerned about sending it in ahead of the fighters.
- Critical Existence Failure: No amount of damage to any spacecraft has any impact on it's performance until it blows up.
- Cut-and-Paste Environments: The environments are entirely written in readable scripts in the game's files, which allows players to remove, ruin or improve these aspects.
- Played straight in the first two games. Given how the background is mostly empty space, this is understandable. Still, you generally can tell systems of different sectors apart.
- Mostly averted in the third game, which has unique backgrounds for nearly every system.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Get the Star Wolf and your fighters equipped with best modules and weapons early in-game by proper saving and decision making then you'll get a force to be reckoned with.
- Defeat Means Playable: How you recruit one of your crew members.
- Dialogue Tree: In-mission conversations.
- Disc One Nuke: To some degree in first two games, major one in third game, where getting secret supply stash early in the game can give you rare equipment that is hard to obtain even in late-game.
- Enemy Detecting Radar
- Event Flag: Just about almost every mission taken for granted has an event flag to guide players all throughout the three games.
- Every Bullet Is a Tracer
- For Massive Damage: Torpedoes, Insanely-amped Plasma and Laser cannons, even Railguns.
- Special abilities' description even state that character is targeting weak spots.
- Hard Mode Perks: Harder difficulties grant experience bonus, and the experience is extremely important in the game.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: Hero is the default name of the leader-character you make at startup, but you can type in whatever you wish.
- Hit Points
- I Fought the Law and the Law Won: Averted. Actually, attacking civil authorities is a great way to get salvageable loot.
- But generally they are either too well equipped or there are too many of them or loot isn't valuable at that level.
- Infallible Babble: Newscasts always describe events that you're going to get involved in, if you aren't already involved.
- Irrelevant Importance: The Ancient skull in the first game
- It's Up to You: Played with. If you're working for corporations or civilians, they'll usually ask you to take point. The Imperial Navy, on the other hand, is okay with leading the charge as long as you provide backup.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Some classes of pilots can be trained to do this. Some fighters are BUILT to do this.
- Expect it to cost LOT of money thou.
- Mirror Match: The first Star Wolves has you run into a different group of mercs who are charged with killing you. Coincidentally, they're armed with a refurbished armed transport, exactly like yours, and fighters like the ones you might be flying.
- Multi-Mook Melee: Averted. Although you're warned in places that you may be fighting an endless stream of enemies, it's never actually endless. Actually, there's a lot of money to be had by fighting off multiple mook waves.
- Multiple Endings: Although not on Star Wolves 1, its sequels allow players to affect the ending of the game by decisions made in the long stories.
- Omnicidal Neutral: You can play like this, if you really want to.
- Palette Swap: Different factions could be using identical fighters, save for the difference in color.
- Point Build System: Both in gaining character experience to make most of the skill tree each character possess and the ability to buy stronger equipment deeper in the game.
- Real Time with Pause: Rarely seen in many RPGs, it also comes with a speed-up option if the game feels too slow for certain players (8x in the second sequel).
- RPG Elements
- RPGs Equal Combat
- Scratch Damage: With recharging shields, you may not notice the scratches, but enough weak enemies can still present a threat.
- Scripted Event
- Schrödinger's Gun
- Shout-Out: Kruger sector contains a space station called "Brennan's Triumph", also the name of a sector in the X-Universe series.
- Sidetrack Bonus: Visiting every possible location of interest in a system, even when they have nothing to do with your actual reason for being in the system, is the best way to get jobs and/or targets to blow up and salvage.
- Sequelitis: The second game. Averted with the Civil War stand-alone expansion, which was developed by the independent Elite Games Team, and (hopefully) with the Ashes of Victory expansion made by the same team.
- Space Navy: Every major faction has one, or perhaps more than one.
- Space Is an Ocean
- Suicidal Overconfidence: Those lowly pirates will never stop harassing you, even if the Star Wolf and its crew are quite obviously better-armed than the Imperial Navy.
- Title Drop: Since "Star Wolves" is the actual name of your company, you can expect it to appear a lot in the news as your reputation grows.
- 2-D Space: Averted, sort of. All mobile objects in the game can and do move in three dimensions. However, generally everything happen at same Z-axis. Also all ships will align up-down when idle.
- We Help the Helpless: If you're playing nice during in-game dialogues, the Star Wolves may find themselves doing an awful lot of pointless errands as well as system-saving adventures. Still, this is more rewarding materially than snubbing everyone.
- Walk It Off: Fighters have recharging shields and can recover HP as well if they're docked inside the Star Wolf, they can also recover constantly in-flight if they have an available Nanobot module equipped. Most other ships regenerate shields, and can also armor if they also have the corresponding modules.