The year is 2406. Junius Fahrenheit, troubled son of the brilliant scientist Dr. Lomonosov, still grapples with nightmares of a traumatic incident from six years ago. He wants nothing more than to complete his fathers latest project, an experimental starship called the Sierra, and get on with his life.
But the Sierras unveiling is cut short by a troubling broadcast. Before a cheering crowd, a masked firebrand declares that the people of Mars will no longer bow to the whims of distant Earth. He announces the formation of the Ares Confederation, urging his followers to fight for the independence of this new Martian state.
As the solar system teeters on the brink of interplanetary war, Junius and the Sierra are pressed into the service of the United Terran Vanguard. Can this experimental ship and her untested commander make a difference in the war to come?
The first episode, Collapsing Daybreak, was released on January 15 2020 and is available on Steam here. The second episode, Dissonance and Resonance, is in development.
Sierra Ops contains examples of:
- Char Clone: The leader of the Ares Confederation has silver hair and wears a red visor that conceals the upper half of his face. Hes leading Mars into a war against the UTV, effectively making him the Big Bad.
- Civil War: The plot revolves around a war between Earth and its Martian colonies, which desire independence.
- Colonized Solar System: Mars has been colonized for three hundred years, and 14% of humanity lives on space colonies located at Earths Lagrange points. Theres also Mondshire, a city on the surface of the Moon, and the game begins on a space station orbiting Venus.
- Deflector Shields: Vector fields, which are normally so bulky and energy-intensive that they can only be mounted on space colonies. The Sierra and the Lapis are some of the first spacecraft capable of defending themselves with these fields, thanks to their prototype Lomonosov Particle Drives. In gameplay a vector field will prevent all damage to the ship until it overloads, and while it will eventually recharge, youll need to switch it back on manually.
- Distress Call: Junius picks up a distress signal from the Rhines colony near the end of Episode I. Investigating it leads to one of the episodes three endings.
- EMP: In the Mondshire ending of Episode I, Junius uses an improvised EMP to disable the Ares fleet.
- Encyclopedia Exposita: All of the Codex entries are presented as in-universe documents. They take the form of textbook excerpts, news articles, emails, tourism pamphlets and transcripts of conversations, amongst other things.
- Feudal Future: Humanity is ruled by a collection of noble families descended from the Twelve Noble Vanguards, a group that saved humanity from the brink of extinction centuries ago.
- Flashback Nightmare: Junius has recurring nightmares of an incident from six years ago where he nearly burned to death. He dreads going to sleep as a result.
- Flawed Prototype: The Lapis is a prototype Exoframe powered by a Lomonosov Particle Drive. It can do some spectacular things, like releasing an EMP powerful enough to disable an entire fleet. It cant handle the strain of operating at full power, however, and breaks down in all three endings of Episode I.
- Fun with Acronyms: The name Sierra stands for Sigil Interstellar Explorer and Rapid Research Arbiter. This is an in-universe backronym: the ships designers brainstormed a name first, and Dr. Lomonosov came up with an acronym for it afterward. The ship was originally called ERA, for Experimental Research Arbiter.
- A Mech by Any Other Name: Theyre called Exoframes here.
- Mega-Corp: Sigil Corporation. The in-game Codex states that it holds "complete market dominance in nearly all sectors", including interplanetary travel and development of off-world colonies.
- Mile-Long Ship: Downplayed with the UTVs flagship Beerkelium, which is 800 meters long and one of the largest ships in the setting. Its so big because it was originally built to make regular supply runs to the fledgling Martian colonies, and was later retrofitted for warfare.
- Multiple Endings: The first episode has three different endings obtained by going to specific locations. Two of these endings also require you to win (or at least survive) a space battle.
- Peace Conference: In the hopes of preventing a war, Terran and Martian diplomats sit down for peace talks at the lunar city of Mondshire during Episode I. The talks fall through when it comes to light that Martian ships attacked the Rhines colony.
- Ramming Always Works: If Junius investigates the distress signal at Rhines in Episode I and wins the battle there, the last Martian frigate will overload its reactor and attempt to ram the Beerkelium. Junius stops them by overcharging his exoframes shield in order to physically block the frigate.
- Real-Time with Pause: Space battles have a Command mode that slows the game down significantly, giving you more time to plan your next move.
- Regenerating Shields, Static Health: A ships vector field will regenerate over time, and can regenerate faster if you divert more power to Field Output. If it goes down, it will recharge after a short delay, though youll need to manually switch it back on. A ships health does not regenerate unless you allocate power to Repairs.
- Shareware: The first episode is free. The rest of the episodes will not be, if the Season Pass is any indication.
- Space Battle: A cornerstone of the gameplay. If you arent taking part in Visual Novel-style conversations, youre controlling the Sierra (or another ship) during space battles of varying scale.
- Story Branching: The story branches extensively based on both your dialogue choices and the locations you visit. The world map in Episode I consists of seven locations, three of which will lock you into specific endings as soon as you visit them.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Freija lost her memories in the same incident that nearly killed Junius.