Satellite Reign is a top down tactics game set in a cyberpunk city. The game is dubbed as a spiritual successor to Syndicate and even has some of the original developers involved. Funding was received by Kickstater in July 2013 and the game was released in August 2015.
At the core the game’s main objective is to infiltrate a bunch of enemy compounds and get your team inside the facility at the heart of it. Your team consists of a soldier (big guns), support (team buffs), a hacker (takes control of enemies and hacks things) and an infiltrator (stealth kills, can go invisible). Entering the facilities will grant you different things, for example a bank will give you lots of cash, the CCTV facility will increase the amount of time it takes for cameras to spot you and enemy compounds will give you items, reduce alarm responses, etc. You do this in four districts until your team is powerful enough to tackle the end boss. Not all the facilities are mandatory but you’ll probably want to do most of ‘em!
There are a great deal of mechanics and choices for getting to the facility in a compound, heres a couple: hack your way in, shut down power to areas, shoot cameras, hack cameras, go via vents, shoot your way in, take over turrets and get them to kill all the enemies, assassinate everyone and walk the entire team in after, take over enemies or drones and use them to get yourselves around, etc. Incase you didn’t get the idea: there is a lot of choice on how to approach a task. Heck, with a particular set of gear you don’t necessarily need to get your entire team into compounds as the infiltrator can get in and out solo using stealth.
Characters have a range of different ways they can be upgraded including gear (weapons, armour, shields), augmentations (muscle fibres, replacement limbs), skills (class upgrades like better stealth and more damage) and cloning (upgrade your characters underlying clone). You can do some very unique setups with all the possible combinations. Research also plays a part in that you can either equip a prototype immediately or send it off to be researched so you can buy as many as you like. I found myself spending a lot of time planning and equipping my team, it’s been awhile since a game has given me so many worthwhile choices.
I feel like the story was a missed opportunity and under utilised, shortly after completing the starting area I never really absorbed any more of the story beyond needing to find some key cards to get to the last locked zone.
Graphics are great, you can zoom in pretty close and the level of detail is good. The city is very well made and makes excellent use of lighting. Audio is okay, nothing to shout about. There is some music but nothing you’d remember after finishing the game.
I didn’t really encounter many game bugs beyond enemies occasionally getting confused by doors or stuck in a particular spot. A number of times the game crashed when trying to load previously saved games. Loading the game up is really quite slow on my beefy system.
I highly recommend Satellite Reign. A game like this has been long overdue. It kept drawing me back to try out new things.