Pixel Privateers Review

Role-playing projects about endless exploration of the world and relentless pumping of avatars with experience points seem to be developed nowadays by rolling dice. Pixel Privateers has a unique combination – a two-dimensional science fiction game joined by… real-time strategy. However, once the developers from Quadro Delta managed to cook a good game from similar ingredients. Pixel Piracy, so it’s worth not missing out on the new release.

Pixelated galactic adventure

The PP starter pack is as follows: you work for a certain space company engaged in various activities, mainly power operations. Your spaceship has been sucked into an unknown galaxy through a black hole. That’s it. From here on out, it’s freedom and wild grinding.

We choose a planet on the star map (preferably one that is also marked by an automatic quest dispenser), land our squad, and clear the sector of all pixelated enemies.

The starting set of universe dominators, however, is quite modest. We only have two regular operatives before the first drop. One of them is a “tank” who prefers to operate with hammers rather than rifles, and the other is a medic (who is also quite good at shooting). But it seems that Pixel Privateers doesn’t want any real hardcore. In ten debuts out of ten, the first level didn’t pose any real threat, and as soon as we drifted a little away from the starting point in any direction, a spaceport with mercenaries appeared on the horizon.

Pixel Privateers on a mission

Pixel Privateers is claimed to be a tactical strategy, but all its “strategizing” is only manifested in the nominal presence of a team and boss fights. What are we used to in strategies? First and foremost, microcontrol. In various forms, from controlling each specific unit to wide maneuvers with entire corps, from fast-paced battles in the style of “Starcraft” to something turn-based. In 99 out of 100 cases, PP doesn’t engage in anything like that, and we simply press “select all” and right-click on the enemy. If there are many enemies and we can’t deal with them all at once, the interface will suggest the necessary special move in critical moments by displaying its icon on the screen. Right in the center of the action, so as not to miss.

A somewhat real microcontrol is activated when our squad encounters a particularly healthy opponent. These guys no longer cover your furious spam with their own furious spam and don’t rush anywhere. They aim their artillery carefully and cover half the screen with fire. Naturally, they warn in advance where the shells will fly and give the squad the necessary two seconds to scatter. And if such a monster decides to strike your tank with its fist, the entire honest company of space adventurers (and the player leading them) will know about it in advance.

Here, you can already move the units in different directions, divide the team into two groups on the edges of the battlefield, and so on. The rest of the time, the planets are explored by a one-button crowd.

Pixelated sci-fi warfare

Space bodies PP contain corridors and elevators. Corridors and elevators contain mutants, cyborgs, aliens, and loot. Mountains of mutants, cyborgs, aliens, and loot. In accordance with the traditions of the genre, after several raids, the heroes of the squad of fighters turn into a squad of Christmas trees adorned from top to bottom with epic garlands and legendary confetti. But as it is known, traditions do not end there, and a large, very large part of the Christmas decorations will turn out to be fakes, not carrying any joy or useful bonus points. And thanks to the fact that we have several munchkins under our wing, loot falls many times more, and dealing with mountains of garbage becomes many times more tedious.

Pixel Privateers plays a cruel joke with the project at a brisk pace. Monsters quickly become numerous, and over time they even start using different maneuvers, but after a few hours of chaotic fights, they become tiresome. The tasks given by the game, firstly, practically do not affect the gameplay, and secondly, are completed in the background mode, because they are simple checkpoints with chests. The only reason to take these tasks 30 minutes after the start of the game is to get free space fuel. The items gushing out of the monsters are initially collected decisively, after an hour you are already too lazy to sort through piles of useless guns, after two hours you don’t pick up anything except purple and orange goodies. In a good “Diablo,” such satiety comes only fifty hours later, in an excellent “Diablo” – no less than a hundred.

Spacefaring heroes in action

It’s a pity that the designers didn’t provide any alternative level scenarios for the game. Here you have a healthy multi-story two-dimensional block with rooms, elevators, levers, and other nonsense. Well, let’s have some simple puzzles in the style of The Lost Vikings in addition to the endless crowd of dummies with guns and tentacles. We have a whole squad of characters with different specializations, plus suitable interfaces, controls, and cameras right at hand. No, we will unalterably and relentlessly shoot everything that is alive.

However, it must be admitted that these basic shooters are done so well that you don’t notice the disappointing monotony of the game right away. And when you do notice, you will continue to push forward for several more hours purely out of inertia, because kicking mutants forward with your feet from two-dimensional corridors hasn’t gotten boring yet. The main thing is to timely adjust the difficulty level upwards so that the soldiers die permanently and the enemies have more health. My advice to you: if you do decide to try Pixel Privateers, immediately after getting used to the controls and principles of the game, create a new party in hardcore mode and apply some tough modifier to the planets. It will only benefit the process.

Pixel Privateers exploring

My complaints about PP – they are not about bad gameplay, they are about missed opportunities and unrealized potential. $10 for a dozen hours of immersive munchkinism, and with stylish live 2D graphics? That’s already good. Good, but I want it to be great, I want it to be really cool. I want not just ten hours, but a hundred. But alas, most likely, not this time.

On the other hand, Quadro Delta is running out of frontiers. Seas and oceans have been done, space has been done. It must be time to return to the classics with levitating mana feudal lords in the sea. And hopefully, with the third attempt, things will become more diverse.

Pixel Privateers
RPG, Indie, Strategy
Quadro Delta
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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