Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy (Console Edition)
Developer: Black Lab Games
Publisher: Slitherine Ltd.
Genres: Simulation, Strategy
Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy is a game of 3D tactical space battles. Play your part in the Second Contact War in a campaign with a branching story and over 60 missions, or create your own scenarios in skirmish mode battles.
Give your orders, and watch the results in explosive pausable real-time. Tailor your arsenal of crew abilities and assault class ships as your fleet grows with your command. Exploit the enemy’s weaknesses with superior positioning and flanking manoeuvres to inflict devastating damage.
Six classes of assaults ships are yours to command. Make precision strikes with the swift Swordfish Raiders, or lead from the bridge of a hulking Kraken Dreadnought. Change your tactics as you order reinforcements with stun guns, guided missiles, unmanned fighter drones and single-focus DEW beams.
The nautilid threat is as varied as it is innumerable, however, and they will not surrender. Use your wits to overcome the threat of disruption fields, bio-missiles and proximity mines. And not all opposition to your command comes from outside. Raise the shields of your capital ships and engage in devastating broadside combat with the renegade military conspiracists who call themselves the Remnant.
Will you obey the chain of command and strengthen Novus’ defenses, or take your opponents head-on by yourself?
For now Star Hammer continues to be one very fine introduction of a new franchise that is well worth paying attention to. The experience might feel a little unusual to people who are less familiar with the kind of strategy games that were previously exclusive to PCs, but I strongly recommend that people take the time to adjust to what Star Hammer offers, because once it gets its hooks in, it’s unbelievably rewarding.
Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy, as a name, perfectly sums up the overall experience I had with this game. It’s long, confusing, sounds promising, yet doesn’t really explain anything. Which is a shame because it’s evident from the amount of backstory available for this that a lot of time and effort has gone into making this. With a bit of polish this could be a decent RTS, but as it stands there are far too many little issues dotted throughout. And they unfortunately add up into one big issue overall.
Star Hammer: Vanguard Prophecy is easily on of the best console ports ever, sitting up there with Divinity: Original Sin, Wasteland 2: Director's Cut, and Diablo 3 (the crown jewels of PC-to-Console ports). With an utterly brilliant remapping of controls, Star Hammer's deeply tactical play-style is easily approached and managed through such a smooth and simple control scheme. Sure, there are a few things, like voice acting or hiding of the HUD during setup, that I would like to see, but in truth? Those are minor wants; Star Hammer is the complete package and is spectacularly satisfying on the Xbox One.