A top-down tactical strategy with futuristic cyberpunk flair
Satellite Reign tasks your squad of four with shooting, sneaking and hacking through a series of military-industrial compounds in a war against an evil mega-corporation.
Missions in five city districts follow the same stilted format – sneak into a vault, sneak out – but with notable freedom. You could shoot out the lights, hack all the cameras, kill the guards, or hijack a passerby to use as a decoy. This makes for dynamic and unexpected set pieces, breathing life into otherwise repetitive quests.
Missions are buttressed by rote tasks: siphoning cash out of banks, bribing weapons researchers, and stealing DNA to replace dead agents. High-quality DNA incrementally improves health and stamina.
Capacity for improvisation is often frustrated by opaque mechanics or clunky execution. It’s rarely clear if, say, guards will spot an agent in cover. Combat demands inordinate micromanaging, made worse by the lack of the ‘tactical pause’ common in the genre. Firefights usually devolve into chaos as your location is overrun after the slightest misstep.
If you’re patient enough to overcome its barriers to entry, Satellite Reign is a fine, if uneven, tactical game.
At its best, this is a meticulous and difficult game, but its mechanics too often fail the experimentation it tries to encourage. Still, a successful heist, as a surgical strike or a desperate dash, offers the rare exhilaration of player-created drama, and Satellite Reign’s arsenal becomes more fun and usable over time. Joseph Leray
Some guards escort you off the premises – move suddenly and the guns come out.
Expansive world is full of activity
Customisation and flexibility
Not enough mission variety