Thanks to Joybits for the review code
Title: Galaxy Warfighter
Release Date: 4/15/2020
This is a fair warning about the nature of this review. Usually when I cover a game to review for informing my readers to buy it or not, I play it long enough to learn all the mechanics, get used to the game or to the end of it entirely if it’s short. Games have lots of mechanics, lots of quirks, and lots of values, so I’ve long been against reviewing a game before I know all the mechanics, as that’s what made some super early reviews of mine ones I’m not proud of. If I had to review due to jumping out early despite all attempts to not do so, then that means I think something is so horrible I’d rather do anything else than review it. But if I accept a game, I will review it eventually no matter how long, and that’s the case with today’s subject.
Galaxy Warfighter is an abysmal shooter. There’s hardly any variety, the game plays itself and it’s one of the most boring experiences I’ve ever had since the Wii U era. For the first time since the Wii U days, I dropped out of playing the game before getting remotely close to learning all the mechanics due to how horrible it is: as in, ten-fifteen minutes worth of suffering. I’ll explain why in this snap judgement review of sorts.
The best part of this game are easily the visuals. They get the feel of a retro space shooter down right, and despite how samey a lot of indie shooters seem to be these days, I will admit the main reason I took up this game for review was because the screenshots caught my eye, and the visuals do look good in spots. Unfortunately, the backgrounds and the enemies are pretty repetitive, and are used quite a bit.
Unfortunately, that’s the only good part of it, since the rest of the presentation is very, very barebones. Generic, stock sound effects galore here, alongside a very boring and repetitive track that plays throughout every single stage, endlessly. To say this game even has a soundtrack would be a stretch, due to how the whole game acts a lot more ambitious than it actually is. It’s certainly lacking in variety in the sound, and that doesn’t even get into how it plays…
Galaxy Warfighter comes off as a pretty simple side scrolling shooter. You move around, shoot at enemies, avoid losing all your health, and reach the end of the stage for a boss. Then you play the game, and find it’s one horrific disaster. Your ship autofires by default, meaning that you only really have the option to control your ship, instead of firing. You can upgrade the ship by collecting dropped currency to improve some aspects and gain secondary weapons to use, but that still doesn’t allow you to manually fire your normal shot, and the game just feels like it’s on boring autopilot.
Speaking of boring, that’s what this entire game feels like from the get go. The very first moments of the first stage sent me in a spiral of boredom that I dreaded feeling in a shooter, as even the most ancient and old school shooters still had satisfying gameplay loops and ways to chase for a high score. The automated firing was the first to tip me off, but I stuck around to the end of the stage, hoping for some differing variety and maybe clever enemy placement designed around the mechanics. Sadly that never happens, with the stage just consisting of the same few enemy types over and over again before ending in a generic boss fight.
I clear the stage, get sent back to the main hub, and then the next stage… Is the same god damn thing again. Yeah, placement and some assets change, and I can get enough currency to upgrade my ship, but I have never seen a shooter reuse the same assets for multiple stages like this, since the ancient arcade games where the entire stage was a game loop: but Galaxy Warfighter’s stages aren’t game loops, they’re instead the most boring, terribly designed stages imaginable in a shooter, and they last a bit too long for their own good, too. Three minutes of boring torment, is still boring torment. Thus after going through the second stage and making it to nearly the end and being bored out of my mind… I threw in the towel and deliberately died.
I always make clear that a game has to be engaging to be worth someone’s time, and even games with slow starts at least try doing things to keep players engaged. But good god, Galaxy Warfighter brings me back to those aforementioned Wii U titles, where it’s just a boring game thrown onto a store front with either little engagement to speak of, or such a low-quality product that you suffer throughout the entire adventure. Galaxy Warfighter is both, and I just couldn’t take more than ten minutes of stages out of it.
In conclusion, Galaxy Warfighter is easily the worst horizontal shooter I’ve ever played, along with being one of the worst games I’ve played in years. Usually even the most boring titles have some redeeming elements or reasons to check them out, and even bad games can be funny-bad, but that’s not the case here. The screenshots look like this is promising game with great sprite art, and I will still give credit to the sprites for looking good, the only problem is that it’s such lacking in variety and a dreadful experience overall, that not even a pretty ship sprite can save this game from being a thing I want everyone to avoid at all costs.
None of the previous games I’ve reviewed in my six years made me jump ship so early before I reviewed them, not even the awful Skunk Software titles. But there’s a first time for everything, and thus Galaxy Warfighter is the game most-likely to prompt snap judgement from a player based on how terrible it is. Look at the pretty screenshots, and keep on walking by.
I give Galaxy Warfighter a 2 out of 10.