Shattered Galaxy Overview
Shattered Galaxy is one of the earliest MMOs that can be classified as a MMORTS. The game mixes strategy and RPG elements to create a unique, PvP driven experience. Players form squads of units and participate in large battles which involve multiple participants. The aim of these battles is to gain territory for your faction. While there are three factions to chose from during character creation, lone wolves can opt to play as mercenaries that always side with the faction with the least number of active players. Players looking for PvE content can explore caves scattered across both in-game planets. These caves are filled with computer controlled aliens.
All or Nothing - The attacking side must capture all points of contention while the defenders must maintain control of at least one.
Standard - Attackers must control a majority of the points of contention when time runs out.
Standard Enhanced - Similar to standard mode, except attacking side must control at least one point of contention by 10:00 otherwise the battle ends and the defenders win.
Victory - Each side starts with 800 points and must reduce the other faction’s points to 0. Points are rewarded when players join the battle, but lost when units are lost or when the opposing team controls a majority of the points of contention.
Unit Types - Infantry, Mobile, Aviation, Organics
Planets - Relic (Starting), Morgana Prime (Main)
Shattered Galaxy Screenshots
Shattered Galaxy Feature Video
Shattered Galaxy Review
By, Erhan Altay
Shattered Galaxy was released in North America back in 2001 by KRU Interactive. The game performed poorly after its initial release, but its unique combination of strategy and RPG elements has helped it stay alive since then. While still a subscription based game, Shattered Galaxy started offering an expanded unlimited free trial in 2008. Free players now have access to almost all gameplay features, but must put up with stiff penalties.
Kickin’ it Oldschool
Support for Shattered Galaxy was waned over the years, the Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, and German servers have all been shut down years ago. This leaves the single global English server as the remaining SG bastion. New players looking to give the game a try may have some trouble creating an account. This is because the official site only allows players to open paid accounts. Free accounts can only be registered after installing and launching the game. With a tiny client size of around 160mb and laughably low system requirements (Pentium 433 MHz), players shouldn’t have any trouble getting the game working. Sadly, the graphics and interface haven’t aged well. Despite being released in 2001, Shattered Galaxy feels quite a bit older than that. The isometric camera view should be familiar to most gamers, but the lack of any resolution options mean player are stuck at 800×600.
Character creation is a simple affair involving selecting one of the three warring fractions, picking from a few available avatars, and allocating stat points among the four stats. The three factions of Troy, Helike, and Pompeii are all in a constant state of conflict with one another. This conflict is over territory on the two planets that make up the Shattered Galaxy universe. The four stats are Tactics, Education, Mechanical Aptitude, and Clout. These stats control the number of units a player can have in a squad (with a maximum size of 12), and which weapons and parts their units can equip. After character creation, players start on the beginner planet of Relic. Here they will remain until they hit level 22 in any of the four unit divisions (infantry, mobile, Aerial, and Organics.) This allows low-tier players to fight against those near their skill level, but it also splits the population in an already under populated game. A short tutorial will guide players through the beginner city and a training mission against AI controlled robots. Movement is done with the mouse as are unit orders.
A War Torn World
Gameplay in Shattered Galaxy is split between traversing the game world as a commander and controlling 6-12 units during instanced battles. Players can own far more than 12 units, but can only field a single squad at a time. Excess units are kept in the factory where players can repair their units and purchase new ones. Each individual unit gains experience, levels up, can be upgraded, and can equip different gear. It will take quite some time to get to that point, especially since the experience rate is pretty slow, especially when fighting against the AI. The main PvE component of Shattered Galaxy takes place in caves. These caves are located all over the two worlds, there is at least one in each and every map including the beginner city. The difficulty of a cave depends on how far away it is from the city with further ones being harder. Caves have an insect-like alien vibe and are filled with larva, tentacles, and other nasties. Whether fighting in these caves or elsewhere, victory is achieved by taking control of strategic points called Points of Contention (POC.) There is at least one POC on each map, though there can be up to five. To take control of one, players simply need to clear nearby enemy units and stand on top of it for about two minutes.
Each planet has dozens of territories up for grabs, and players can open a map screen to view which faction currently has control of which ones. Teleporters connect adjacent areas, but players can simply click on a territory from the map screen and wait for their character to auto-walk to the location. When entering a territory controlled by a rival faction, players will be prompted to start a battle to contest it. Usually there won’t be any players to defend a particular map so taking over the POCs is simply a matter of waiting. The beginner planet has a massive 88 territories and not nearly enough players to support that many. This leads to plenty of territory hopping, but occasionally large battles do break out. The great thing about Shattered Galaxy is the ability to join battles that are already in progress. Additionally, players can see right on the map screen which zones battles are taking place in. Even victory in an uncontested battle rewards experience and money with which to buy new units. Uranium is also rewarded, but only paying players can make use of it. Three other resources, Sulfur, Ore, and Silicon are displayed but have been removed from the game and serve no purpose.
Pick a Niche and Stick With It
While there are a wide variety of units to chose from, versatility is generally frowned upon in Shattered Galaxy. There are units that can attack only the air, only the ground, and those that can attack both. The most common strategy is to ignore the units that can attack both since they are weaker than the other two. Mixing units that attack air with those that attack ground is also considered inefficient. Obviously this leaves a player’s forces vulnerable to either air or ground attack, so team work is required. Hoping your allies with happen to have the right unit type to compliment your force is a gamble, but one that pays off big in large scale battles. To better coordinate their attacks, players can form regiments (guilds.) While regiments are tied to a particular faction, player who receive a regiment invite are given the option to switch factions. This makes faction loyalty optional, and since the factions don’t seem to have any backstory or a reason for their continued hostilities, players shouldn’t feel bad for making a switch. Finally, players who prefer to fly solo can opt to be treated as mercenaries who always side with the faction with the least number of active players. Being a mercenary comes with an experience boost so its a great way for beginners to level up.
Conscripts vs Soldiers
Like with Dark Ages and Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds, KRU Interactive requires players to pay a monthly fee to gain full access to Shattered Galaxy. While it is possible to enjoy the game for free without worrying about a time limit, the lack of a subscription comes with its own costs. Free players suffer a 25% experience penalty and a 10% damage penalty. These are not immediately noticeable against the AI, but if players actually get a chance to fight against other users, they will be at a disadvantage. Other restrictions include a lowered stat cap of 100 compared to the regular 120. Free player won’t be able to use the reincarnation feature either which allows players to restart their character but with bonus stats. These restrictions won’t be noticed by new players for a long time, but they condemn non subscribers to second tier status in end game battles. Because of its continued subscription model, it is difficult to recommend Shattered Galaxy over more recent MMORTS games like BattleForge or the upcoming Company of Heroes Online.
Final Verdict: Fair
Shattered Galaxy offers an innovative combination of RPG and strategy gameplay, but the dated graphics, steep learning curve, and restrictions on free players keep it from earning a stronger recommendation. Limited support and no further updates mean Shattered Galaxy is in decline, but oldschool RTS fans looking for a cooperative, PvP focused experience may want to take a look.
Shattered Galaxy Links
Shattered Galaxy System Requirements
OS: Windows 95/98/2000/ME/XP
CPU: Pentium MMX 433Mhz
RAM: 64 MB
HDD: 300 mb free
Graphics Card: 16 mb
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
CPU: Pentium 3 or better
RAM: 256 MB or more
HDD: 800 MB Free
Graphics Card: 64 mb or more