UPDATE: This game has been shutdown and is no longer available
Black Prophecy Overview
Black Prophecy is a feature rich space based MMORPG that’s been in development for quite some time. During development, it was uncertain what payment model the game would adopt. Fortunately, it has recently been announced that the German publisher Gamigo has picked up the game as a free to play title. Black Prophecy will draw many similarities to the subscription based Eve Online, but the two games are very different. While players can’t leave their ships in either game, Black Prophecy promises much more action oriented gameplay and a much lower learning curve. With a standard level based advancement system, player will fight NPCs and complete missions to gain experience and gain access to more powerful ships & weapons.
Black Prophecy boasts a detailed backstory. An award-winning Sci-Fi author named Michael Marrack has been tasked with creating the rich universe in which the game takes place. PvP is also slated to play a large role in the game. Player run clans will be able to construct space stations and fight for control of resource generating stations. Ships design in Black Prophecy is heavily modular. Players will be able to mix and match various cockpits, wings, engines, and so on of all shapes and sizes.
Factions - The Tyi, The Genides
Alien Race - The Restorers
Black Prophecy Screenshots
Black Prophecy Featured Video
Black Prophecy Review
For many years, space combat shooters remained in the realm of retail PC games, meant for single players with top-notch systems. In the last few years, though, as MMO developers have sought new niches beyond fantasy, flight has become a renewed interest. Enter, then, Black Prophecy in 2011 – a game developed by Reakktor and published by gamigo, which promised an in-depth storyline and beautiful space combat. As a free-to-play MMO, Black Prophecy may be ready to shake up and redefine expectations of the free-to-play experience.
It Begins – Epicly
Character creation in Black Prophecy has the same level of detail found in pay-to-play MMOs. Players will first select their gender, and then proceed to choose their ethnology (a blend of African, Asian, and Caucasian features), age, weight, and gravity. The expanded character creation breaks seven subareas of the face down into several sliding selections; for instance the bridge length of the nose or length of the earlobe. If all of this is too much, presets are available and players can simply tweak a few additional selections to their fancy.
After launching from character creation, players are entered into a long tutorial (well over a half-hour to complete). This tutorial seems taken right out of the AAA game book. It begins to expose the story of the game through a blend of movies and action sequences that begin to teach the gamer how to target, aim, shoot, watch weapon heat levels, fly, and navigate – all while the war that sets the backdrop for the game’s story breaks loose. In short: the tutorial focuses on making the player the rookie hero, and does a stellar job at it.
A Hero Still Gets Missions
After you’re done showing off your rookie skills to your Commander, you’re finally in charge of your own play experience. Black Prophecy is a combination of PvE and PvP experiences, but PvE is the star player here and for a while, you won’t be able to battle other players. The game will introduce you naturally, as part of an extended tutorial, to your first missions, which will slowly introduce you to more advanced aspects of the game.
Missions can come from several areas. The first and foremost place is NPCs, which can be found by hailing ships and space stations (like the SPIRE, where you begin). These are your story-based missions, which will lead you through the main story of the game and offer substantial rewards meant to help gear your ship up. Missions are also available through the mission terminal inside space stations. These missions are random, level-based missions which are usually short and quick, and they come in both PvE and PvP variety, offering good filler in between story missions. Either way, missions will be the staple of your experience and income in Black Prophecy.
Do A Barrel Roll!
Taking controls of your ship in Black Prophecy is easier than it looks, but still has the charm of a complex space shooter. By default, your ship’s acceleration and movement is controlled by WASD, plus Q and E for barrel rolls. Aiming and shooting, on the other hand, is controlled by the mouse. The game also features a “mouse control” option: by hitting space, you stop navigating and can use the mouse cursor freely on the screen to target and access menus. Navigation is generally automated by selecting a sector and then being piloted between zones. The general system is very Descent-like, letting players spin and shoot in all dimensions.
Dog Fighting in the Stars
Missions each take place in sectors, small zones that have multiple enemies and objectives placed in them. Many objectives are automatically highlighted, but you’ll have to keep an eye on your manual targeting to be aware when enemy ships are close by. Once you gain within a certain distance of enemy ships, they will break off to engage you – you’ll generally know because you’ll hear their voices overhead on the radio.
Most ship combat pits you against several ships at once. Because the game’s flight is three-dimensional, it’ll take thinking and careful navigation to fight your enemies. Spinning, barrel rolling, accelerating and coming to a stop to track your targets is all key here, and a solo fighter may sometimes have a little trouble getting a ship in their sights when they’re close. Combat, however, is also tactical. Each of your guns has a heat meter which needs to be watched if you don’t want to become vulnerable. You can also dodge missiles and incoming attacks, which means that movement, weapon and shield selection all play a key role in battle.
She’s a Beauty
Taking care of your ship means more than just gaining experience and repairing her with drones; it also means taking care of the ship’s modular parts system. Ships level up with their pilots, but don’t gain in power without new parts. These parts can be earned through missions, found as loot, bought, or crafted. There are plenty of parts with different benefits and drawbacks, and each also has a level. These levels indicate the power of the part, and also whether the ship can use it.
Crafting is also available in the game, and is where the most powerful parts are made. Crafting is done at stations, and require blueprints to create or upgrade items. Crafting can fail, causing all resources to be destroyed, or even critically succeed, creating a better item. Players hoping to craft for profit, however, will find some difficulty as the game lacks an auction house – requiring players to meet ship- to-ship to trade.
A Pilot’s Work
Like other MMOs, your character gains experience in the form of levels. Upon gaining a level, pilots can spend points in two different areas. The first area, called “Skills,” represent your ship’s power. There is an overarching skill that determines your ship’s overall level, and then several subskills, determining the power of various parts of your ship (as well as what parts can be equipped there, and what skills they can gain). These subskills can only be leveled up to your ship’s level, so balance is required.
The second set of points to spend are called tactics. These are special skills, active and passive, which allow you to maneuver your ship better through advanced flight maneuvers like loops, u-turns, and zigzags. These flight maneuvers are activated through key combinations, for instance left-left, and improve your survivability and offensive skills in combat.
Two Factions Battle For Dominance
The game isn’t all about PvE though. Once you leave the SPIRE, you’ll be able to pick one of two factions: Tyi or Genides. From here on out, you’re vulnerable to PvP in open sectors from the other faction. You can also join PvP missions, which let teams battle it out inside special sectors for special PvP rewards. Dying, on the other hand, only comes with a temporary penalty.
Final Verdict: Great
There’s little negative to say about Black Prophecy. The game’s graphics, while taxing on a system and occasionally causing some lag issues, are generally stellar and immersive. Controls are easy to use, and combat requires some thought, while missions generally keep the game going at an even pace. The story, written by Michael Marrak, is surprisingly in-depth for a free-to-play MMO: in short, the game delivers.
Still, there is room for improvement. The crafting system can sometimes be frustrating and unrewarding, and missions begin to peter out in scale, frequency, and grandeur. PvP, too, seems to have room to offer more modes or options for rewards. Black Prophecy does not forget that it is still an MMO, and you’ll still be treated to a grind, even if that grind is visually impressive and takes place in space. For these small flaws, however, Black Prophecy has started off with impressive quality. If you love space combat – and your system can handle the pressure – Black Prophecy is a rewarding download.
Black Prophecy Videos
Black Prophecy Cinematic Trailer
Black Prophecy Official Gameplay Trailer
Black Prophecy Debut Trailer
Black Prophecy 2010 E3 Trailer
Black Prophecy System Requirements
OS: Windows XP /Vista / 7
CPU: 2.4 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor
RAM: 2 GB RAM
HDD: 4 GB Free
Graphics Card: NVIDIA 6800 / ATI X850
OS: Windows Vista / 7
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better
RAM: 2 GB RAM or more
HDD: 6 GB Free
Graphics Card: NVIDIA 8800 series / ATI 3800 series or better