Phobos Vector Prime: The First Ring – Review

This game was reviewed on a PS4. A code was provided by Gunstar Studio for review purposes.

Overview

The year is 2490 and we as humans have finally discovered the technology needed for full space exploration. Well, that leads to everyone wanting to get their stake to the claim first. In comes you, Renegade leader, J.L. Brown. You hate the war that is going on but decide that you will enlist if not only for the money. You want to remain hidden for as long as possible so you put yourself in a sleep state only to be awoken from an explosion. As you regain control of your ship you head out to see what caused the explosion. One thing is for sure, The First Ring is not going to make it easy on you.

Gameplay

Phobos does a real good job at mixing the arcade style space shooter with a strategy based style. You will have to think on each level on the best way to dissolve the enemy presence and get to your destination. The game usually presents the enemies in wave style format but not always the hardest enemy at the end. There is also some larger stand alone enemies you will have to deal with along with kamikaze pilots hellbent on ending you. All that together is rolled up in 6 single player levels and a survival mode.

There are different objectives throughout each level such as hacking (pressing x), destroying a hanger, getting trapped in a wave type enemy area. You will be traversing across the map and sometimes even backtracking depending on the objective at the time. Each level has its own side objective (trophy related) that you can look out for during your playthrough. The game seems very simplistic in nature and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What the game does it does well, there were no bugs or crashes present and to be honest in a game like this with wave style enemies, I was quite surprised by that.

Graphics/Sound

While I must admit the graphics are a bit nice. You can clearly see the raised portions of the surface that you will have to go around. There are also pickups along the way from shields to different weapon types an thanks to the graphics and lighting on them you can clearly see what and where they are.

I was hoping for more in the sound area. While the sounds of the weapons were really good, I was hoping to be able to hear J.L. speak. Instead it was an onscreen dialogue box that you had to read while fighting or most of the time right after a battle. This would have felt like a completely different game had the voice of J.L. been broadcast in your ears like he was speaking from an actual cockpit. There were times I missed what was in the box due to being focused on positioning myself towards the next objective or due to finding all the extra weapons and shields in an area.

Summary

The game does what it set out to do. It definitely has the retro style arcade feel to it along with having to strategize your best position to get through an area alive. However, there are some points it did miss out on such as, it definitely could have had a better plan for the dialog in the game along with making the game a little longer to begin with. The game does end with a to be continued screen so that does lead me to believe this might have been a first attempt at this style of game and we are likely to see some of these improvements in the next iteration. All in all the game is definitely priced right for what you get and best of all its on sale right now for only $3.99 in the US until January 3, 2019. So if you want it, I would definitely jump in on that price.

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Phobos Vector Prime: The First Ring

9.99
8.7

Gameplay

8.8/10

Graphics

8.9/10

Sound

8.0/10

Performance

9.0/10

Pros

  • great blend of arcade and strategy
  • a good mix of enemies
  • clear and precise objectives

Cons

  • could use different options for dialog
  • too short

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