Crying Suns is a tough-as-nails strategy Roguelite with strategic combat and unique pixel-art visuals.
Crying suns is a Rogue-lite game, and features procedurally generated and randomized instances. You fly to different suns, and their respective planetary systems with the overall goal of navigating to the exit at the end of the galaxy map.
You begin your mission as a human reanimated from stasis. A synth greets you, and explains that they need your help. This synth, called an “OMNI” explains that you are currently being kept on a planet on the far reaches of the galaxy, hidden away from danger. Kaliban, as you learn its name, informs you that you are a clone of one of their best Admirals, Ellys Idaho. The imperial capital has halted all communications suddenly, prompting worry from this hidden outpost.
As you embark, you find out within the first few encounters that the OMNI – who were created by Emperor Oberon to serve and protect mankind, have suddenly shut down. This is revealed to be devastating for human colonies as they relied on the OMNI for food, shelter, protection, medicine, and general welfare. You discover that the Empire is all but defunct, with little to no hope in sight. With every chapter of Crying Suns you complete, you come closer to learning the truth about the OMNI shut down, and who was behind it.
Before you take off, you are given a chance to choose a ship and crew – each member featuring different talents and skills. These will be relevant to all manner of gameplay, not just the battles, so you must try to pick as well rounded of a crew as possible. It is possible to acquire different members later on via random encounters, or at trading posts.
Along the way you must scavenge a fuel source called ‘neo-n’, which are found in derelict OMNI hypercubes. Every star system has a roll chance for a different amount of fuel, and every jump between systems will cost you fuel. As you progress through the galaxy map, the planets behind you become increasingly infected with an unclear threat. Should you run out of fuel, and lag behind, you will find yourself faced with a tough battle.
In battle, you have the ability to assign your officers to three stations: Hull, Squadrons, and Weapons. Assigning to the Hull enables overall ship health repairs and other functions, Squadrons are your fleets who attack and defend your main battleship, and weapons are mounted powerful guns with a timed recharge.
Once in battle you can decide to attack, or defend. Squadrons can be assigned to attack any of the three targets on your opponent’s ship, the hull, squadron, or weapon. Your fleet moves across a hexagonal battleground – you must be strategic with your resources in order to win, and to keep your mounted weapon firing on your opponent as it charges. You can pause or accelerate gameplay at will, so it gives you time to strategize.
If you manage to beat your opponent, you will receive some resources as a reward. Scattered across the galaxy and in various star systems of Crying Sons, you will come across anomalies – these are instances with a random chance of success. You must use the information provided to make a decision and hopefully end positively for you and your crew. There are speech checks and different risks for each dialogue option.
In some systems there are unique points of interest you can explore. Admiral Idaho can launch and manage expeditions on planets and other space-crafts. Sending one of your officers – and a crew of commandos to planet surfaces and other landmarks, with an informed percentage of success. Each officer has strengths and weaknesses that can increase or decrease your chances of losing commandos during these expeditions. There are three possible resources to scavenge, which are Neo-n fuel, Scrap, and commandos.
The clones are a very clever way of dealing with multiple runs/deaths, and ultimately serves to add to the immersion of the experience. The music also adds to the immersive feeling and fits the themes and visuals well, adding enough to character to the setting to draw you into the fantasy. The visuals themselves are unique and adds to the immersion by putting pixel art on low poly models. It’s a nice way to make the world feel more lively without sacrificing complexity of graphics. The amount of detail in the textures really make things feel and look more complex than they physically are, with character designs that are aesthetically pleasing and the choice to combine two retro looks in visuals gives Crying Suns a timeless future-retro quality.
There is an immense amount of replay value, particularly due to the random encounters, and procedural generation of this game. Every run is different, offering new choices to make, potentially more resources to modify your ship and crew, and overall have a better outcome. This game is also a bit unforgiving if you aren’t prepared for the curve balls it can throw you, but this keeps the gameplay fresh and keeps you on your toes. The uncertainty of the severity of outcome keeps an air of unpredictability, ultimately making the game less of a grind and more of an adventure.
If you love strategy, or roguelike games already then you will likely love this game. FTL is something often compared to this game and while it borrows gameplay elements – and even similar mechanics, it builds and expands on these concepts very well. Crying Suns is a little less hectic in pacing when it comes to battles, and has stunning visuals to complete the immersion. If you have never played games such as FTL, or other games in this genre, the learning curve may feel unforgiving. This makes Crying Suns the perfect title for fans of the genre.
– Procedural generation and random encounters provide loads of replay value
– Immersive soundtrack
– Uniquely stylized visuals
– Lots of customization available for your ship, weapons, and crew
– Tutorials are a bit wordy, if you are not good at learning through text.
– Bit of a learning curve if you’re new to this genre.
4 out of 5
Switch review key provided by PR. Crying Suns is out now on Switch!