Battlestar Galatica Online: Take part in an epic space battle between man and machine

Galatica Online Game

Play On: Windows XP/Vista, 7 & Mac

Rating: 85%

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About the Space Game

The popular television sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica comes to online gaming as a browser based MMORPG. Bigpoint, who created space adventures like Dark Orbit, now takes on the challenge of bringing the sprawling saga of Battlestar Galactica into the hands of players around the world in a PvP and PvE game. Battlestar Galactica Online is a strategy and combat game that delivers 3D graphics of a quality never before seen in browser games utilising the Unity engine. It is absolutely a must have game not just for die-hard fans of the Battlestar Galactica television show but also all space shooter addicts.

Galactica Online re-creates a galaxy where humans and Cylons are battling for supremacy. In this epic free space game adventure, players can choose either side to represent and go about their missions to annihilate the other. The Battlestar Galactica Online universe is at the edge of a massive galaxy with miles of space to explore with their ships. All battles take place in space so well equipped space craft as well as superior strategic capabilities are required to survive the game.

The game is free to play, for the most part, with some paid options. Registering is easy on the Bigpoint website, and there are no files to download. The game delivers a stunning visual experience which you would normally expect from a client based game. It loads up fast and you are off into the fantastic world of Battlestar Galactica Online within minutes.

Welcome to Intergalactic Warfare

For those new to the Battlestar Galactica universe, the space game sets up a quick background. The story is set way into the future and deep into the galaxy. Humans established asteroid bases and colonies on various planets. They also created a race of robots called Cylons who evolved with technology over the years to become an independent species. While they started off serving mankind, they rose up against humans and became their enemies.

Closer to the time period depicted in the Battlestar Galactica series, the humans and Cylons have had a great confrontation. The robots had destroyed twelve human colonies. Reeling from this disaster, humans had put together the Battlestar Galactica to repel the Cylons' future attacks. The humans have a disorganised bunch of fighters, who are mostly civilian. They barely escape the final assault of the Cylons on board their ships which are out of date. They fly out in search of help from the thirteenth tribe which is our planet Earth.

On this journey, the Battlestar Galactica online and its colonial fleet is chased by the Cylons. Luckily, they met up with another surviving human fleet called the Battlestar Pegasus. Together, they put up a fight against the pursuing Cylons, managing to beat them back. However, they realize that Cylons will return in full force. This is indeed what happened.

The reinforced Cylons attacked the human fleet once more with mighty weapons. When trying to escape their attack, the colonial fleet reels uncontrollably out into deep space. In this uncharted territory, they are hopelessly lost. With the Cylons still on their tail, they have landed at the end of the galaxy. Both groups are now desperate to survive as their resources begin to diminish at an alarming rate.

In order to protect themselves, they must re-arm and be ready. They salvage spaceships, ammo and other equipment off debris floating in space as well as from abandoned asteroid bases. Important metals and resources such as Tylium are needed to repair their ships. They also need water to survive. In the game, you can play either the chasers or the chased. In both cases, it can be a thrilling game that unfolds before you.

The Cast of Characters

Depending on which side you have chosen, there are different characters to deal with. On the human side, you have familiar characters from the TV show, such as Admiral Adama, his son Apollo, Kara Starbuck and Galen the Chief. Admiral Adama is a disciplined head who makes practical decisions. His subordinates look up to him as a father figure. Apollo is also an ethical and courageous performer. Starbuck is a brilliant Viper pilot, while the Chief Galen is a champion of the crew.

On the Cylon side, you will encounter stunning beauties and cunning crooks. With their deceptive good looks, the female Cylon models such as Six and Eight have wreaked havoc on the human colonials. They succeeded in destroying the twelve colonies with their treacherous schemes. Because of their human like appearance, they have been able to deceive the colonials and infiltrate them on many occasions. The two male Cylon models, A Cavil and Two Leoben use their deep intelligence to outsmart and thwart the human opponents.

You can customize the character of your choice with a range of outfits and appearance. In the beginning you will receive a basic ship, but as you proceed in the game you can acquire more or upgrade to better ones. Each side has a base station from where they launch off. The Colonials have Galactica while the Cylons base is called Basestar.

Strike Crafts, Escorts and Line Ships

battlestar galatica: strike craft and line ships

Both sides have access to some vessels that can be used for transport and battle. These are recovered from previous battle sites in space. They have to be fixed up before they can be used.

Among the strike crafts, Humans have the Viper Mark 2, which is a reputed interceptor that has proven to be a superior attack craft. It is very competitive against the Cylon Raider in all respects. Some Vipers are also capable of long range quests and can be upgraded with faster and stronger engines to improve their performance.

In order to spy on opponents' movements and provide help for craft engaged in battle, the Colonials rely on the Raptor craft. It is highly advanced in communications and can relay vital information back to base reliably. When required, it can carry missile pods and mid range cannons, which can come in handy in a supporting battle situation. With upgraded systems the Raptor can also function as a command ship to organize military actions.

In combat scenarios in this free space game the Colonials have no substitute for the Rhino strike craft. It is the toughest of all crafts thanks to its heavy armour and sturdy structure. It can be further customised as an invincible craft by adding hull systems. Unfortunately there are only a few Rhinos available and getting them battle ready takes a lot of resources and time.

The Cylon craft all operate on the biomechanical system. This unique construction gives them a mind of their own to operate on deadly logic. Their interceptor Raider is probably the fastest strike craft out there. It can wreak havoc on slow moving vessels, and its awesome performance can be further upgraded by adding new engines.

A larger version of the Raider, called simply Heavy Raider, can compute phenomenal amounts of data. It can destroy the communications systems of the Colonials by jamming them or attacking them with viral systems. This craft can also carry hundreds of Centurions, who are Cylons in the humanoid forms, created for battle. Finally, the Cylons have discovered the Marauder, a strike craft that has superior armour protection for its hull. This makes the Marauder a very useful vessel for launching attacks.

Out of the three classes of escorts available to the Colonial fleet in Galatica Online, the Maul is the sturdiest and most valuable. Being heavily armoured, the Maul is second to none in defensive duties and is a reliable guard for the fleet. It is the largest escort, and assault ship the humans have. The Glaive escort is smaller, but it can pack very sophisticated systems such as electronic suits. Like the Raptor craft, the Glaive can quickly be converted into a command ship in battle situations. Lastly, the Scythe escort is useful in intercepting operations. It carries tylium reactors and a massive drive assembly. Being the most nimble of all escorts, it can outrun the best of them in space.

The Cylons have an extremely speedy escort ship in the Banshee. It is a very reliable interceptor that can play a vital role in offensive operations. The Spectre has advanced electronic systems that can be fixed to become a very effective command ship. The Wraith is a sturdy escort that can perform its duties as a guard for the fleet reliably.

The Colonials have three line ships they can choose from: the Aesir, the Vanir and the Jotunn. While Aesir is speedy, Vanir is technologically advanced, and the Jotunn is a brute of a ship that can withstand severe punishment. The Cylon fleet of line ships is equally formidable. They have the Fenrir, which is an agile ship with lots of firepower. Their ship Hel can rival Vanir in it electronic gadgetry while the mammoth Jormung is a heavy assault juggernaut.

Rewriting Galactica History

battlestar galatica online: ships

Battlestar Galactica Online guides you through a tutorial mission to give you a taste of what intergalactic warfare is all about. In an easy to follow manner, it will guide you in arming the right weapons, getting more information about it and releasing it on your target. It starts off by training your skills on an unmoving object that you are to demolish. Navigating your ship is done through the keyboard or the mouse, if you prefer. You will find yourself in the massive cockpit of your command ship. Through the windscreen, you can see the space before you. A bull's eye cursor allows you to lock in on your target before releasing your weapon. Other controls on the dashboard let you control the acceleration and speed of the space craft.

The player is assigned a variety of quests by their respective chiefs, Admiral Adama for the Colonials or Number Two for the Cylons. These are handed out once every 24 hours so be sure to pick yours from your boss. The quests that are given out at your home base can be of different kinds. Most involve combat with opponents, but others may be pure explorations, salvage or patrol duties. Some quests are specific that require the player to destroy enemy drones or mine certain resources from asteroids. The player must successfully challenge and defeat NPC or other player opponents that he meets in space. On the non-combat quests, the player's duty is to collect materials and report back in detail to the superior officer.

These missions give you opportunities to use tactical and strategic planning. Each successful quest also gives you money to use for additional equipment, ammo or for repairing damage to your ships. Quests get harder as you move up in the levels.

Since the space star game does not have an ongoing story already mapped out, it is up to the players to take it in whatever direction they choose. The way each quest is handled progresses the player into a developing story. At certain points collections of players can decide to create specific events or plots that suit their own creativity through social interaction.

Thousands of players from around the world have taken the plunge into this epic space adventure of all time. You can join them to form teams on both the Colonial and the Cylon sides and battle it out for supremacy in space. Alliances with like minded players also help newcomers to learn the ropes and fight alongside superior and experienced players. You will access ready advice through many chat and forum channels.

Battle Tactics

With ultra advanced strike craft and escorts in your fleet, you can eavesdrop on your opponents. Learn about their next moves and prepare an alternate plan to block them. Use your upgraded equipment and ammunition. Send out your strike craft to meet your enemies head on. Weave through space and showers of bullets and aim to destroy your opposition. Know what your strengths are to take advantage of their slower or bulkier vessels.

The controls are easy to learn, but you will need hours to practice becoming as nimble as your opponents. The menus are user friendly, and the battle scenarios just blow you away.

Each side has access to an equal number of technical geniuses and electronic warfare resources. This makes the space game evenly balanced and a thrilling contest. You must try to outsmart your opponents in this futuristic battle of strategies. The one who can best utilise the skills of his varied crew and weaponry will come out the winner in this battle.

The aim of these encounters is to gain control of vital sectors in space. Once you have gained this sector, you must be on guard to defend it at all costs. The advantage of controlling sectors is that you will receive fresh armaments from outpost ships, which come into this sector, which will strengthen your position further.

Once you have gained some expertise, you can challenge other players in PvP combats. Each victory allows you to amass experience points that will help you level up. Each higher level brings opportunities for upgrading your ships, weapons, resources and equipment. You will all the help you can get your hands on to out manoeuvre your wily opponents. Every level also gives you the chance to raise your skills to new heights.

Battlestar Galactica Online throws you into unknown space where the visuals are eerie and stunning at the same time. You find yourself travelling in a timeless future. The graphics are absolutely amazing, capturing the mystery and chaos of a faraway galaxy. Forget all the other text based free browser games that leave the visuals to your imagination. The superior graphics engine of Battlestar Galactica Online helps deliver silky smooth animations and detailed layouts. Such graphics are hard to come by in free browser games.

Game Rating (out of 10) - 8

Playability (out of 10) - 8

Battlestar Galactica Online is designed to give players a smooth gaming experience. While it is a free space shooter, there are various strategies and tactics to adopt. The interfaces are user friendly. It gives you the options of using either the mouse or the keyboard to navigate your spacecrafts. The dashboard gives ample controls to manage all aspects of the game from the cockpit. Sliders and thrust buttons allow you to give speed boosts when necessary. Auto firing weapons turn on automatically when the enemy is within range. Sector maps are detailed with locations of asteroids and other ships in your vision range. The screens are full of useful information such as skills, weapons, assignments, etc. All of these are neatly laid out to be unobtrusive to the action, but still within reach if needed.

Graphics/Visuals (out of 10) - 9

Using the cutting edge Unity plug in, Battlestar Galactica Online delivers 3D graphics that are unmatched in the free browser game arena. The state of the art visuals play through your Internet browser. The spaceships are modelled in great detail and the animation of battle scenario rival what you expect in client side or full MMO games. The game utilises the music soundtrack made popular by the television series, as well as other hard rock numbers. The sound effects are appropriate and deliver a realistic third person action shooter experience.

Originality (out of 10) - 8

Battlestar Galactica Online is based on the phenomenal worldwide Battlestar Galactica franchise that has millions of fans. It is an extension of the television series, with the characters, environment, graphics and sound kept intact. The epic adventure of intergalactic warfare and the two opposing races drive the game's thrilling concept. While there are many space shooters with similar game play, Battlestar Galactica Online stands out from the rest in terms of its stunning execution. The storyline is left open ended for the players to design their own plots.

Game Detail (out of 10) - 8

The Battlestar Galactica franchise has multiple layers that are reflected in the game as well. It is extremely well structured, allowing players to progress from new recruits to expert pilots in the Colonial or Cylon armies. It rewards players with experience points, skills and money to help them progress to higher levels. The assignments get harder as players move up and acquire new skills and equipment. The PvP aspect of the game allows team combats and challenges to supplement the NPC adventures within the game. The player can literally never run out of game options with these facilities.

Storyline (out of 10) - 8

The Battlestar Galactica storyline is well known, especially among fans of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, through television and other media. This free space game version, however, eschews a fixed storyline. It just re-creates the familiar setting of the galactic location, provides players with characters and ships from the franchise, and lets them decide the course of action. Players can make their own events and plot points to devise a story of their own choosing. This helps them to unleash their own creativity.

Addictiveness (out of 10) - 8

The Battlestar Galactica franchise has proven to be extremely addictive with fans across the globe. The game is equally addictive in its performance. As an integral part of the Colonial or Cylon team, the player gets to devise his own strategies and tactics to overcome the opposition. The desire to see the outcome of one's efforts helps make this game very addictive. Although the quests are somewhat repetitive, they have various outcomes, which make them interesting. With each victory to control a sector, players have to maintain their hold over it over a long period of time.

Longevity (out of 10) - 9

The realistic yet futuristic saga of humans and robots has captured our imaginations. With diversity of characters and situations, the creators of Battlestar Galactica have ensured the longevity of this franchise. Battlestar Galactica Online, the game, is an extension which proves the success of this enterprise and will continue to charm players for a long period.

Final Say

Battlestar Galactica Online is a breakthrough game in the free browser based MMORPG arena. With the use of cutting edge Unity plug in, in order to re-create realistic graphics that are reminiscent of the television shows, the game has set a president to all other games. This will set a new standard in not just space action shooter games but in all genres that rely on graphics and animation to deliver a compelling story. If you have been a Star Trek or Battlestar fan, then this is a must have game in your arsenal. This is the one galaxy battle you do not want to miss.

Final Score: 85%

Click here to play Battlestar Galatica at BigPoint Arcade.

If you enjoy playing Battlestar Galatica you may also want to try out BigPoint's original spaceship game - Dark Orbit. In Dark Orbit you can compete in player versus player tournaments for cash prizes of up to $10,000.