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Star Crusade

The last frontier is up for grabs with the discovery of the one remaining Stargate. Fight using decks as one of six races, each with their unique cards, to claim dominion in Star Crusade, a sci-fi CCG strategy game.

Publisher: Xim, Inc
Playerbase: Small
Type: CCG Strategy
Release Date: December 15, 2015
Pros: +Sci-fi themed. +Good music. +Card crafting. +Active developers.
Cons: -Crashes and bugs out frequently. -Borrows heavily from other CCGs. -Pay-to-win.

Overview

Star Crusade Overview

Developed and published by Xim, Inc., Star Crusade is a sci-fi CCG with six unique races. Each race has their own strengths and weaknesses, with specific cards and tactics needed to master them. Players can construct multiple decks, each locked by race, and battle against other players online. Play casually or in a ranked system, or even try your hand in the Raid mode where decks are created specifically for the game mode (cards are not restricted to what you own). Unlock new cards by winning matches and gaining "credits" to buy Booster Packs. Melt down old cards to craft new ones from the scraps.

Star Crusade Key Features:

  • Sci-Fi Theme – distinct science fiction aesthetic in action-packed outer space environments.
  • Good Music – the background music adds to the feeling of being in space, enhancing the immersive nature of the game.
  • Six Unique Race  decks are locked by race and each race has its own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Easy to Pick Up – the gameplay is very easy to learn, but difficult to master.
  • Customize Your Deck  the Store offers different backs for your decks, various avatars, and different commanders.

Star Crusade Screenshots

Star Crusade Featured Video

Classes

Star Crusade Classes

There are six different classes/races, each with their unique cards, that players may choose from.

  • Annunaki– use psychic powers and mind control to secure victory by taking control over enemy units.
  • Consortium – a race that's all about resources, this thug-like group is about the Black Market and mercenary ops.
  • Hierarchy – all about order, this mortal race is ruled by immortal AI created by their ancestors.
  • Shan'Ti – a race obsessed with genetics, they have the ability to mutate their units in battle.
  • Terrans – the "human" race that uses machines and sheer numbers to turn the tide of battle.
  • Hajir-Gog – the brute-force race that was once enslaved, but is now on the prowl for revenge against the Shan'Ti.

Full Review

Star Crusade Review

By Chanel Hwang

Star Crusade is a CCG strategy game developed and published by Xim, Inc. It is essentially a copy of Hearthstone, only repainted in a sci-fi backdrop. While the game does do some things well, there is not much originality or stability in the game compared to its competitors in the same genre.

Another Clone of Blizzard's Hearthstone 

The gameplay is very similar to Blizzard's popular CCG, Hearthstone. In Star Crusade, players construct decks with cards, with each of  the six races having unique race cards. Like most of the digital card games today, players begin with one energy, or "supply" as it is called in Star Crusade, and have the maximum amount of supply increased by one each turn. Supply is the resource needed to play any card. Weaker cards tend to require lower amounts of supply to be played. Stronger cards need 7 or 8 supply, meaning that they cannot be played until the player's maximum supply has increased sufficiently. Supply is use-it-or-lose-it, meaning that if you only use 5 out of your 7 supply, you don't get to save the remaining 2 supply for the next turn.

There are identical features copied from Hearthstone: tossing cards in the beginning that you don't want (to eliminate terrible RNG), bringing the health of the Hero character (called "commander") down to zero, and giving the player who goes second an extra supply to offset the advantage of going first. Combat also works the exact same way as Hearthstone. Cards have a health value and when it reaches zero they die. The attack value is the amount of damage they can incur on enemy units. There are also effects or conditions that units can have, such as Screen (where you must attack a particular card before attacking anything else) and Disable (miss the next attack). The game is very inconsistent in explaining certain effects while leaving players completely hanging on others.

When I played the game, I had a hard time getting through the tutorial. The game crashed four times during a five-minute span. Then, when I queued for a casual game. I won automatically against my opponent because they never connected. Out of my first ten battles, there was a DC in eight of them. How the hell are you supposed to play ranked if the game is constantly crashing?

Let's be honest, lots of CCGs today are very similar to Hearthstone. But, unlike most, Star Crusade copies Hearthstone to a tremendous degree. The entire skeletal structure of Star Crusade, from the gameplay to the interface and mechanics, is exactly like Hearthstone. You've got a commander who has HP and one special move, different races with unique cards, and a card cost and summoning system that is exactly the same, and combat stats (with a health value and an attack value). Even the game mode Raid is a mirrored version of Hearthstone's Arena mode, where players build a deck from randomized cards that aren't restricted to what you own. It's like Blizzard, as a bad joke, dressed up their CCG as a sci-fi game for Halloween.

Building a Deck and Acquiring Cards

I don't know why I'm writing this. You should just go read the Hearthstone review here. It's exactly the same, only HS is better in every aspect. Go play Hearthstone instead. If you're still here, I admire your tenacity. Either you really hate Blizzard and refuse to play Hearthstone, or you really love sci-fi (to the point where you can bear with much suffering as long as you get to see some kind of spaceship). Gain "credits," the in-game currency, from winning games or completing Daily Missions to unlock Booster Packs. Booster Packs contain six cards that can vary in rarity: Regular, Conscript, Elite, Heroic, and Paragon. Booster Packs are guaranteed to contain at least one Elite card.

The game is obviously pay-to-win, with the Store selling Booster Packs in exchange for real world cash. This means that paying players will be able to buy packs while free-to-play players must go through some painstaking farming to just open one. This is somewhat understandable for a free-to-play game like Star Crusade since they have to make money somehow.

Decks are again split into race, like Hearthstone, with neutral cards that can be used in any deck. A deck can consist of only 25 - 40 cards, with only two copies allowed of any card (this is different for the Raid mode). Each race has a specific style with its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, the Annunaki race is all about psychic powers and mind control, thus taking over enemy units.

Perusing the Store

There is also a crafting system, called Fusion Mode (though terribly imbalanced)—the value of "melting" cards for scraps to create new ones is a bit ridiculous. One man's trash is not someone else's treasure here. It's just trash. And you need a ton of trash to get a treasure.

Then there is the Store. As stated earlier, players can purchase Booster Packs in the Store with credits or real world cash. The Store also offers Campaigns to unlock cards or gain credits, various card backs to customize your decks, avatars, and more.

So... Are There Any Differences? 

Sure. Aside from the exact same gameplay, mechanics (drag a card to attack), the Raid mode (Arena mode in Hearthstone), the races having their own decks, the combat system, the UI, and much more, there are a few. Like, you can have anywhere between 25 - 40 cards in a deck. You can start with more or less than 30 health because your health is the same as the number of cards in your deck. AND! You can't chat with opponents. Um... Yeah... The main point is, there are some minor differences between Star Crusade and Hearthstone, but that's all they are: minor.

Audiovisual Stuff

Okay, so people say that Star Crusade has two saving graces: the fact that it's sci-fi and that it has good audiovisuals. I'll give you the first, but not the second. Why? Because while the background images may be decent, the graphics are a joke. The drag-a-card function is much clunkier than Hearthstone's, explosions look like they came from the 80s, and the sound effects are "meh" (some good, most terrible). Please. If you think this game has "great graphics," play something where you're moving through a 3D world. It doesn't take much to make a stationary background image look like space. And the cards? Oh, my. The artwork on those cards are so bland and plain, with very little detail or imagination (especially on the mechs). The music? Decent, but not good enough to compel you to play a terrible copy of a game.

Final Verdict  Poor

Why would you pick up this game when you can just play Hearthstone? It's literally a spitting image of Blizzard's CCG, only in a sci-fi theme. The graphics are worse, the gameplay and mechanics are carbon copies of Hearthstone, and there are so many bugs that you're likely to lose to someone due to the game crashing rather than having your commander's health reduced to zero. I usually like to give free-to-play games some leeway because they're free. But this is such a poorly executed copycat version that I would never suggest this game to anyone in its current state—not even to sci-fi fanatics. However, the developers seen to be active and have left easy ways for players to report bugs and leave feedback in the game. Perhaps in the future, Star Crusade will be able to differentiate itself from other games in its genre.

Screenshots

Star Crusade Screenshots

Videos

Star Crusade Videos

System Requirements

Star Crusade Requirements

Minimum Requirements for PC: 

Operating System: Windows Vista
CPU: Intel Pentium D
RAM: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 6800
Hard Disk Space:  3 GB

Music

Star Crusade Music & Soundtrack

Coming Soon...

Additional Info

Star Crusade Additional Information

Developer(s): Xim, Inc
Publisher(s): Xim, Inc

Composer(s): Gary Dworetsky and Nikolay Senkin

Languages: English, Russian

Open Beta: December 15, 2015
Release Date: TBA

Development History / Background:

Star Crusade is a sci-fi CCG strategy game developed and published by Xim, Inc. The game was first released for Open Beta on December 15, 2015 on Steam for the PC.