Ghost Signal: A Stellaris Game – Preview of the Most Immersive Asteroid Version You’ve Ever Played

Ghost Signal: A Stellaris Game – Preview of the Most Immersive Asteroid Version You’ve Ever Played

Honestly. Unless you have millions to spare, or you’re a personal friend of Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, you’ll probably never explore outer space with anything other than a telescope. Luckily, Fast Travel Games and Paradox Interactive let you know about their upcoming VR game Ghost Signal: A Stellaris Game. Unlike the grand strategy series it’s based on, you don’t really want to use diplomacy or trade to succeed. Instead, you’ll be able to pilot your own ship, travel across the solar system, fight enemies and install upgrades – all in search of mysterious ghostly signals.

The game was just announced, but at Gamescom 2022 about a month ago, we jumped into the cockpit for an early journey into the unknown and can now share our impressions.

Capturing the feeling of the stars

While Ghost Signal: A Stellaris Game is an action-roguelite experience, it retains some aspects of the strategy game it’s based on. The most obvious is the viewing angle. You can’t control your spaceship from a traditional first- or third-person camera, like in No Man’s Sky or Star Wars: Squadrons. Instead, you see the action as passing through a porthole in the distance. This gives you some much-needed overview as you are often surrounded by enemy ships. To have a chance at survival, you must constantly adjust your direction using the analog stick while pointing at the enemy and shooting with the hand of your choice.

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Quick reflexes and some precision are certainly useful. But most of Ghost Signal: The Stellaris Game is about making deceptive tactical decisions on the fly. Switching from long-range lasers to long-range lasers can help deplete enemies’ shields before they get into range of your rapid-fire weapons, but leave you vulnerable to smaller, faster enemies. Planning new routes can help you avoid enemies, but it takes time and slows you down. This decision, combined with the remote camera, makes you feel more like a commander than a real pilot.

Ghost Signal: A Stellaris Game – Preview of the Most Immersive Asteroid Version You’ve Ever Played

Roguelite elements and features

In terms of roguelite elements, the emphasis on tactical action also makes sense. As usual, each battle is a separate encounter, and if you win, you get to choose where to go next. For example, you might go to the store to upgrade your shields, weapons, etc., or you might try your luck at random events. If you’re brave enough, there are bosses to approach as well. Failure will get you started again, but there are also permanent upgrades to unlock in the process. While I only managed to remove the single star system, Fast Travel Games promises the following features in the full game:

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  • Exotic species fight or make friends.
  • Heavy artillery fend off monster creatures or defeat enemy fleets.
  • Powerful upgrades like cryo-rays, atomic missiles and dragon companions.
  • Random maps, daily challenges and leaderboards.

Wait, haven’t we met before?

While paying homage to Stellaris in terms of tactics, vision, and savvy, playing Ghost Signal: A Stellaris Game at Gamescom actually reminded me of an even older game – the original Asteroids, released for arcades in 1979.

Just like in the legendary Atari games, in Ghost Signal your ship has real weight, blasting asteroids from an overhead angle (sort of) while battling enemy ships, which gives this modern VR The game brings a strange nostalgic feel to it. It’s a true testament that even after 4 years of incredible technological advancement, great game design still stands.

A more action-oriented VR game might not be what Stellaris fans secretly want when they stare eagerly at the night sky and suddenly see a shooting star. Still, Ghost Signal: A Stellaris Game feels very fluid, and if you’re looking to do some space exploration on your Meta Quest 2 headset, it’s definitely worth watching when it releases in early 2023.