A diamond in the rough ( pre-alpha .2 )
Noman Fleet is an upcoming space-based RTS from (Presumably) one-man-band Jorge (Kondor0 as on indiedb, where the download is available) from Chile and is very much in the vein of and inspired by Homeworld (As well as FTL) with procedurally generated levels, this however is never a bad thing as there aren’t enough Homeworld-alikes. The Homeworld/ Battlestar Galactica theme sticks here in which 200 years after Earths destruction the last of humanities remnants are being pursued by the mysterious alien race which almost left them extinct. Your goal is to lead the human fleet across the galaxy, to an ancient hyperspace gate in which we can finally disappear far enough that we will never be found. Its (In some ways) a fairly well-used sci-fi trope but not out of place here, if anything…I’m glad they kept with this tale of mankind at the brink. I wonder whether the re-release of Homeworld will hamper NF… No, I believe its at just the right time to ride off the back of it, and gamers love for space-based RTS’s of which Homeworld and Sins of a Solar Empire dominate.
I have been following Nomad Fleet for a while… Always bookmarked and waiting to see what comes of it. Being a fan of the original, fantastically made Homeworld and following a recent addiction to FTL only bulstered my want for more space strategy. The graphics are a brilliant effort from the small indie dev and work really well with the setting. It follows the clean, neon lines of Homeworlds beautiful artwork but with a more mechanical and industrial realism (Albeit still very futuristic and clean) resulting in them looking man-made of known metals, with splashes of colour here and there and certainly not boring or glum, in fact they aren’t that far off of Gearbox’s effort. The mysterious enemy race that pursues you cannot be more… Well… Erm… Alien I guess. The lines of the enemy ships are impossible feats of engineering, reminiscent of the reapers of Mass Effect or the cosmic horrors spawned of H.P. Lovecrafts mind, with a hint of Independence Day mothership for good measure. The enemy motherships look like they could be sentient, a mix of creature and machine. Pirates also populate space and make for exciting encounters, their fleet consisting of more conventional metal ships not unlike your own, usually with a dark paint-job complimented with a classic bandit/ pirate love of a splash of bright yellow, red or orange.
The demo itself consists of 2 systems to fight in, an ’empty system’ where you are attacked by an enemy force and must hold off until the jumpdrive recharges or defeat the opposition and a pirate stronghold to assault, which consists of a larger fleet of enemy. Basic gameplay is flawless, the ships look amazing in action and explosions look great, as in Homeworld fighters jet about dogfighting and doing attack runs on the larger frigates and corvettes, who in turn fire laser and cannon from their smoothly-rotating turrets at their hulking rivals, laser-fire bursts around you and the (perfectly working) follow camera makes for some exciting moments. Gameplay is extremely similar to Homeworld; so much so that if you’re a fan you’ll feel at home almost right away, though due to different button mappings I suggest both newbies and veterans run through the extremely handy and short tutorial, showing how to use the camera, select and move a ship or a group and attack. In a world of hand-holding taboo im glad to see just a little tutorial to help me get to grips.
This is turning into a great game and I hope the dev keeps up his enthusiasm. His textures, core gameplay features and story are not only there… They are incredible for prototype stage. His professionalsm at delivering a quality-feeling product are admirable and appreciated amongst the diluted waters of the indie world. As I mentioned at the start, there aren’t enough Homeworld alikes out there, the market is there but not polluted enough to stop this game from shining.
My score for Nomad Fleet is 90/100… Please keep in mind that as always, my scores are comparable to the competition in a similar state (In this case a small indie-teams first demo). There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, I had no errors, issues, slow-downs or crashes in my time playing. The graphics are lovely, the UI is basic but serviceable and the only reason I didn’t score it as 100 (For a prototype) Is it just being a little light on the content side, though not enough to really hamper its score I would have liked to see just a tiny bit more story integration in dialogue or the like, besides the intro reel but that is only because it was so good I wanted more… Still, its all very commendable. Keep it up Jorge, I look forward to completing the full game in the future.
I will re-score as an alpha once available, stay tuned!
[ 90 / 100 ]
Nomad Fleet on IndieDB