Eric Kelly On December 28, 2012 at 11:04 am

Drox Operative Screenshot - 01Small independent developer Soldak is not a very big company, but the games it makes have some very big and interesting ideas. Ideas that can really make one question the notion that $60 AAA entertainment and the latest in PC gaming rigs aren’t needed or necessarily make for a fun game. That’s exactly what Drox Operative, for the PC and Mac platforms, sets out to prove.

In this space action RPG, you command a ship in control of the Drox Operative, a mercenary force set out to attain wealth and power by convincing the winning alien race, that the only way to win the space race is through the utilization of the Operative. After selecting your race that your ship’s model and basic crew is from, you get to name it and start in a randomly generated sector of space to start in, and begin collecting money through quests, exploration, and the many enemy ship encounters you are likely to run into on your path to power. Choosing the race you want also influences the starting bonuses you get.

Game-play is controlled through the mouse and keyboard, where you direct your ship from a top down view. Combat is done by clicking on enemy units and holding down the button for sustained attacks, but you have to be mindful of how much energy you spend, which works kind of like mana in other RPGs. It will recharge over time. Your health comes in three layers. Shield strength, armor, and structure. To improve these traits you can level up by putting points into the appropriate stats. Otherwise, you can find or buy components. Installing them will achieve this. You can also trade with races, but you might be hard pressed to do so as you can’t sell to a vendor if they lack money, which is indirectly related to how often you complete their quests and earn from them, or how well they are doing financially. This can be improved by giving them technology that they want or giving them money. You can even forge alliances if you think they will win the space race, or otherwise declare war. Ceasefire petitions likewise are attempts to diffuse problems and get on their good side. There are also treaties aside from alliances where you can forge non-aggression pacts or mutual-protection pacts to protect you from hostile races and vice-versa.

The world is constantly evolving and doesn’t stop for you. Quests that are accepted are failed if the planet you accepted the quest on is destroyed by another faction. If you take on too many quests but want to accept more, you can decline them, though this may affect your reputation with the race or races that gave you the quests. There are five ways to achieve victory in this game, and three ways to lose. You can win through military, diplomatic, economic victories, or becoming feared or attaining legendary status. To achieve the last two, either become the enemy of everyone and destroy them, or defeat powerful space monsters, respectively. If you help the enemy of another race that likes you, they will get suspicious and gradually hate you. If you find yourself in a situation where you are about lose the sector a timer will countdown, and afterward the campaign will end. At that point you can make a new ship and start in a new sector, or load up your old ship and keep your level and money, to try better next time. There is also co-op online play which can be played locally or over the internet. The game also has built in achievements for all those obsessive completionists out there. There is even a hardcore mode where you get no extra storage stashes and have permanent death enabled.

The graphical fidelity of this game is not going to win any awards, but this is a good thing since the game is more accessible to more consumers, as it does not require a dedicated gaming rig. It also is very modest in the resource requirements. All in all a very fun game that challenges the idea that you need to have a beefy computer to have an entertaining and worthwhile experience for a third of the cost, running at $20 USD. I would definitely recommend this game for any open-world loot-collecting action RPG fan, with a taste for space exploration as well.


Loot collection based action RPG in space that’s easy to learn, hard to master,variable difficulty.


Nothing impressive,but for a game of this size and scope, it does the job.


Serviceable sound effects and catchy soundtrack.


(Definitely worth the purchase for the loot-collection based Space action RPG fan, for the asking price.


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