Gemini Wars takes two great things and puts them together: space and real time strategy. The result is a game set in a diverse universe and some really epic feeling missions, especially when warp gates are involved. However, an interesting universe might not be enough to sell the game, as it suffers from some inconveniences that add up and detract from the game.
Gemini Wars follows Captain Cole, a soldier that has returned to the USF after being exiled and spends a part of the game fighting against the Alliance, another human faction. The story is the strongest aspect of the game and while the story won’t blow the competition away, it is a bit predictable and there wasn’t anything that came as a surprise. The voice acting is also a bit sub par. In normal conversation, they were alright, but when it came down to showing surprise and other emotions, the voice acting just could not deliver.
The game makes a good use of sci-fi tech, from shield generators, to warp gates, it is all there and is very fun to use. The ability for units to jump to different areas adds a surprising amount of depth to the game. The units have to recharge their hyperdrives between each jump, so there is proper planning when considering where to position your ships, as it might take them awhile to reinforce other ships if you’re attacked.
Movement and battle are weak points, simply because both actions take an extremely long time to complete. Movement becomes forgivable considering the range that ships have, but the long battle times are less forgivable. Either the units do not do a lot of damage, the armor values are too high, or maybe it is a combination of both, but the units do not do that much damage to each other, which is what leads to the long, drawn out battles. Because the battles take so long, most of my time is building an army of missile frigates and sent those to handle most threats and just overwhelm the enemy with sheer numbers. This represents another problem: it feels that some of the larger and more costly units don’t bring enough power. It appears to be less noticeable during the single player, but in skirmish mode and multiplayer, building a ton of smaller units and protecting key places with walls of turrets seems to be the best way to go. There is the possibility that this will be addressed at a later time, but as it is now, skirmish and multiplayer are not a completely engaging experience. It becomes a little more bearable when ships are upgraded, but even then, it is sometimes ridiculous.
Skirmish and Multiplayer mode also leave a bit to be desired. Skirmish mode only allows a battle between the player and the computer, but with some modifications, such as the number of planets, crystals, tech level and difficulty. With the number of possible planets set to twenty and the asteroids to ninety, Skirmish mode feels a bit under developed as it could easily accommodate multiple opponents, but is limited to just one. The same can be said about the multiplayer mode. It has none of the customization that Skirmish offers, instead offering pre made maps and it once again defaults to single opponent gameplay. Once again, considering the, size of the maps, this is a disappointing move on their part.
There are a few bugs in the game, and most of them are negligible, but there are two that happened enough times that warrant a complaint. The first is that sometimes, when a groups of ships are selected and commanded to move, some get stuck on each other and won’t move. This is easily fixed by just selecting the ships that are stuck and commanding them to move, but it is a pain to double check if all selected ships actually made it to their destination. Another bug occurs in battle when I want to move some of my ships to engage another group of enemies. The ships would begin to move in the direction of the enemy, but stop and head back to attack the previous enemy. Sometimes, I would just have to repeat the command once, but there were a few times that I head to repeat it three or four times. While it isn’t enough to be game breaking, it does occur enough to become slightly aggravated by it.
When it comes down to it, Gemini Wars is a decent game, but does not have enough to push it to the next level. There was no incentive to replay the single player, the skirmish and multiplayer may be entertaining for a few matches, but it lacks the immersion that other real time strategy games bring, such as mods or a robust multiplayer system. However, there is some potential in the series. If a sequel or future game takes the formula and adds the immersion that it is missing, then that gives incentive to replay the game. As it stands now, however, I just wish the game was released with a few less bugs and a bit more polish.