Part 200: Intro + PrologueIntro + Prologue (11:40)
Note: there will be no actual gameplay here. We're just taking a look around and getting acclimated. There are story bits in the Prologue though.
Aaaaand here we are. This is the main part of the title screen. We have a spinny thing here where the arrows are used to access the various 'modes'. Naturally we begin with the Story, and are told our protagonist is Ticon Corporation, one of many throwbacks we'll see. And what the actual foolishness is redacted space? We'll get into continuing to not all understand that later. Let's look around here a bit more. Proceeding to the right around the wheel ...
I got a giggle out of the 'Unlock Anyway' bit the first time I saw it. Apparently in the kinder, gentler universe of Particle Fleet you don't have to jump through all the hoops if you don't want to. I will be though, before I go into any of this stuff. I think this is the 'official bonus content' area.
Based on the name, I assume this is the procedurally-generated random missions area.
And this is a new thing obviously. We couldn't customize weapons platforms or structures in the previous games. For reasons I'll explain when we get to actually playing missions, I won't be using this yet.
In the lower-right of the title screen, we have a couple buttons.
** Help - Similarly to previous games, I'll post the contents of this when appropriate; i.e., when we've actually gotten to all the stuff in a section of it.
** Credits - As usual, to be saved until after the Story. To my disappointment though, there is no Credits mission. It's just ... well, just actual credits.
And on the lower-left, we have four more:
This ... well it's cosmetic and IMO kind of pointless. The Corporation in the Game (CITG) is part of the Corporate Bonus DLC, which also includes the PF soundtrack and a 50-page PDF of development-type stuff. The game text on what CITG goes:
Particle Fleet posted:
allows you to design an icon and enter a Corporation and CEO name. This 'corporate logo' can show up at the top of mission launch screens as people around the world play the game! Pretty cool ... Note: the Galactic Corporation reserves the right to limit, edit, or remove the display of any icons or names.
This is something I might spend time on if it had any gameplay effect, regardless of how minor, or if it would show up on my ships or something. As it is ... eh, it's not for me.
Stats & Achievements. Note that this shot was taken directly from the game after I'd done a couple more levels, because some idiot deleted the video when he wasn't feeling well before doing the write-up. So I've got slightly more progress here than I did at the time. Also, I know this is basically unreadable but I had to shrink it down to size.
Basically, instead of the 139 achievements in CW3, here we have 20. And then stats on the left for how much stuff we've destroyed and lost over the course of our efforts.
We can load saved missions, which isn't really worth showing, and then Settings.
I haven't really messed around with the display options for Discrete/Creepify and Velocity/Health. I'll try to remember to do that at some point, but for now it's all on default, effects options on, etc. The UI stuff at the bottom is interesting. I have UI Scale up one level so that interface elements appear larger - that just seems sensible for the reader/viewer to see things more clearly. If I put it up any higher though, stuff will start displaying on top of other things which I don't want. I think UI Lean only does something-or-other in-mission, and I'm going to leave it alone for now.
Sound/Controls do what it says on the tin; a couple sliders for sound and the usual key-binding stuff. Advanced has stuff like muting music entirely, force-unlocking all missions, changing the data save location, etc. I like the warning at the top:
Particle Fleet posted:
WARNING: Advanced settings should only be changed if you know what you are doing. If you have a doubt, DON'T CHANGE ANYTHING
Not betting on how many people ignored that. I have no need for any of it though.
Ok so that's the lay of the land, let's head on into the Story.
The first level is unlocked right away, but we'll get to that later. We can rotate all the way around and see what all the missions are, but only the first one is unlocked at start; in usual CW fashion, we have to finish one before going on. Unlike CW3, we don't have a choice at any point in the order of completion. We'll get to all that later.
The Prologue here just says 'view'. That's because it's basically an intro cinematic. I'm going to present some screenshots of it as well, but I highly recommend actually watching it. The music really helps set the mood. It's exactly three minutes, 5:47 to 8:47 on the video.
After being given notice that we are 'Entering Redacted Space ... ' we are treated to this quote by Oscar Wilde. The idea behind this is that anonymity brings freedom, which we have certainly seen for both good and ill in the internet age.
Meanwhile, the colorful background nebula has the effect of zooming-in as stars slowly go by us, or rather we travel through them.
Glad that got cleared up, because I was thinking I was watching an Amway presentation.
A Creeper-World-ish story, but not exactly a continuation of the previous one, as we will see.
Whatever the infernity that is ...
A call-back to our hero from CW2.
We are fast-approaching some imposing ... uh, red dots?
And we're here. At the Info Cache. Which apparently is that blue-white round thing next to our ship in the lower-left. Which is shooting some reddish laser-thingy at the circular singularity-thingy. And we can make out a few other ships 'appearing' around it, while the big red dots have smaller red dots near them, and a strange device goodness knows what in the middle of that formation.
We did make it one piece, at least.
Meanwhile, the red dots appear to be doing Very Bad Things (tm) at an alarming rate. You can see on the left where some of them have even exploded, since we shot stuff at them from our ship. Also, we built something on the 'singularity' it seems and are now working on that info cache ... some sort of flow is happening between the singularity object and the 'ghosted' ships.
What was true Varro, and why should I care?
The other ships appear to be 'taking form', and if you watch closely you can see the smaller red dots having trouble penetrating that bluish band surrounding is. All that is good, but it doesn't look like the larger mass of red dots is getting set up for diplomatic discussions.
Another CW2 reference ... Rift Space returns.
The ship in the very corner is shooting some sort of longer-range missiles, and some of that ... land? ... on the left side is turning red. It also appears that this Varro isn't planning on living as long as the first one did.
As if they were waiting for him to pay his last respects to his crew, the red dots begin to break formation just as he says this. Meanwhile a whitish-red ... I don't know, thing ... forms around that device at their center.
This is interesting. The three 'new' ships push forward into the mass of approaching enemy, presumably to shield our primary ship at the back transmitting. But Varro is still cut off ... because reasons?
One of the ships plows into the heart of the approaching formation, exploding. The shockwave knocks the attackers back. Briefly.
Soon after, the other two escorts are destroyed, and the enemy presses its way through the blue barrier. Alarms sound as our primary ship fires all it's weapons frantically at the approaching horde.
It is hopeless.
Arc-Bot. As in Arc Eternal? And Hale Corporation, aka Varro Hale. I wonder if this was written using the 'pin the tail on a random hero' methodology. But I give it credit for no Abraxis or Platius references.
Yet, at least.
That's ... a very, very curious way of phrasing it, to put it mildly.
A red something-or-other is being built on the 'singularity' site.
The scene fades, until we reach this; the end of the Prologue. I have questions. One is this; why not, you know, extract the Info Cache and just jump the heck out of there? The way it's described, it's just a question of power so why transmit it instead of just, you know, leaving with both the information and your lives (and ships) intact?
Just sayin'. At any rate, actual Particle Fleet gameplay will be up next time when this (mis) adventure continues.