Game Reviews

Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore review - A space shooter with an awful lot going for it

Star onStar onStar onStar onStar half
Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore review - A space shooter with an awful lot going for it

In a way, Galaxy on Fire 3 – Manticore could be called a step back for the series. It's a more streamlined, more mobile friendly experience that twists the space battling of the series into a slightly more welcoming shape.

And for the most part it works. In fact for the most part it works really well. The game borrows ideas from other shooter genres and laces them through its spectacular, explosion-filled, deep-space dog fights.

If you were worried that the shift to free to play might have an impact on the game well, you're right. But it's not the worst impact, and if anything it's made the series far more palatable for players of a certain persuasion.

Starry wars

Once again you're playing a pilot flying through the galaxy, shooting the right stuff and making sure the wrong stuff doesn't get shot. There's a story here, but it's broken up into bite-sized chunks and scattered around the missions you're tackling.

Those missions are short and sweet, and they scratch any Star Wars itch you might be having by throwing a couple of wing men into play. You're swooping through destroyed ships and massive structures, lasers blasting and woops wooping.

One of the big changes here is in the controls. They're pared back and far less fiddly. One joystick controls the direction your spaceship is flying in and the camera follows you around automatically.

Then on the other side of the screen you've got another joystick that lets you speed up, slow down, and dodge incoming fire. And that's about it.

Rather than giving you a big fire button to launch your lasers, the game handles it for you when you're shooting reticle is in the correct position. It might sound less engaging, but if anything it adds a precision and ferocity to proceedings.

When you've got less things to concern yourself with, the action flows much better. You're darting through narrow gaps, pulling sharp turns to chase down space drones, and generally feeling more like you really are a space pilot.

The free to play element comes in with wait timers, extra currencies, and a bit of grinding. But when the gameplay is this solid flying a few skirmishes to toughen up before you tackle something more difficult doesn't feel like that much a grind.

And make no bones about it, there's a lot to do here. You can explore, fly sorties, start your own mercenary guild, and push the story further on. And you'll have a pretty damn good time while you're doing it.

Starry bucks

Galaxy on Fire 3 – Manticore is a lot of steps in a lot of directions. Purists might balk at the new monetisation system but in all honesty if you don't want to chuck money around you don't have to. And the new features make the game feel like a complete package.

More than that they make it feel like a complete mobile package. Nothing feels like it's been forced onto a platform that it wasn't really designed for.

This might be the third game in the series, but it's the first that really understands mobile gaming. And it does it in a way that's likely to open the Galaxy on Fire universe up to an awful lot more players.

Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore review - A space shooter with an awful lot going for it

A gorgeous looking shooter that pushes the series into the modern mobile age
Harry Slater
Harry Slater
Harry used to be really good at Snake on the Nokia 5110. Apparently though, digital snake wrangling isn't a proper job, so now he writes words about games instead.