Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition - Steam/PC Review

Taking inspiration from other notables is a great thing, certainly in Halcyon’s favor.

Game Info

  • System: PC
  • Publisher: Massive Damage Inc.
  • Developer: Massive Damage Inc.
  • Release Date: August 10th, 2017
  • Price:$13.99 (with discount attached)
  • Rating: E
  • Genre: Indie, RPG, Sci-fi, Strategy, Simulation
  • Players: Single Player
  • Official Website: http://www.playhalcyon6.com/

Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition Trailer

Who it Caters to

Games really carry a lot of weight and somehow, even after so many decades, they still continue to inspire and go well beyond our wildest imaginations. There’s a vast assortment of titles to choose ranging from your traditional platformer to the more brain stimulating strategy games, and all of them come with their signature appeal that makes them shine. When the original Halcyon 6 released back in 2016, it received positive reception because for one, it took a lot of great aspects from other notable titles and it most certainly worked in developer Massive Damage’s favor. If you love a game with clever humor, a deep formulaic approach to strategy and tactical prowess, and some RPG (even some JRPG) aspects then look no further than the upgraded version Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition.

What to Expect

With a plethora of strategy RPGs out there to choose from, it can be quite taxing to find the right one that suits your needs. We can say with certainty that Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition will not only meet your standards, but will surpass them because the game provides so much depth and finesse to keep you coming back for more. Taking inspiration from the likes of XCOM, where you have a massive starbase to work from and continue to build upon it to strengthen your squadron, Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition also shines in its own unique way with the retro visuals and great soundtrack (which actually sounds great as background music while typing this!) the game provides. If you’re into the very deep and methodical approach to space RPGs, then there should be no reason to ignore this game, unless of course you’re afraid of a good challenge which this game certainly provides all throughout. Not only does it put your mind to the test at every chance, but Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition rewards you dearly and so that gratification is only heightened exponentially when you complete daring missions. With hours upon hours of gameplay available to you out of the gate, along with a pretty robust tutorial to guide you through the opening segments, Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition is lightyears ahead of its original counterpart and is impressive in every possible way.

Gameplay

As we mentioned earlier, there are remnants of XCOM that are clearly visible within the game and it really does help to make things more organized, especially when it comes to base building. Where the JRPG aspect comes in is the battles and upgrading, which remind us of games like Disgaea or even Nihon Falcom’s celebrated classic The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. Every battle requires that you pick and choose your moments to attack, defend or simply just run away to avoid fatal damage. There’s never a moment of certainty as you play because enemies will come at you from different directions, and you’ll need to make important decisions as to approaching them or focusing on other missions. Due to this varied style, it really does create some tense moments because on the one hand, some missions reward you with necessary items to further upgrade your base such as searching a vacant planet, but then suddenly after a few days pass you’re caught by surprise by a pirate attack on your base. Not only do you need to ensure you have enough officers to delegate tasks to on the fly, you also need to ensure they’re in prime form to tackle anything that comes their way.

The game begins with you choosing an officer, all of whom have different skillsets and so you’ll need to decide which of those fully matches your approach. We went with Corbin since he seemed to fit our tactical approach and his attacks were quite versatile in most battles we encountered later in the game. As you progress further and gather more resources, you’ll need to hire more officers, but also purchase ships for each of them so they’ll be able to carry out missions you delegate to them. Moreso, as you continue to build your base to your liking it becomes a decision of what to build next with regards to the direction you’re heading in. Do you need more powerful weapons? Then upgrade and research your skill tree to speed up the researching process, then test them out in battle. Much like XCOM, there are “nations” that you’ll need to protect as they run into trouble quite frequently, and so to build better rapport with them it’s important to do those respected missions to ensure a relationship is solidified. Often times you’ll run into those quirky cutscenes where the commander of the said nation will try and talk you into doing things for them, from which you’ll of course need to decide the right course of action. Watching these cutscenes is where the humor comes into play because they really aren’t meant to create laughter, but that’s exactly why it’s funny. It doesn’t try to force humor but rather, it throws a tense situation at you and then you just laugh because in a way it helps to ease that tension.

Whether that was intentional by Massive Damage or not is up in the air. Maybe it’s that dry witty Torontonian humor that caught our attention, you know being a Torontonian myself. Be that as it may, Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition comes with some new perks to further optimize the fantastic gaming experience such as the new difficulty mode called Vice Admiral, and the game overall feeling a lot more robust than its predecessor. The UI has been upgraded significantly to make organization much easier for the player, while the enhanced combat mechanics makes every battle such a thrill to experience. Factions now come with more strengths and weaknesses along with over 25 alien faction space combat abilities, and so much more. Everything is more streamlined making the overall speed of the game feel a little more intuitive and for faster progression as you continue to level up your crew. We could go on and on about how many improvements have been made, but the point has clearly been made and that’s left for you to do is buy this game...Buy it NOW.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

This is no bias from us just as a heads up, because prior to writing this, we didn’t even know that Massive Damage’s main office is literally located in the heart of Toronto where we grew up. We’re just showing our love and hopefully the team at Massive Damage reads this small little segment and feels a little flutter in their hearts. We’re trying to remember everything from playing Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition but there’s honestly so much within the game that you would need to play it yourself and experience it all on your own. With over 12 hours of gameplay to look forward to along with a visually appealing experience, Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition should certainly go up there among the high ranks with the likes of XCOM and even the classic Valkyria Chronicles. They all share a common trait in that, for every decision you make there’s an equal threat waiting for you up ahead and you’ll need every brain cell to be fully functioning when making the call. It pushes you to be creative and really think through everything you do, even when it comes to resource management, researching, and paying close attention to the economical situations that arise. Our only gripe is that we wish it were longer because then we’d have more to look forward to, so here’s hoping the team can somehow create some DLC in the near future.

Honey's Pros:

  • Truly lives up to its predecessor in every way possible, in fact it surpasses it.
  • Spectacular gameplay from start to finish.
  • Visually stimulating as well as mentally.
  • Campaign is challenging and everything is procedurally generated. Nothing is ever the same.
  • A vast variety of options in terms of officers, and an improved progression system to top it.
  • XCOM, FTL inspired!

Honey's Cons:

  • Make the game longer please.

Honey's Final Verdict:

So there you have it, Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition is certainly worth all the marbles or whatever currency you plan on using to buy this game (marbles probably won’t work). Whether you’re a fan of those classic JRPGs that we mentioned throughout the article, or you love that deep tactical allure which reels you in every time, Halcyon 6: Lightspeed Edition is one game you’ll want to have in your gaming library and certainly one where you’ll be heavily invested in it for hours. By the time you read this the game will officially be available on the Steam so be sure to grab it while the discount is hot! Until next time, for all things gaming be sure to stay updated with us on Twitch and Twitter.

As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

Previous Articles

Top 5 Anime by Rob "NualphaJPN" B.