While the story's solid, this space strategy game tends to remove the rogue-like experience and choices in favor of devolving into combat, making it not as interesting as it could've been. That's not to say that combat in Crying Suns is a bad thing. There are some tactical elements to it, and you can pause at any time to consider which move to make in a fight. Weapons and fighter squadrons, once expended, have reset times, so pacing your attacks is vital. You can throw all your fighter squadrons at the enemy, or fire off your onboard weapons, but should you fail to defeat the enemy in that massive outburst, you may be in deep trouble. Still, the combat's fast paced and the mechanics of combat aren't very complex. But where it falters is the lack of variety in battles -- enemies may get a bit harder, but they're essentially the same opponent from start to finish.
Gameplay's also a bit of a bumpy ride at times. While the story's good, there's no real way to ease into the action. Plus, the story moments are randomly generated, but there's more of a focus on combat instead of diplomacy. Every so often, you have the option to negotiate instead of fight, or defuse a situation, but the weight towards combat makes the gameplay feel somewhat repetitive from session to session. Still, the game has good points, from the ability to make story-based choices to exploring and upgrading your ship in preparation for the battles ahead. The visuals are also intriguing, because while the game looks like a retro pixelated adventure, it changes with combat, where ships are shown fighting and exploding in sharp 3D modeled vessels. Overall though, Crying Suns is one of those games that promised a lot of action, but its lack of instruction and repetitive play makes it lost in space.