Parents' Guide to

Dead Star

By Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Multiplayer space action held back by repetitive play.

Game Windows 2016
Dead Star Poster Image

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Dazzle up an old-school arcade-style shooter with colorful graphics, large randomly generated battlefields and multiplayer action, and you have a game that's fun but can become repetitious. Dead Star has some appeal with its Crew (five-vs.-five) or Fleet (10-vs.-10) multiplayer elements, and the Escape Run escort mission drops more variety into the mix. The game keeps the controls simple (a gamepad is recommended for ease of play) to allow just about anyone to jump into the action quickly. There are strategic elements, such as defense setting, and the tutorial does a fine job of allowing players to gain a feel for commanding drones, setting defenses, and learning the nuances of the game. But make no mistake: Thinking quickly and reacting quickly can mean the difference between winning a skirmish or respawning.

Where the game stumbles is that, aside from the sheer size of the multiplayer battles and the offerings of customizable ships, this is a very directed experience, giving players the same gameplay over and over. The longevity, though, comes in allowing players to carry three customized ships into any battle arena and swapping among them until the right one is selected for the setting. Battling other players is always challenging. There's a storyline, but it's inconsequential to the game's action. That the game features cross-play between the PlayStation Network and PC gamers is an obvious bonus and can expand the field of play in terms of increasing the pool of players, but at this point, the lobbies are a little sparse. That should change with the game's heavy promotion through the PSN and PC, but right now, Dead Star is one of those games that will mainly appeal to multiplayer fans.

Game Details

  • Platform: Windows
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Armature Studio
  • Release date: April 4, 2016
  • Genre: Arcade
  • Topics: Space and Aliens
  • ESRB rating: E for Mild fantasy violence, mild language
  • Last updated: August 24, 2016

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