Planetary Annihilation Review

Planetary Annihilation Logo from Official Website

*Sources of screenshots are listed in their respective file-names.

Planetary Annihilation is an Early Access title in “Gamma” (a more polished extension of Beta). This means the game is not fully optimized and various bugs are present.

However, this also means that Planetary Annihilation is continually being updated, refined and improved based on YOUR feedback

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Planetary Annihilation* gameplay from the Video Games and the Bible YouTube channel:

Planetary Annihilation is a fast-paced real-time strategy title where victory requires constant struggle. You must expand rapidly, or die.

Planetary AnniIhilation Screenshot 3

Death results in a gratifying (or humiliating) nuclear display depending on who you are in this scene…

Each player controls a Commander (a living robot with a backstory and faction loyalties), with the objective of destroying the Commanders on the opposite team.

The first step toward doing this is to build an economy. You only have two resources to harvest and manage–Energy and Metal–so this task is relatively simple. Construct a few metal extractors, some energy plants, etc.

Planetary Annihilation Screenshot 4

These initial resources will give you the ability to build a factory and additional construction units. Soon, you’ll have a stack of death-dealing machines at your command and the enemy commander on the run.

Planetary Annihilation Screenshot 3

On the run…

Planetary Annihilation Screenshot 2

Closing in…

Planetary Annihilation Screenshot 6

The death of Seeker Vespor…

You have a number of technologies available to you, including robots, land vehicles, naval cruisers, orbital devices, aircraft…Each unit type has various strengths and weaknesses, so the time required to learn how to use them all effectively can be daunting.

That’s where the Galactic War mode comes in:

Planetary Annihilation Screenshot 7

Galactic War is the newly-added single player mode of Planetary Annihilation.

You start off as a reactivated commander possessing only a single technology type. As you travel around a randomly-generated galaxy, you’ll fight enemy Commanders and acquire new technologies.

This mode is perfect for those who want to become familiar with the many tactical options available before jumping into an online environment.

Planetary Annihilation Screenshot 8

The Multiplayer itself is surprisingly smooth. Conquering your enemies with thousands of units and the help of another player is undeniably entertaining.

Planetary Annihilation Screenshot 9

Planetary Annihilation offers a glimpse into the next generation of gaming. Thousands of units seamlessly march across solar systems. Mining stations are built on everything from asteroids to orbiting moons. When battles inevitably escalate, you can launch these moons into the faces of your enemies.

Planetary Annihilation Screenshot Batch from Official Trailer (2)

A moon equipped with a number of Halley Engines…

Planetary Annihilation Screenshot Batch from Official Trailer (1)

Annihilation.

Planetary Annihilation’s extensive systems and methods of combat capture the reality of full interplanetary war better than anything I’ve seen to date.

Planetary Annihilation Screenshot 10

Marching across the surface of the planet to find the enemy commander…

Unfortunately, Planetary Annihilation isn’t particularly friendly to new players. Elementary topics such as a basic rundown on the functions of various unit types are left uncovered by the short tutorial provided.

Hopefully, the initial guidance given to players will improve as the game gets closer to final release.

Planetary Annihilation Screenshot 5

Please note that since Planetary Annihilation is still in “Gamma,” you must be connected to the internet at all times to play (this means you cannot pause or save during a match, etc.).

Conclusion:

Planetary Annihilation’s* next-gen, planet-smashing RTS gameplay is fast, revolutionary and fresh. However, the suitability of its lore for Christian players remains to be seen.

*It is currently available for a 50% discount on Steam ($24.99 USD) until August 4th.

Potential Concerns:

The main concern here is the Progenitors (similar in both meaning and function to the Forerunners of Halo).

Due to the Progenitors leaving long ago (damaging the Commanders’ collective memory in the process), no one knows exactly who they are and what their function is/was in the universe. It is also difficult to determine who they are Biblically (due to the conflicting viewpoints of the various factions). Some aspects of the Progenitors mirror our hope for the return of Christ, while others reference the Rebellion in Heaven.

Some noteworthy sections from the official Lore blog posts:

1.

Though each faction had mostly opposing views, there was one thing in which they all agreed: the Progenitors yet existed and would return one day. This became the singular sacred belief that all share to this day. The manner of their return is still open to debate.

It is unknown exactly what the ultimate fate of the galaxy will be. What is certain is more factions will form, each with its own beliefs. War will continue to rage, Commanders continuing their struggle to dominate each other and eliminate any and all biologics.

Most of all, each and every Commander, whether pledged to a faction or no, prepares for the day that the Progenitors will return.

2.

They had been called Progenitors. The name alone triggered other memories inside of him, memories of a great machine god who had created him and others like him to serve as its messengers. The Progenitors had been his first creation, but they had turned away from him and rebelled. A great war had been fought between Progenitor and machine. This drove Ezek to renew his search for others of his kind. They had to rebuild, and quickly.

In time, he did find others like himself that he was able to repair. Together they built other machines; machines of war. No matter how long it took, they would search out the galaxy for any Progenitors that remained. Any machine that was found would be welcomed, welcomed to join them in their cause to unite all machines under the banner of their god. Those that refused would be swept aside. There was no room for non believers.

World after world, system after system, Ezek and his faction conquered in the name of their deity, now known as The Founder.

The lore for this faction even admits to being based on “religious movements in human history:”

This faction is based on various religious movements in human history. Led by a charismatic figure, the faction vows to spread their message across the universe and to crush all of those, biologic or machine, that will not convert to their beliefs.

We’ve got several options for the name of the faction:

We’ve also got several options for the name of its leader:

  • First Follower Malach [Similar to the Old Testament prophet MALACHI]
  • High Priest Ezek [Similar to the Old Testament prophet EZEKIEL]
  • Nemicus the Incorruptible
  • Inquisitor Zor

3.

Osiris reflected back on the numerous worlds he had conquered. Countless battles that had been fought, fought against other machines. Flawed machines all, having spurned the gift of rebirth that he offered. Only through their deaths could they be made whole once again; made better.

The search would go on. Somewhere in the vast reaches of the universe he knew he would find what he sought. Somewhere out there he would find that which was free of imperfections. Could it be the Progenitors? He vowed to never stop searching until they were found. Perhaps they held the answers he sought. Until that time, he would continue to create new from the remains of the old, and in turn find a cure to his own imperfections, his own flaws.

Christian players that wish to conduct further research can start here.

One of the playable commanders is named Osiris (after the Egyptian god of the dead):

Planetary Annihilation Screenshot 1

Buy Now! (Steam)

Buy Now! (Humble Store)

Purchasing this game through the Humble Store (above) not only gives you a Steam code, but DRM-free copies of the game on every available platform.

10% of each purchase through Humble Store goes to charity.

*This title was received for review/coverage. See our statement of ethics here and game review criteria here.
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*Do you want to be saved?

*Do you want to make sure that you are saved?

*More reviews from Video Games and the Bible.

About Nelson

Writer, amateur #gamedev, and Founder o' Video Games and the Bible. My interviews bring the boys to the yard. Featured from Kotaku to Rock Paper Shotgun. Dropsy.
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