The Ron Moore re-imaging of Glen Larson’s classic Battlestar Galactica, was revolutionary television, if tragically flawed. However, the story of the quest for Earth, and the characters created became a story that engrossed many.
The MMO created, based on the series, is actually a surprise.
Surprise 1: It’s a browser based game. As a result, there is no big downloads and patching. It uses a java based engine, so technically it should run on any platform that Java supports (the game uses the Unity engine, which will run under WINE, so mac and linux users should be fine). There are times when the game just hangs (in the character interaction screens), but the game flows nicely and the graphics are crisp and detailed.
Suprise 2: Oficially a side story, but in reality it is a alternative universe. Just after the Battle of the Reserection Ship, an unknown relic forces both the Colonials and Cylon forces to initiate a wild jump into unknown space. This event forms the training mission for both sides, and allows a different game play, of a more traditional resource/build/conquere game al la Warcraft. This is not as bad as it looks, as the story means both the Colonials and Cylons are on relative the same level, and it allows Colonials to build smaller warships (which the Pegasus could do, and since it is part of the background, makes perfect sense). It also allows characters from the series (both human and skinjobs) to interact with the players, as quest givers and vendors.
Surprise 3: Colonials can dress as Colonial Warriors (from the original series). That alone is cool.
The game play is similar to many space based games. You start in either a Viper or Raider. Controls are simple, and easy to pick up. Things like gunfire is automatic, and the physics seem to be correct, so it does feel like a space game and not a aircraft game. You also have access to resource ships and smaller warships.
The meta game is one of seizing planetary systems for bases and resources. You can also raid enemy systems.
The game is free to play, with an ingame currency that can be purchased for cash (cubits). Nothing revolutionary here, and the ads for the cubit offers are slightly obtrusive.
All in all, I am quite suprised with the quality of BSGO, and think if browser based games are all this quality, the days of 12 hour patches may be over.