Rebel Galaxy Outlaw review | Cruis’n ‘Verse

Developer Double Damage serves up a solid homage to Wing Commander. Here’s our review of Rebel Galaxy Outlaw…


Rebel Galaxy Outlaw plays like the folks from Double Damage snuck into my bedroom at night and recorded me jabbering excitedly in my sleep about the perfect modern Wing Commander reimagining.

In the interest of fairness, it’s important I get that out of the way first, because this oil-stained, beer-fuelled, pulpy space sim is so specifically my personal jam that you probably shouldn’t trust a single word I have to say about it.

That said, it’s an absolute winner. Streamlined and accessible without sacrificing tactical dogfights and customisation. Less space opera than plasma-seared pulp fiction. A southern-fried scoundrel’s brag, half-slurred through the smoke and sweat from a battered barstool.

Every detail embellished, every victory heady with whiskey bravado, and every mechanic unapologetically tuned to massage your ego. Yes, RGO says, you are 100% the effortlessly cool space mercenary you fantasise about being sometimes. Here’s a ship, here’s 20 hours of hard rock radio, now go blow something up and steal its cargo.

You’ll be climbing into the cockpit of nine different, fully customisable ships as ex-gang member Juno Markev, as she hunts down the man that killed her husband, all while hustling side jobs to buy bigger and better fighters.

Most missions are bookended by short cutscene conversation, and while character animations can be a little stiff, the dialogue is involving and snarkily entertaining enough to keep you going through the 30–50 hour story, depending on how much time you spend bounty hunting and trading for extra cash.

Although RGO pays homage to the classics, it’s also set up for first-timers to the genre. You can go full veteran, turning off all the assists for a more rugged simulation, or opt for the well-implemented ‘Autopursuit’ option. By locking on to an enemy craft and holding down the left trigger, you’ll automatically chase down your opponent.

It’s a feature that could easily remove challenge in a game with less savvy AI, but here it provides a breakneck sense of arcade-like immediacy. It helps that, once you step into the cockpit, any concerns about the visuals disappear, and RGO morphs into a pyrotechnic display of fragmented hulls, searing plasma, and comically satisfying explosions.

All this immediacy does come at the cost of the more elaborate simulation aspects veteran pilots might be used to. There’s no need to manually dock at stations, for example, and once in a firefight, you can divert power to shields or guns, but that’s about it. It’s a quick and dirty shot of moonshine, rather than a complicated cocktail, but you’ll taste the care that’s gone into brewing it before it knocks you off your barstool.

The only other major issue I had with RGO is how big the galaxy is. Getting to some mission locations can sometimes mean being sat warp drive-jumping between navigation points. Slow as this can be, it does provide a sense of distance and scale which adds to the fantasy, and it’s still rare to be out of the action for more than a few minutes. Plus, it’s still space, and space is cool.


At the risk of outing myself as a terrible pilot, the Autopursuit feature is a fantastic bit of design that adds accessible, cinematic flair to chaotic dogfights without sacrificing tension. The option to taunt opponents over the radio is a great touch, too.

Verdict: 76%

Adrenaline-fuelled and pulpy. Juno Markev makes Han Solo look like whatever Bill Pullman was called in Spaceballs. Crap Han Solo. That one.

Genre: Space sim
Format: PC (tested)
Developer: Double Damage Games
Publisher: Double Damage Games
Price: £23.99
Release: Out now

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