Crying Suns is a tactical sci-fi rogue-lite that bears more than a passing resemblance to FTL: Faster Than Light. Taking place in a far-flung future filled with powerful robots and mutated bandits, you're tasked with discovering the fate of the empire. Awaking in an automated cloning facility with no memories of who you were in your previous life you immediately set off into the wide unknown universe. The tactical elements of Crying Suns come in two parts. There are navigational segments. You choose where to go on a map of each star system and interact with the different things you find there. There are also battle segments in which you perform ship-to-ship combat on a hexagonal grid. Each time you play the universe is randomized and you have to make your way from one end of the map to the other, aiming your sights at the center of the empire back on Earth.
The Level Of Difficulty in Crying Suns
Unlike many rogue-lite games, Crying Suns doesn't beat you over the head with a high level of difficulty, at least not as long as you don't want it to. Whenever you start out on a new run you can choose from a variety of different difficulty levels, meaning that it's possible to play in a pretty relaxed way. On top of that, as you make your way through each chapter of the story you hit different checkpoints from which you can resume even if you die. To a certain degree, this level of degree is anathema to many fans of the rogue-like, and rogue-lite, genres. Often times a ridiculously high difficulty is part of the reason that people enjoy these games. Having said that, the ability to opt for a lower difficulty doesn't exactly ruin the experience for those looking for a more hardcore experience. More accessibility actually does actually help make the game much more enjoyable for those looking to experience the story without too much resistance.
Luckily another element that Crying Suns handles differently from most other rogue-lites is the story. Although the specific star-systems may be randomized the plot is delivered in a more linear fashion. You unlock plot at certain points which are always the same, so thankfully getting the complete picture of what is going on is a lot less obtuse than the normal feeling of looking for needles in a randomized hay-stack. The story is an important part of the gameplay and is also pretty damn intriguing. Starting out you're tasked with finding out why your station has lost contact with the empire. It becomes pretty clear early on that it's not a simple case of a broken phone line. It's difficult to go into the story without ruining its impact on any potential players out there. Hopefully, it goes without saying that the story is deep, dark and involving and should keep you enthralled throughout.
Escaping The Surly Bonds of Crying Suns
If you're interested in a more forgiving version of FTL: Faster Than Light with a more involving story, then Crying Suns is probably just the sort of game that you've been looking for. It provides many balances and changes that usually make the story of rogue-lite games a pain to sit and enjoy. Combined with enjoyable strategy segments and some very interesting narrative moments as you explore the universe, there is a lot of potential in Crying Suns. Just make sure that you're ready to be cloned a whole bunch of times before the game is over.