REVIEW: Battlestar Galactica Deadlock: Ghost Fleet Offensive

REVIEW: Battlestar Galactica Deadlock: Ghost Fleet Offensive

Season 2 continues with a trip behind enemy lines

Released: Steam / GOG
Type: Single-player, Multi-player
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Black Lab Games
Publisher: Slitherine Ltd.
Release date: 25 Feb, 2020
Review of BSGD Base Game
Review of BSGD: Resurrection

The second DLC of Battlestar Galactica’s second season is here, and with it comes a few changes, but mostly it’s more of the same, with a new story.

The changes that were made for the previous expansion, Resurrection, the scaled-back strategic map, the Cylon threat levels and how you manage it, how the construction of new ships & research is handled, all of this is directly carried over, with no real changes. The tactical fleet battles are also, more or less, the same, although some of the new toys that the player and the Cylons get to play with do change things up a bit. What you’re really paying for here is the new 10 mission long campaign.

Who does not like big explosions?

Things are not looking good for humanity. While the news broadcasts proclaim victory after victory, the reality is far grimmer, the Cylons are gaining ground, they’re hitting humanity where it hurts, and it looks like the war is just months, if not just weeks, away from being lost. But humanity has one secret trick up its sleeve, Ghost Fleet, a fleet of ships hidden behind enemy lines that are ready to strike at the core of the Cylon threat.

Much like the last expansion of Season 2, the story this time around feels more focused than that of the base game. Instead of focusing on the entire conflict, and all the politics and factions, you get to see a small slice of what’s going on. For someone who’s not very familiar with the source material, this makes the events a lot easier to follow, without it feeling like there’s nothing in here for the long-time fans of the setting.

These optional story segments are fully voiced (and kind of hard to read, due to the busy background)

The campaign works almost exactly as it did with the last expansion, with one major exception, that won’t be spoiled here. You also get to import your save game, which means that any ships and research you ended within Resurrection gets transferred over. Ghost Fleet Offensive brings a series of 10 missions, that all are pretty well made and balanced (it feels like Black Lab Games has got pretty good at this), although the randomly generated side missions, which are used to get more resources and manage the Cylon threat levels are, much like in the previous expansion, far too easy. The enemy matches you ship for ship, modified by difficulty, although it makes no real consideration for what ships you actually bring, so you might bring two battlestars, and the enemy will just have two of the smallest ships.

Ghost Fleet Offensive also gives you, and the enemy, some new ships and weapons to play with. Two new ships for the humans, one new for the Cylons, and two new Cylon weapons. The new ships are nice, but they don’t radically alter how you play the game. The Defender & Medusa (for the humans & Cylons respectively) are support ships, that are able to strengthen nearby friendly ships, in slightly different ways, and the Orion is a stealth frigate that can strike from hiding. The latter sounds more impressive than it really is, at least when facing the AI. The new weapons the Cylons get, Cluster Nukes and Virus Mines, felt more significant. The cluster nukes deal a good deal of damage, and the virus mines can really cripple nearby enemy ships. The later makes mine-sweeping more important than it ever was.

The lack of difficulty in the side missions would be a stronger strike against this DLC, if it were not for the new difficulty level that was introduced in a free update alongside it. If you ever felt that BSG: Deadlock was too easy, even on the highest difficulty, well, now there’s a higher difficulty. And the enemy really does put up a fight if you crank up the difficulty.

The Defender, in the lower right corner, is quite handy to have around

Closing thoughts

Battlestar Galactica Deadlock: Ghost Fleet Offensive is not an expansion that really changes how the game is played, on a fundamental level. Things work pretty much the same now as they did last time around, and the changes the expansion brings won’t force you to change your strategy, just tweak it a little. Basically, if you’ve played through Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock, and the last expansion, Resurrection, there will be very few surprises here. But the campaign is solid, and I found the story more compelling in this expansion than the last. That said, you really should play these expansions in order.

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February 2020

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