The Marshals Return
On a lonely asteroid far off on the outskirts of the galaxy, a lonely miner comes across a strange pod. Wiping away the window, the miner peers inside and comes face to face with a deranged man screaming, “Marshalls!” The miner is dragged inside screaming, with his manager simply telling him, “No yelling over the comms!”
The opening of Pixelbite’s Space Marshals 3 does a great job setting up the comedic action-focused world of the Space Marshals. As the title implies, Space Marshal 3 is the third installment of the well-received Space Marshals series. While this is my first time playing a Space Marshal game, I can say I enjoyed my time with the marshals and their fight against criminals; both human and extraterrestrial.
Fluid but Flawed Controls
The story follows Marshal Burton and the rest of the Artemis crew as they return from a long mission. They arrive at a Space Marshal outpost only to find they’re not responding. Getting closer to the outpost shows that something terribly wrong has happened. Criminals control the base and your mission is to take them down.
Combat in Space Marshals 3 is fast-paced and fun. You’re equipped with a primary and secondary firearm as well as two different types of throwable equipment. You move around with the left side of your screen and fire with the right side. There are two easy to press buttons to switch weapons on the fly, and you only need to tap them to reload.
The controls are smooth for the most part but I had trouble moving around my character. It felt like I could never find that “sweet spot” on my screen where my thumb wouldn’t go too far in any one direction to move. Other than that the gunplay is exceptional.
Rootin Tootin Shooter
There are enemies throughout the map that can be taken out through stealth or open combat. Stealth is simple but effective. You can dispatch a number of enemies without ever having to pull your trigger. The bodies also disappear when they die so no need to worry about hiding them.
Gunplay is where Space Marshals 3 excels. There are a number of ways to attack each level and the game rewards exploration and replayability. Enemies will react to the sound of your shots and do their best to surround you. Different criminals have different weapons and ways of killing Marshal Burton leaving you running from cover to cover in a gunfight. I was surprised at how easy or hard a level could be depending on how I went about facing it.
After clearing out the criminals, Lone Doe Outpost becomes the Marshals staging grounds to find out what went wrong and who’s behind it. Completing the mission rewarded one of four different guns. To get the others I’d have to replay the level. Shockingly I received a perfect five-star rating for the Lone Doe mission. I was constantly spotted by the enemy and took a lot of damage. In most games, if you take damage or are spotted during stealth you often find yourself getting a worse rating. Despite this, Space Marshals 3 is a lot more forgiving and I truly appreciate that.
A Gorgeous Galaxy
The game features fantastic graphics and a decent soundtrack. The alien worlds are vibrant and beautiful. The cartoonish art style really helps the game to stand out. Level design is superb with maps offering plenty of secret paths and locations to optimize your path through a level. The music isn’t too memorable but does its job to set the tone and put you in a space western mood. There have been some complaints from users on Google Play that the graphics are causing issues with the game. I didn’t encounter these problems but luckily you can see for yourself if the game works well on your device.
The first two missions of the title are free with the rest of chapter one being stuck behind a $4.99 paywall. Pixelbite says more chapters are on the way with different factions and enemies, but for now, you can try out the game and decide if it’s something you’d want to invest in.
Well Crafted Crusade
Overall Space Marshals 3 was a blast to play. The story didn’t take itself too seriously and even got a few chuckles out of me. Stealth was simple but useful and the gunplay was the highlight of the game. There’s plenty of reason for replayability and it really felt like I was getting my money’s worth. Here’s hoping the other chapters will be just as wild as the first.
Space Marshals 3 delivers a comedic and fun space western where gunfights steal the show.
Is it Hardcore?
Space Marshals 3 impresses with beautiful scenery, creative combat, and an enjoyably funny story. While it may not be groundbreaking, it’s still a ride worth taking.