Transcendence Transcendence
Made by: George Moromisato
More info: -

Easy to learn
Many unique weapons and items
No real story in the game

When someone thinks of freelancer simulators, they most likely think of games like Elite, where one starts out with a small cargo ship, a few credits, and a whole galaxy full of opportunity before him.  Unfortunately, gamers are often turned off by the repetitive process of heading to a port, buying the cheapest commodity, and selling it at a port where demand for that commodity is high.  Sure, you don't have to play the whole game that way, as you could become a pirate and prey on merchants, a bounty hunter and kill pirates, or a smuggler and smuggle illegal goods (bads?).  The point is that more time in games like these is spent on waiting for your ship to encounter enemies or arrive at a port than on combat.

Transcendence is a freelancer spaceflight simulator that finds an equal balance of trading and fighting, and is sure to please people who prefer a little more action in their games.  Most of Transcendence involves you flying around hunting for pirates to kill.  When you kill pirates, their ships or space stations may still be intact, and you can dock with it to salvage cargo or equipment.  Anything you find that you can carry on your ship is yours, and you may sell it at a friendly space station.  The money you make is yours to invest in new weapons, devices, or ships.  There are times where you may be asked to fly escort missions as well, so you aren't tied down to just one source of income.

You start the game in a solar system that has a few planets, some space debris, a few friendly ports and usually several pirate bases with a full complement of ships.  Each solar system also has one or more warp gates that will transfer you to a solar system that would otherwise take months to get to.  When all of the bases are destroyed, they won't regenerate, so you'll have to go to the next system to find more pirate bases to destroy and loot to sell.  It's not always wise to go straight to a new system once the pirate bases are eliminated, as pirates in the next system are usually stronger.  Pirate ships still continue to generate wherever you are, so you'll never run out of enemies to fight.  Once your ship is upgraded satisfactorily, you can continue to the next system to challenge more enemies.  If your ship is destroyed or runs out of fuel, Transcendence scores you based on how accurate your shots were, the number of enemies you killed, and how long you lasted in the game.

As one could expect of a futuristic spaceflight simulator, ships are equipped with shields and lasers (though the game's weapons are not necessarily lasers); ships require fuel to function in space, and it is wise to carry a few spare fuel rods to make sure you don't get stranded.  For those tedious times where you're waiting for your ship to get from one part of a solar system to the next, you can activate the ship's autopilot which accelerates time and deactivates itself when an object comes within scanner range or your fuel runs low.

Unlike many spaceflight sims, Transcendence is played on the horizontal X and Y axes, whereas the others usually include the vertical Z axis; thus you control your ship from directly above it, and your ship automatically adjusts so that it won't collide with other objects in space (planets, ships, stations, etc).  Transcendence is no stranger to physics, so just because your ship is facing one direction doesn't mean it will go in that direction.  The lack of a Z axis doesn't make Transcendence any less fun.

UPDATE (by the_holy_tom) :

Transcendence version 0.95a is out. This new version includes some massive changes to the game, but most noticeable is the addition of two playable ships, bringing the total up to a whopping three.

Transcendence  is very much a game still in development - the game is only half as long as the developer intends and therefore this is far from the final game. Version 0.95a includes new weapons, races, missions and opportunities to this Rouge-like game.

Your choice of ship on the first screen will pretty much predefine your game. The three ships (the Wolfen fighter, Sapphire class yacht and the  EI500 class freighter) all have distinct styles of play. The Wolfen, for example, is by far the easiest in the early game - it is the most manoeuvrable and comes equipped with the best weapons/shields. The trade off comes in the end game when you are unable to equip some of the larger, more powerful weapons and shields. The EI500, by contrast, is slow and bulky, but has a massive cargo hold and can equip the mammoth arsenal later on and can support far more devices simultaneously than the Wolfsen. The Sapphire is between the two. There are plans for more ships, and these will probably appear in v1.0, alongside a myriad more delights.

The other major addition is the power system. Your ships reactor can be upgraded to provide 100MW, 250MW and 1GW of power. Each device you install (weapons, shields, solar panels etc) uses up a bit of this energy, making for some crucial decisions and power management ( I got to the stage where I
could move or shoot, but not both until I upgraded my reactor).

Transcendence has a very active community behind it, which is integral to the evolution of this game, since the developer very kindly listens to all suggestions/complaints/random mutterings of everyone who bothers to voice an opinion.  My advice is to download this now and have your say at If you like Rouge-likes, space games, or generally just flying towards an unsuspecting station, gutting and looting it and getting away before someone comes to see what all the fuss is about, then this is the game for you.




Version 1.01 has been released in April 2010, and many improvements have been made, since the game was first reviewed 6 years ago.  Story elements, among other things, have now been added. 


So if you enjoyed the game the first time around, why not try the latest versiou?  I have no doubt, you'll love it even more. 



Review by: Triton

More screenshots
Editor's rating:
Rock on!
Public rating:
Good stuff
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(65 posts)
7,6 MB
Multiplayer modes:
Age rating:
Safe for all ages
Windows 2000 or XP
DirectX 9.0
13 MB hard drive space
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