Crying Suns is game that’s puts you in command of a battleship. Your task is to figure out what happened to your empire. Fighting is pausable, real time tactical combat. When not engaged in combat movement and orders are more similar to turn-based game than a real-time strategy game.
Crying Suns if very enjoyable and well worth playing. At the very start you are presented with a mystery to solve by the OMNI Guardian of a secret cloning facility. Communications from your empire have become silent, you must find out why. Combat is intense in this game.
When it comes to most games, I’m a slow-learner and Crying Suns is no exception to that rule. You learn this game mostly through trial and error, like combat. Should you launch fighters as offensive units or defensive? How exactly do you attack an enemy ship? Despite some of the difficulties I had in learning this game I have to admit I’m hooked, I have found it to be very enjoyable so far, despite being killed twice now.
Crying Suns graphics are reminiscent of graphics in the 90’s, low detail and grainy, but that really doesn’t spoil it for me. This game has an interesting storyline and solving the mystery of where your empire went to is enough to keep me engaged for hours.
Crying Suns Game Start-Up
At the start you get to view a breakdown of your ship, the number of squadrons it has, weapons, hull conditions and subsystems. Although you can’t upgrade anything now you will be able to as you gain more scrap during your missions.
You also get to choose two officers from a random pool of four with specialized skills. They can give you a boost in areas like emergency hull repairs or a squadron’s tactical targeting ability. Once you’ve selected your officers the first mission can begin.
Kaliban, who is the OMNI guardian of a top-secret cloning facility, will act as your guide during the game. It’s at this facility where Admiral Idaho’s clone is revived (time after time when he dies) to investigate the mystery of his empire’s sudden disappearance. You get an Omega class battleship to command and then fly out to meet danger and solve the mystery.
On my second attempt (I got killed prematurely on my first run) I started at the Star Nouryh and scavenged a Neo-N Hypercube for Neo-N, which is fuel. That is always the first thing I do in a system since it costs one unit of Neo-N to travel from one area to the next in a system, plus it takes one to travel to the next system. I learned to be careful and not use all my fuel up exploring a system, since a delay of one day can allow the Scrappers to find you, resulting in a battle that, although you might win it, will wear down the integrity of your ship and its systems. By the time you arrive at the exit to fight your way out to the next system your ship is in no shape to take on the Battleship guarding that sector, which is much more powerful than the ones you encounter in the system.
Anomaly Signals & Expeditions
A lot of systems have Anomaly Signals that have extremely good results, like lots of scrap, or they can be extremely bad, usually a fight to the death with a Scrapper battleship. The part that balances out an unlucky choice is that if you win you can sometimes gain something, like a fighter squadron or scrap.
Some systems have a planet or base that you can send a team of Commandos to on an expedition to see what they can find. The local system map will tell you what is on the planet that is worth scavenging for, like some planetary defense turret wreckage. It will also tell you the minimum number of Commandos needed for the mission, if you don’t have enough then the expedition is scrubbed. If you have enough, you’ll need to prepare a team for the mission. Preparing a team is simple, just choose the officer to lead the team giving your team the best chance at survival and success.
Once the expedition is launched you have no control over it except for at least one opportunity to retreat your team if things go badly. When the opportunity arises to either retreat or go on you can perform a final review of the health status of the Commandos and the team leader. If all looks well then you can continue the mission, if it looks like the team won’t survive any further hostilities, they can be ordered to retreat to the ship with any resources they’ve already collected. If you’re lucky and complete the expedition you’ll most likely recover a really helpful item, like a flak cannon.
Crying Suns System Map
When you’re done exploring a system you can activate the star map to choose your next destination. Each system has one or more areas of interest to select from; Ground Signal, Trading Beacon, Omniforge, or an Anomaly. The Anomalies are what always interests me the most and I am always drawn to them unless I have a very badly damaged ship.
A Trading Beacon means there is a place to both buy and sell stuff and to pay for repairs. If you have little or no scrap then this is not a good choice unless there is something else of interest in the system. A ground signal means there is a planet available for an expedition, an Omniforge allows your squadrons to improve their accuracy and an anomaly means there is an opportunity for a high risk/high reward mission.
One thing I learned is that you definitely want to stay ahead of the alerts and leave a system before it becomes hostile. Not doing so will result in constant firefights. Most victories will be empty, the only time you’ll gain something is if you’re fighting an enemy ship at an exit point. The biggest drawback to letting the alerts catch up to you are the lost opportunities to explore the system for scrap, fuel and new crew members, since it is blockaded by the system’s rulers. Sometimes you can’t get away in time if you run out of fuel and need to stay in the system to refuel. Always keep enough fuel available to move on to the next system or sector on the star map.
Sometimes you end up being hopelessly outmatched and end up as a dead body drifting in space. Time for another mind download into a clone.
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What Makes Crying Suns Good?
There’s just something about the storyline that grabs my attention right away. It’s mysterious and interesting. I also like the Anomalies and not knowing what to expect when I arrive at one, sometimes the reward is instantaneous and sometimes there is a glorious battle that can provide loot if you survive.
I like the way the game forces you through the systems with the alerts and fighting my way out at an exit point is always fun. The combat in this game is intense and fast-paced, only the tactical pause keeps me from certain doom by being overwhelmed by enemy attacks.
Something that could be improved is the all or nothing, win or lose battles. Seems like there should be a way to retreat and fight another day rather than starting all over. The game could do a little better job of teaching you how to play although I guess the trial and error method of learning could be part of the fun for a lot of people.
Crying Suns Combat
As I stated before, combat is intense in this game, and I can’t finish any article about a game without taking a look at the combat aspects. This is one of those areas where I think a better job could be done in teaching it to you, although once you learn it it’s not too hard. There are tips that offer information, like how to tell what an enemy faction’s specialties are and details about their Tech but no tips on what advantages targeting a certain section of an enemy ship has over another.
You’ll enter combat with Tactical Pause activated, which gives you the chance to assess your enemy. You will see what the enemy ship’s hull strength is, what squadrons are available, the enemy ship’s weapons and any officers the enemy may have deployed. You also have a visual breakdown of your ship as well. Once you’re done with the assessment you can start combat, which is in real-time but can be paused.
You can also deploy officers to improve your ship’s combat effectiveness. Deploying an Officer to the weapons bay could provide a 15% bonus in tactical targeting for your squadrons, for example.
When your ship takes damage, it highlights officers who are deployed and can be redeployed to the damaged area, like the hull. It will also take any deployed Officer’s attention away from their current assignment to focus on repairing the damage. Once critical damage is repaired the Officers return to the regular assignments.
Your ship will in all probability sustain damage during combat. Your battleship has three “hull bars” that can take damage. If a hull bar is not completely destroyed during combat your ship’s mechanics will fix it for free. If it is destroyed then it will need to be repaired at a shipyard, which will cost you some scrap. At least you see a pretty cool explosion when a hull bar is destroyed, even if it is your own ship.
You have squadrons that can very effectively counter enemy squadrons and they can attack the enemy ship. For instance, fighters are very effective against enemy drones. Squadrons are not immediately deployed though, there is a slight time delay, so you can’t wait until the enemy is upon you to take action.
You also have ship’s weapons you can fire but these take time to charge and recharge as well. If you don’t effectively counter the enemy’s squadrons or if you ignore them and attack the enemy ship with your own squadrons then your ship could suffer a critical effect, which either causes a fire or reduces a system’s effectiveness. Deploying an officer to the damaged area will repair it but the officer will receive 1 damage point.
At the end of combat you’ll get a fight report that tells you what your losses were, like hull damage, warnings or a wrecked frigate squadron, and your rewards for winning, like 500 scrap.
How Do You Repair Squadrons In Crying Suns?
Squadrons are automatically repaired between battles for free unless they are “patched” during a battle. “Patching” brings the squadron back to 50% of its original combat strength. Once patched a squadron can only be brought up to full strength by repairing at a Border Shop by paying scrap. You can also hire Commandos, heal units and conduct repairs to your ship at a Border Shop.
Items for sale at a Border Shop might also include things like Neo-N Fuel that can be purchased with scrap. You can also sell items at the Border Shop, like a ship weapon that you have no use for.
Crying Suns Tips
Don’t level your ship up too fast. Levelling it up before getting to the exit point in a system makes the enemy ships you face tougher. If you have two main weapons instead of one, then the chances are much higher they will too. Wait until your next jump is to the exit point and then improve your ship as much as you. The Battleships at these points will be much tougher than the ones you face in the system.
You don’t have to explore every planet in every system. Sometimes your ship will not be up to the pounding it will take, plus you might run out of fuel, or not have enough fuel left to survey the next system if you find items that are interesting.
Don’t let the Alerts overtake you. Once that happens the system is blockaded, meaning you can’t explore the system, plus you’ll have a tough ship to fight for no reward. Even if you win your ship will probably not be in good enough shape to fight your way past the exit point.
You can upgrade your ship at any time. One of the best early upgrades in my opinion is Fuel Scavenger Efficiency. Since fuel is so critical maxing that out first is a good choice. When this option is maxed out scavenging a Neon-N Hypercube will always produce Neo-N. You’ll also have a 35% better chance of getting an extra unit, a 10% chance of getting two extra and a 5% chance of getting three.