There are a ton of modes in Really Big Sky, though I stuck with classic for the most part as it the basis for the other modes. In classic mode you are trying for a high score and also collecting points in order to level up your ship. After each run, you can spend those points on things like faster lasers, faster move speed, more bombs, shields, etc. Upgrading your ship will also increase the difficulty of this game mode to keep it interesting.
If you haven’t already, check out our Really Big Sky gameply videobecause watching is going to make much more sense than reading about the events that take place here. Even watching, if that video makes any sense to you I’ll be impressed!
At the base of this game it is a bullet hell shooter. You have twin-stick style controls, though you’re moving from left to right all the time. There are a ton of enemy types and also several boss types which appear randomly. Occasionally asteroids and solid rock will show up that you must flip your ship around and drill through. While drilling you are not able to shoot, but without drilling these obstacles will kill you.
The sequence of events I believe is based off of how well you’re playing, but also largely random. There are also several other random events that will really throw you off. For example, sometimes dinosaur skulls appear, the whole game goes into a red and black radiation style glow and all bullets go into ultra slowmo. Other times you’ll come across a wormhole that you can ride and end up somewhere else.
Let me just put it this way, no two times you play this game is it going to feel the same.
On top of this there are a ton of other modes which change up the pace such as bosses only mode, no shooting mode, no ship upgrades mode, a retro mode that only lets you shoot straight ahead and even a hell mode if the normal wasn’t hard enough. There’s a few more I didn’t touch on, but you get the idea.
It takes some time to get used to Really Big Sky due to all the insanity and randomness going on. You won’t ever be able to really understand it, but you’ll learn to deal with it and be prepared. Once you get your ship maxed out you really start to be able to go for some high scores and experience what I consider the real classic mode. All the other modes give you the choice to choose up to three powerups to add to your ship for that run which feels much more arcadey.
The biggest problem with a game like this that relies on things being random so much is occasionally you get lucky with lots of multiplier powerups and easier enemies. Other times you get lots of bosses and no help; it’s luck of the draw. Ultimately this is an incredible vast shooter and will definitely make you sweat.
Graphics. This game is gorgeous, has lots of explosions, filters and just plain looks great.
Crazy. I used that word way too much in this review already, but seriously, this game is crazy. The stuff that happens is unexplainable, but somehow it all works to pull together a really fun experience.
Ship Upgrades. Most shooters don’t give you the ship upgrades like Really Big Sky and I really enjoyed having something to constantly be working towards.
Game Modes. A great variety of game modes to challenge yourself, I only named a few of them above.
Stats. This game tracks tons of stats which I think is really cool. It shows you tallies of each enemy you’ve killed, distance traveled, stuff collected and every time you finish a run you get to see how you did versus your averages. Pretty neat if you like that sort of stuff.
Luck of the Draw. Sometimes the randomness is just plain working against you and it can be frustrating because you feel you just didn’t have control.
No Explanation. Some of the stuff that happens I don’t even know what to call it or what is really going on. A little more explanation would be very useful.
Limited Leaderboards. The leaderboards are all limited to the top 100 (which I didn’t make it into :/) and I wish I could just see where I was at overall.
Really Big Sky is not for the faint of heart. This game is hardcore and very confusing, but if you put the time in to learn it’s tricks then I think you will be greatly rewarded. It stands out next to typical bullet hell shooters and will keep you trying just one more time to up that score.