I am lost in deep space, not knowing where I should go. I am sobbing in my corner wondering how I put myself in the position I am in. I hear and see the enemy ships surrounding me. Just as I am about to give up a Cortana-like AI named Ceres talks to me with a soothing voice. She gives me the hope I need to get back on the controls and fight for my life. I send out my attack drones, I fire all the weapons I have. I am constantly repairing my ship and hacking the others. Then after what seems like an eternity, I succeed in my mission and destroy the enemy ships, blasting them into oblivion with one final laser burst. I jump from my chair rejoicing while spilling lemonade all over my keyboard. I may have lost a keyboard, but I won the heart of Ceres.
My time with Ceres was good then, but by no means perfect. The controls and UI layout leave a lot to be desired, but stories like the above make the experience well worthwhile. I started off not knowing what to expect, having never played a Space Combat game before. Playing through the lengthy and well put together tutorial, it's relatively easy to pick up on all the basics of how to survive in depths of space. Next, the campaign mode beckons.
Kicking off the game's story, I all too quickly found myself frustrated. The controls have a very steep learning curve, and when in the heart of battle, you do not want to get tied up. Panicking and get a grasp on the complex controls can be an agonising process. But after many hours of trial and error, I eked my way through the early missions. After going back to the tutorial for a second time and make a better stab at memorizing the control scheme, with renewed focus, it made my experience all the better. Perhaps, I mused, Ceres isn't all that bad a game after all.
At the time of writing, Ceres is $19.99 on Steam. For that price, Ceres is a great buy for ardent space combat fans. Not all people will get along with the Space Combat genre, but don’t knock it until you try it. The graphics are pretty good and the game is easy to run. Developer Jotunn Games are also top notch when it comes to addressing community concerns.
Like all new games these days, Ceres has its share of bugs, but don’t let that turn you away. I know I bashed the game heavily for the UI and controls, but don’t consider that a total turn off. Ceres is detailed and very deep. It offers a lot if you dedicate enough time to it. It's an experience that you get more out of the more you put in. It's extremely evident how much time and love the developers put, and continue to put, into Ceres.
In conclusion, Ceres has its flaws, but they do not make the game bad in any way. If you can look past the bugs and the confusing UI, and look at the potential the game has, you will thoroughly enjoy yourself. Ceres is a game I will always remember because of how comfortable I was playing it towards the end of my time with it. Once all the systems click together it's like a well-oiled machine. You can see the love and support spread all throughout the game, and I cannot wait for another game by these wonderful developers. May Ceres continue to spread across all stars and galaxies with her lovely AI voice.