Derelict is a single player FPS space marine survival horror with RTS elements where you take control of a squadron of surviving soldiers aboard an interplanetary vessel that has been overtaken by a strange biological entity. Players control the squad units using both the standard first person shooter interface and a topical map. Each marine is governed by AI during the times you aren't directly commanding him.
Each marine carries a unique attribute. The heavy weapon gunner has a powerful minigun, the demolitions officer has a grenade launcher and the ability to clear certain doors, the communications officer can detect the movement of the enemies, known in this game as "bioweapons", as well as being able to see their spawn points, and the engineer has the ability to repair doors, hack terminals, and is armed with a combat shotgun. Finally, the medic has the ability to heal. The game encourages players to arrange the marines in effective ways, such as placing the medic directly behind the heavy weapons marine perpetually healing him while he kills charging enemies. Meanwhile, the player may use the communications marine to scan for enemies ahead and use the engineer to hack a terminal and unlock a door allowing the player to proceed through the level. Sounds good you say?
Well it does sound good. Unfortunately, the game fails to deliver due to crippling insufficiencies. The environmental graphics are decent, but the creature models are quite poor. Of course, this is a freeware game, so I can't let that count against it too much. However, the movement animations are painfully simple. I also found that much of the difficulty of Derelict stems from the fact that except for the tiny red plus sign on the medic's helmet, ALL OF THE MODELS LOOK THE SAME. That, and the confusing control scheme keeps the player from really experiencing the intended scary atmosphere, which is a shame because the music is really quite good and contributes quite well to the overall mood of Derelict. In addition, I found the original voice acting a nice touch.
Overall, I think Derelict is a fairly ambitious project that has potential and suffers from very minor, yet debilitating issues in implementation. Had the control scheme been more well thought out and the five marines been given more unique models, the game could have easily been 40% more fun. And it would have been well worth it for such minor efforts. Also, the AI, both friendly and hostile, is really really basic. Enemies just run at the marines and the marines only know how to stand and shoot at them, reload when they run out of bullets, and follow very basic instructions(follow him, follow me, reload, etc). Also, the shotgun takes the same amount of time to reload as any of the other guns. What gives?