Drone Swarm – Review
Follow Genre: RTS, Action
Developer: StillAlive Studios
Publisher: Astragon Entertainment
Platform: PC
Tested On: PC

Drone Swarm – Review

Site Score
Good: Good Story, Good Voice-Acting, Sci-fi Graphics
Bad: Repetitive Gameplay, Difficulty Spikes
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Drone Swarm is a story-driven RTS/Action hybrid game. The amount of depth when it comes to managing equipment, battles, and drones are staggering. With the addition of customizing different builds to the player’s liking, it adds the option to alter the difficulty, making the game well worth it for players looking to enjoy the story.


The story in Drone Swarm follows a sci-fi narrative with plenty of futuristic references involving space-travel and alien technology. The story starts in the year 2118 where the Earth is under attack by a hivemind swarm of alien drones. Humanity is on the brink of extinction, but a unique group of humans called “Psionics” are able to use their abilities to take control by fusing their minds with the machines telepathically. With the swarm now in control, humanity created the “ARGO”, a starship they can use to search for a new home since Earth became uninhabitable because of the attack. Players take the lead as Captain Carter, traveling to areas of the galaxy while fighting against different races of hostile aliens.

The story for the most part is well done, with similarities to franchises like Star Trek and Battleship Galactica. The cutscenes are displayed in a vibrant comic-book format, with added voice acting, which can easily keep the players invested for long periods of time. The alien races, however, also take a lead here. There are numerous races the players will encounter, each with their own reasons and goals when it comes to fighting the player. Overall, a niche, but well-based sci-fi story that’s worth the 8-hour play.


The graphics can be considered the best part of the game. During combat, the center of attention is the ARGO mothership surrounded by thousands of drones. The detail when it comes to the movement of the drones is amazing, as well as the particle effects when using special abilities. The enemy spaceships in comparison are well done also, but not on par with the ARGO. In combat, when things get really hectic, the full appreciation of detail is revealed. The surplus of rockets, lasers, plasma cannons, and railguns, all using a different wave of color is very enjoyable to watch.

When it comes to altering specs, the game lacks a few options. Following Halloween, an update released that only changed some of the visuals in-game but not much else. The game runs solid at 60FPS mostly, but in later levels, there’s a noticeable difference involving the game’s speed. Some levels just run very slowly, in spite of the framerate not showing any dips or stutters.


When it comes to sound, the game nails the sounds, for the most part. The game seizes the ambiance of drifting through space. The music is futuristic by nature but subtle enough to make the small breaks between combat feel awkward, which fits the sci-fi theme.

The voice acting between cutscenes and combat are well done also. The game introduces a variety of alien races players will encounter, with each one sounding more different than the last. More or less hearing the same voice lines repeatedly during combat can get annoying but it’s nothing to worry too much about. Special effects during combat sadly are generic and highly reminiscent of certain games players have already experienced, such as Mass Effect and Star Wars, but it works. Slight buzzing sounds of the drones whizzing by enemies are a nice touch, but so far the most notable from the latter.


Drone Swarm is an action-oriented RTS title. The main goal of the game is to travel from system to system finding a new place to call home while battling various alien races. Needless to say, during combat, the only things you take command of are the 32,000 drones that circle the starship. The ship in each stage is set in the center of the map, and the player controls the drones using the mouse to direct where they go. The player also has the option to switch between a defense and attack mode on the fly, which is a really important mechanic to learn early on.

However, the player will also have to learn to manage how the drones are placed, because the strength of the attack and defense drones are based on how many are used. For example, if the player uses all of their drones for defense, the rest of the drone’s attack power will be severely weakened, which makes the game a lot more challenging in later levels. Players will also have to pay close attention to health since the ARGO and drones have separate bars.

Enemies vary from mobile ships that rotate on a fixed axis, to heavy tanks with hefty armor that do massive amounts of damage while remaining in place. In other levels, there are environmental hazards that players can use against enemies, but still have to be careful because maneuvering them uses a hefty amount of drones. Sadly enough, that’s pretty much it. After the few levels where the game introduces various mechanics, there’s not much else carrying the game except its story, which is a problem considering it’s an RTS title.

That’s not to say the game doesn’t any sort of progression. After levels are completed, experience is gained and can be used to acquire upgrades and add new abilities to the ship and the drones. Abilities to the ship can be described as passive abilities because the player doesn’t actually control any of the ship’s weapons. These weapons range from railguns that fire in straight lines doing heavy damage to a single target, to arc weapons that attack enemies in a large range doing minor damage while also stunning enemy ships. The option to switch between different loadouts after every stage is great but doesn’t help the game in the later areas of repetitiveness. Also, with there being no other game modes, Drone Swarm loses its spark early on once the story hits its stale point.


Drone Swarm is fun in short bursts but loses its shine quickly. The story is enjoyable enough, but the repetitive gameplay over long stretches puts the title in an awkward spot. Considering the fact the game relies primarily on its story with no other game modes included, this title is best reserved for die-hard fans of the genre looking for another RTS to play.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Drone Swarm - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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