When I first saw this product, I was skeptical, but something in my gut made me give it a second look.
The setting is a somewhat standard science-fiction (though it does, at least, utilize entirely unique races, though nothing remarkably revolutionary) scenario, something of a mix between Schlock Mercenary and a more gritty, realistic science fiction (all the settings that pop into my mind are not necessarily homogeneous between times, but a close fit would be classic Traveler). It has a lot of content for the length.
The writing, however, is the number one thing I'd wish to address. It's great. The art, the writing, everything comes together to turn the book into a good read. Not necessarily one for beginners, but one that's definitely professional grade. The art is, by some accounts, old, but I feel it is retro, rather than low-grade, since it shows a high degree of artistic quality, even if the technical grade makes one think of books a couple decades old.
Ah yes, that takes me to the other part I liked about this product. It's like a mix of perfect nostalgia with a entirely new thing, like rediscovering the old Star Wars comics I read years ago.
I'll even give it the (mostly) safe for kiddies endorsement, since there's no egregiously bad content (harsher swearing is censored out, which may vex some readers, and much like the Shadowrun of old, any stronger swearing used in universe is replaced with a proxy).
The d100 system is flexible, and doesn't feel overly simplistic, which is one of my gripes with several systems. On the other hand, while it is slightly more complex than some, it's certainly manageable.
Seriously, if you want a good sci-fi game for a low price, look no further. Fully illustrated and well written, Battlelords is an amazing find.
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