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The Mandate - What's It About?

by Joost "Myrthos" Mans, 2013-10-03

Note that all the informationi n this article is extracted from press information only.

Perihelion Interactive is the new kid on the block, staffed with developers who have worked for EA, Ubisoft, Funcom and 2K Games,  on games such as; Assassin's Creed 1&2, Far Cry 2&3, Mafia 2, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures and I. They have come together to create a new came mixing RPG and RTS elements in space named The Mandate.

 

What is The Mandate?

The Mandate is a sandbox strategy/Sci-Fi RPG in space that takes place in the far future. Mankind has abandoned the depleted Earth and has become a martial, space faring civilization, colonizing habitable worlds and constructing travel lanes between them. The civilization has its roots in Russian industry, known as The Mandate; a reborn Tsarist Empire. Corruption is spreading throughout the area in space under control of The Mandate together with dissent in the outer system.

The ruler of The Mandate, the emperor has died unexpectedly under questionable circumstances and a new young and inexperienced empress takes his place, with a minimum of political support and several systems announcing their intention to break away from the Mandate things aren't looking to great for her.

To bring these systems back to The Mandate the Empress dispatches the Grand Fleet, but the travel lanes have been sabotaged as part of a coup against the Empress leaving her vulnerable. As a countermeasure she enlists imprisoned ex-Mandate officers that have been sentenced for breaching the Articles of War, promising them redemption.

You were a captain once in the Grand Fleet, but was court martialed for breaching the sacred Articles of War, spending the next years in prison until the Empress enlists you as a member of this new group, named The Corsairs. With a small ship, you must make your way to the outer reaches of Mandate space to discover the fate of the Grand Fleet and restore order to the outer systems by assembling a fleet to defeat the rebellion.

It is up to you and your crew to decide if you will obey the Empress, side with the Rebels or become independent instead.

Here is the backstory trailer for more info:

 

The Factions

The Mandate has three factions, with each faction consisting of different groups. The first faction is the loyalists: The Empress still rules the Mandate, but her forces are scattered. The Grand Fleet, once the greatest military force in all known space, is lost. The Corsairs are untried and untrustworthy. As for the Grand Dukes, their loyalty is driven by self-interest - if the Rebels win, their wealth and power will be stripped from them.

The second faction is the rebels who have strength of numbers, but no unifying leader or cause. The Fringe Worlds want independence from the Mandate. The Colony Clusters are old and very powerful, and each wants to claim the Mandate and the Imperial title for themselves. The Revolutionaries want an end to Imperial rule, and the Anarchists just want to see the galaxy burn.

Then there is a third faction that is unaligned to either of them consisting of the Megacorporations, the Mercenary Legions, the Anarchist Cells and the Pirates.

Your relationship with these factions will affect your success in the various regions of space. From fully aligned, to mere allies, or indulging in trade agreements, or all-out war, it's up to you to decide the diplomatic means, and tactical ends. You can even turn on the Empress and The Mandate by joining the rebels, or play both sides against each other.

 

Gameplay

The Mandate offers a top down view in which you have to control your ship, crew and at some point in time your fleet as well. The crew on board your ship is the most important part of your ship. They will rise above themselves under strong leadership, but will fail miserably and eventually resort to mutiny with bad leadership.
Although you control a single ship, you'll also assign NPC captains to escort missions, and to run starbases you've either built or captured in various sectors. You're building an empire. Your crew remains with you throughout your journey, so those who survive will rise through the ranks, giving you a fresh supply of officers. An Officer who rises high enough may be promoted to command a star base or escort vessel. You'll never forget your crew, and they will never forget their Captain.

Besides managing your crew, you will also need to manage your ship. Patching up your ship after a battle or radiation damage will require materials found only in the wreckage of other vessels. Next to patching up your ship it can also be improved in this way.

The Mandate is split into three focuses: the story focus with adventure and RPG elements, the strategic focus with economic, diplomatic, and political elements, and the tactical focus, with space combat and boarding elements. Each of these elements is required in order to succeed and grow.

The decisions you make in The Mandate affect the world around you, and your crew. Every action has a consequence, and as you push your ship to the farthest reaches of the universe, diplomacy, and morality are pushed with it.

 

Combat

There are no traditional hit-point bars in The Mandate. Your vessel and her systems and various subsystems are all unique, and targetable. In space, it's up to you to protect each part of your ship, and repair any damage done.

The Mandate is mentioned to be a fully fledged RTS, as well as an in depth tactical space shooter. By making use of environmental hazards, such as anti-gravitation grenades, radiation, and blasting at a ship's weak point can lead you to victory. Combat also features cloaking, ECM and ECCM, subsystem targeting, mines, missiles, turrets, and environmental hazards.

As mentioned you won't fight alone - you'll be able to call on AI assistance, controlled by rescued NPC captains, or candidates promoted who served on your vessel. Alternatively you can call on your friends using Steam to jump right into your fight using the FTL drives.

Similar to Men of War, boarding operations will feature a tight cover system, and line of sight mechanic which will allow for tactical flanking, breaching, and rushing. All operatives will receive XP during missions, and you will be able to upgrade equipment with either salvaged materials, bought wares, or manufacture your own.

if you like to build your own ship, you can use their shipbuilding functionality.

 

Multiplayer

You begin your journey within a single sector of your own. Once you complete the tutorial, you will be able to build a gate to jump to other sectors, including the sectors of other players. Players will be able to respond to distress calls from friends, jumping right into the action.

Up to six players can play in a sector at once, with end-game boss battles that are said to be impossible to tackle alone. Many of the toughest challenges in The Mandate will require a diverse team of captains. Each of the player will take their tactical role to complement each other's chosen battle philosophy and specification. With more depth than the classical 'Trinity system', The Mandate rewards those who plan and coordinate their battle tactics.

Cooperative gameplay is unobtrusive to single player gameplay. You can play the entire game alone, completing much of the content, but cooperative gameplay will offer ramped up challenges, increasing longevity, and keeping content fresh and new.

 

Music

Music should be listened to, so here is the orchestral score for the trailer. The direction for it is:
- 30-40% space opera
- 20-30% USSR
- 40% Tsarist Russia

 

The RPG elements

To summarize, the following are the RPG elements in the game as identified by Perihelion Interactive.

  • Establish your ancestry and life-path in the prologue. Decisions made in the prologue will affect how the game plays out and your past may hunt you down
    Create your own captain & decide what battle philosophies and schools of war to follow. Specialize in assault, engineering, drone or support doctrines
  • See your crew gain experience and promote them to officers, and induct  your elite officers into your inner circle as starship captains, your Band of Brothers!
  • Engage in a long, branching storyline where your decisions influence the story, and the fate of your crew, your ship and ultimately the Mandate.
  • Manage the micro-cosm of your ship; See events unfold onboard your ship and deal with them in your way. Your ship is more than just a piece of machinery - it has it's own life. Interact with crew, officers, prisoners and visiting dignitaries.
  • Approach the Articles of War your way! Be warned your conduct will affect your reputation among the other factions
  • You are the captain! Your word is law. Praise, scold, promote and decorate your crew. Honour the fallen. Conduct court martials and put saboteurs and rebels on trial for violating the Articles of War
  • Develop your corner of space the way you see fit, be loyal to the Empress, side with the rebels or become a notorious pirate! Conduct diplomatic negotiations with other factions, bribe, befriend or bully them to get your way!
  • Start with two empty hands and build up your power base. Expand your industrial might and establish science academies to gain the upper hand. Trade, seize or mine rare materials and construct mighty new flagships.  Train elite shock infantry and field the latest sensor, shielding and weapons technologies.

 

Box Art

Information about

The Mandate

Developer: Perihelion Interactive

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-fi
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Combat: Real-time
Play-time: Unlimited
Voice-acting: Full

Regions & platforms
World
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Expected at 2014-12-30
· Publisher: Perihelion Interactive

More information