What’s Gus Playing? House of the Dying Sun

The lord of lilliputians launches some laser-like love ~

Lloyd Sabin, 2 April 2018

House of the Dying Sun not only sounds like the title of one of the great rock songs of all time (that’s House of the Rising Sun for the uninitiated) – it is also a great arcade space sim with VR support. I don’t have a VR set yet but I can vouch that House of the Dying Sun is just as fun and intense to play on a regular PC set-up as it may be in VR.

This game is about revenge and the cold termination of your enemies and not much else.

The basic story behind House of the Dying Sun is that your emperor has been usurped by a cabal of bloodthirsty rebel overlords. And you and what’s left of the past regime’s military must take power back for the throne, eliminating a total of a dozen of the new regime’s collaborators without prejudice.

House of the Dying Sun has a minimalist graphical style as well as a spartan UI which somehow produce an atmosphere of dark blood lust…I can’t explain it much more clearly than that. Rebel Galaxy this is not – if you are looking for a arcade space game with a sense of humor, look elsewhere. This game is about revenge and the cold termination of your enemies and not much else.

If you’re skilled at piloting your craft, the single player campaign should probably take you less than 10 hours. I got about half way through it in about 6 hours. Your ship is upgradeable as you succeed in the missions you are assigned and the campaign branches in different directions, giving the player a choice in the missions taken on. They ultimately all lead to the same ending, though – the complete destruction of the rebels and your re-domination of the galaxy. There are assassination assignments, interception, dog fighting and capital ship assault. But you will always be a pilot – you will never exit your ship for any reason.

I enjoyed House of the Dying Sun very much – it’s intense in short bursts and even though I’ve categorized it as an arcade sim, it has a weight to it that made me take it seriously. It may be too heavy/serious for some, but I loved it’s style and would love to see some kind of expansion or sequel.

I got it on sale for around 10.00 and have absolutely got my money’s worth. Check out some of the images below to see if it’s something you will dig.

As you succeed, the campaign branches off and you have some limited choice of which direction you want to head next.

 

Each mission/chapter is (grimly) titled and none of them show any trace of humor. You are here to kill.

 

Your fleet, as well as your own fighter, is upgradeable. You never have direct control over the fleet, however…it is strictly abstracted.

 

One of the few action shots I was able to get, because the combat can get very intense. It may not look like much when still, be in motion House of the Dying Sun is an action trip.

 

Another decent combat shot. The sound of combat is also muted, muffled even, lending more detail to the borderline morbid atmosphere. If you are in the right mood, it is very effective.

 

The mission title cards are also the opening scenes to each engagement. They are all very illustrative and effective. My only wish is that there were more of them.

 

As far as bang for the buck you cannot beat House of the Dying Sun. It is dark and deadly though, so if you are feeling down it may not be the best choice. If you take your space combat seriously but just don’t have enough time to dedicate to a game like Elite, House of the Dying Sun may be exactly what you’re looking for.


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