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In this real-time strategy space-based war between the Malus and Alyssian factions, players fight for resources in the mineral-rich fields of an asteroid belt by researching and developing technologies in the areas of energy, materials, construction, explosives, electronics, and academics. Strategic elements of O.R.B.: Off-World Resource Base include scanning asteroids for minerals, establishing mining colonies, harvesting resources, building repair and military bases, defending bases and spaceports, and protecting interests by leading spaceships in combat.
Warfare in O.R.B. encompasses a variety of options, such as detection, ramming and kamikaze attacks, defining formations, ship management (rally, retreat, refit, and repair), capturing or destroying enemy ships, sabotage, spying, assassination, and more. Factions can choose from seven types of responses under the Rules of Engagement when attacked by the enemy: aggressiveness, neutrality, evasion, one of three player-determined custom stances, or no doctrine.
Full campaigns for both factions are available, but in single-player gameplay, the Malus campaign must be completed before the Alyssian campaign is unlocked. O.R.B.: Off-World Resource Base offers tutorials and a skirmish mode, with the latter supporting user-created maps and allowing customization of gameplay options. Other features include five levels of units (combat-suited commandos, fighters, destroyers, battle cruisers, and space stations), visual upgrades as technology is researched, customizable squad logos, and support for eight players in cooperative mode or four in head-to-head mode. Though not officially supported by the developers, a downloadable campaign editor is optional, which allows scripting of in-game cut-scenes. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide