This is a title in a beta state. At least to me it feels like there are a lot of features missing. This footage was pulled out of an hour long play session that concluded with one of the worst eye strain headaches I’ve ever had. I would not do it differently though. So here we have a game with a lot going for it. The lone caveat to enjoyability being the intense lighting effects. It could use some more features. The ability to enable or disable an auto aim would be nice. Turn it on and let the electric death stream forth. Turn it off and the HUD give you an ITT* reticle to fire at. Accomplishes roughly the same thing. Let’s go over a break down of the current build:
Cons (Always lead with the bad news folks):
1. Dem lights doh. Dimming projectiles based on how close they are would be great.
2. Nearly empty HUD. No idea what you are targeting, what’s targeting you and checking your current status is almost a guessing game.
2. Nearly empty Menus. It feels like there’s something waiting to go here but it’s just not implemented yet.
4. No comms. There’s no way to co-ordinate with your NPC wingmates or capships.
5. No Radar. In space combat sims radar gets tricky but Elite Dangerous has a system that deserves emulation.
Pros (There’s a lot to list but I’ll stick to the top five):
1. The graphical fidelity. From the models to the texture the ships’ appeal is right on spec.
2. Satisfying booms. From the pew-pew of the lasers to the roar of other weapons the sound leaves an appropriately lethal impression.
3. Musical accompaniment. Amazing music by Micheal La Manna. Most tracks seem to be from “From Robots To Dragons Vol 2”.
4. MASSIVE battles. Watch the video! That’s just one of the smaller fights.
5. Diversity in hostile units. They also behave consistently. Once you’ve tangled with one of that type you know how they work.
As it is now the game scores a solid 4 out of 5**. It’s in development still and I expect the score to go up. Pick it up now while it’s cheap because even in this state it makes a great ‘instant action’ space combat sim that would do games like Freespace 2 and Wing Commander Prophecy proud on technical accomplishment alone.
*ITT = Inertial Targeting and Tracking. A system that calculates where you should fire based on your trajectory, the target’s trajectory and the projectile’s velocity.
** That’s 8/10, guys.