To little fanfare, Black Prophecy has been released (in Europe, at least; in the US I believe it’s just started closed beta testing, which may account for the lack of buzz). I’ve reminisced about space-sims a few times here, enjoyed the space combat in Star Wars: Galaxies, and (briefly) tried the original Jumpgate; with Black Prophecy being free-to-play I grabbed the install files over the weekend and had a bit of a look.
I’ve only managed an hour or two so these are early first impressions (insert hilarious reference to Eurogamer here, if you like your deceased equines lightly flagellated), but it seems to scratch that joystick-waggling itch, if you know what I mean. After a brief cinematic you get dropped straight into a gun turret blasting away at incoming attackers, a nicely action-packed introduction (though for the sake of the friendly fighters in the area maybe they should put up the hint that ‘T’ targets the nearest enemy *before* telling you which button fires the lasers). A little more exposition and you’re off in a ship of your own, picking missions, shooting waves of enemies and looting stuff from the wrecks of their ships.
Sente at A Ding World has a more detailed write-up (plus pictures), I still haven’t even got to the end of the prologue, but if you’ve been pining for some space-based combat since the days of Wing Commander, X-Wing and Freespace it’s well worth a look.
You mentioned Wing Commander, X-Wing, and Freespace, but not Freelancer. Have you played Freelancer?
I’ll be doing some searching on Black Prophecy now that you’ve brought it to my attention. :)
Hmm, Freelancer passed me by for some reason. I vaguely recall some disappointment with the extended development and the final game not quite living up to initial hype (plus ca change!), possibly intended to pick it up when it came out as a budget release, but then got distracted by those MMOG things instead…
I started to write a comment talking about what I liked in Freelancer, but it turned into a lengthy review, so I made it a blog post instead:
Splendid! Sounds rather interesting, might try and pick that up sometime.
It looks interesting, but it seems it focuses on space combat pretty much exclusively? I’m still waiting for a game where I can fly my own hauler, a huge, slow beast, supporting economies here and there. Something like a space trucker. Probably sounds horribly boring to most people. :) I’d like to get in a fight cockpit in between, sure, but navigating trade colossi sounds like fun to me!
It would basically boil down to EVE with a flight sim component. I tried Jumpgate years back, but even then, it felt almost empty.
I’m still barely out of the tutorial, but it doesn’t seem like trade and the economy is going to be a major focus.
Slightly different setting, but if you play a Free Trader in Pirates of the Burning Sea you get access to big ol’ cargo ships to move stuff around, and control the ship directly rather than plotting waypoints on maps. Slightly more limited controls, though, just left, right and sails up and down.
Yeah, that game is still on my list of games to try out.