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space sim

Descent Kickstarter photo
Descent Kickstarter

Descent: Underground is on Kickstarter

Ascending the news on this space FPS
Mar 15
// Glowbear
Do you guys remember Descent? (No, not the Freespace series). I certainly do and I'm very pleased that a new entry to the series is coming our way with Descent: Underground. The Kickstarter for this game has already hit an im...

Heat Signature is the best game I saw at GDC

Mar 10 // Mike Cosimano
[embed]288833:57687:0[/embed] Heat Signature (PC)Developer: Suspicious DevelopmentsPublisher: Suspicious DevelopmentsRelease Date: When it "feels ready" If you look at Heat Signature, it’s not difficult to see a through-line between this game and Gunpoint. There’s a lot of opportunity for emergent gameplay in both titles, with an emphasis on improvisation. I often found myself cracking up whenever something went wrong. Rebounding from a mistake never felt impossible. Here, you play a little dude in a little ship. That’s all I know for sure; there’s currently no story attached to the game. Francis is dedicated to feature locking before he starts writing a story around the mechanics, but there will be some form of narrative component in the final product. Your ship is designed for boarding, so your only form of interacting with other ships is smashing into their airlock and hopping aboard. The build of the game I played had three different kinds of missions: steal an item, assassinate a crew member, or hijack a ship and fly it back to a certain spot. They’re simple enough on their own, but the missions take on a whole new life when things start going wrong. For example, I accidentally blew up part of a ship during a mission. I had to kill a target in a different part of the ship, but the corridor I was supposed to take was in pieces, floating through space. So I docked my ship in the blown-out part of the mining vessel, creating a new airlock, only to find a locked door. The only option? Spawn more explosives and make an even bigger mess. I never actually got to my target, but I could have hijacked a nearby ship with actual weapons and blown my target to smithereens, if I were so inclined. So many games claim to offer open problem solving, but Heat Signature actually delivers (much like Gunpoint). For example, in the build I played, it’s possible for your breaching ship to be destroyed. So, in lieu of a breaching ship, you can launch yourself out of an airlock towards another ship’s airlock, steering yourself with a gun. Even the death state feels exciting and improvisational. If you get killed while on a ship, you have to remote control your ship in your direction before you bleed to death. Since your ship has realistic thrusters (e.g: the only way to slow down is to thrust in the other direction) as opposed to being able to turn on a dime, you’re forced to master the controls if you want to keep a particularly lucrative run going. This also factors into the game’s title. Running your engines heats up your ship, which causes your *ahem* heat signature to become visible to enemies. I often ran my thrusters at full blast for a second, launching me across the galaxy but keeping my ship cold. However, this often caused me to slam against the hull of the enemy ship, causing me to careen off in the opposite direction. Closing the distance between you and your quarry -- a simple mechanical loop in any other game -- feels like an adventure unto itself. And that’s Heat Signature in a word. It feels adventurous. It feels big. It captures the imagination. Maybe it’s unprofessional to express this level of enthusiasm, but I’m not going to sit here and lie to you about how I feel. This game is awesome. I can’t wait to play the full thing.
Heat Signature GDC photo
What's cooler than being cool?
Gunpoint ultimately had very little to do with guns. It was a smartly designed puzzler with an immensely satisfying core set of mechanics and witty dialogue. But the title never came into play; pointing guns at people always ...

Star Citizen photo
Star Citizen

Seeing ships sliced apart in Star Citizen is satisfying

Improved damage tech demonstrated
Mar 09
// Jordan Devore
As a casual observer of Star Citizen, I've struggled to keep up to date with the game's open development. It can be overwhelming. That's why I appreciate this recent video covering the damage model -- it's accessible. Blowin...

Elite: Dangerous has bold plans for the future

Mar 05 // Alessandro Fillari
"It's always brilliant to see how many people were supportive of the game," said lead designer David Braben as he reflected on the initial debut of Elite. "So many people helped us do that, and one of the great things about Kickstarter is that it brings together a crowd of people who all have very similar goal. So it's worked overall very, very well for us -- I'm actually very proud of what we've done. And another thing, we've not only shipped the game, but we've continued support of the game." As one of the early Kickstarter success stories, Elite: Dangerous grabbed a lot of attention for its vision as a space-exploration title across a massive and ever-growing universe. As a sequel to the '90s space sim Frontier, many fans of the genre yearned for a return, which they got in Frontier Developments' crowdfunded title. Despite its scope and breadth of content so far, the creators already have much of the development mapped out for the next few years. [embed]288572:57606:0[/embed] "I see [the vision] for a very, very long time growing, and it'll keep us occupied. We said there would be paid updates, and some of the things we said you could do in those is going down to planet surfaces, get up out of your chair and explore the cockpit, boarding other ships, big-game hunting, driving other types of vehicles on the surface to explore cities; but designing each one is like a whole new type of game. We have to be careful, but to me those are the perfect types of game experiences." With the success of previous updates and expansions, such as patch 1.1, the developers fully plan continue support with new patches and paid content packs in the future. With the Wings update, which seeks to add more PvP content, co-op play, and other enhancements to matchmaking, there is a sizeable amount of content on the horizon. "We've had amazing dedication from a lot of players, many players have played a significant amount of time -- more than a thousand hours. We're listening to a lot of players and quite a few of the people who've played that length of time are saying 'oh, I've seen everything now,' and they actually haven't. The great thing with this model is that we can add content continually, such as the Wings update and the community events. We've only been out for around three months, and people are already sinking so much time into it." The most surprising announcement from this week was that Elite would be making its way to consoles. Though the space sim genre is somewhat notorious for its complexity and dense gameplay, the developers were adamant that the title would not only feature all the content released thus far, but also that it would not be watered down for consoles. "I don't want to dumb it down," said Braben rather bluntly. "I'm an Xbox gamer, and I love games on my Xbox, but there are some games I feel that have been dumbed down a bit [for console port]. I get sick of tutorials, that are giving you very obvious instructions. So overall, I'm very excited about the console. It'll offer a different feel for players where you're sitting back on a comfortable chair or siting up close to a desk." Of course, with the recent trends seeing virtual reality as the future of games, the developers wanted to get ahead of that by being among the first to officially support the device. Which certainly plaid off, as it's one of the most used games for the Oculus Rift headset. As more companies are announcing devices, Braben is optimistic about the potential VR has for gaming. "[Working with VR] has been a good experience," he said. "The great thing about being independent is when we first released [a beta] in 2013, there was Oculus Rift support five or six days later, which we added. We were always excited abut it, and we thought our game would make great use of it. What's good to see now is that the number of new head-mounted displays coming out, and I think that's exciting -- what's interesting is that I think there aren't any other triple-A titles like Elite: Dangerous that are officially supporting it right out of the box. We see lots of demos, but it's surprising to see there isn't a consumer release VR headset." It's great to see that a hardcore space sim has been so widely accepted by fans. And as the game grows every few months with its updates, players will have plenty of content to dive into. The future looks bright for Elite: Dangerous, and with the console releases on the horizon, the barrier for entry is much lower now for those looking to dive into interstellar exploration.
Elite: Dangerous photo
The developers talk content updates and VR
Things have been going well for Frontier Developments. With the success of Elite: Dangerous, which features a sizeable and passionate community of space explorers, and having won the prestigious Audience Award from the 2015 G...

Elite on Xbox One photo
Elite on Xbox One

Elite: Dangerous lands on Xbox One this summer

Console debut
Mar 04
// Jordan Devore
[Update: Elite: Dangerous is a timed console exclusive on Xbox One but will be eventually come to PlayStation 4, according to Frontier Developments founder David Braben.] During a talk at the Game Developers Conference, head...
Universal Combat CE photo
Universal Combat CE

3000AD releases remastered Universal Combat CE for free on Steam

Return to the days of keyboard flashcards and 200-page manuals
Feb 07
// Jason Faulkner
If Randy Pitchford and Peter Molyneux had a baby, Derek Smart would be the result. The long-running controversy concerning his first game Battlecruiser 3000AD is the stuff of internet legend and could fill a tome. With U...
Elite Dangerous Patch photo
Elite Dangerous Patch

Elite: Dangerous 1.1 patch brings pilots together and enhances gameplay

Todd 'Maniac' Marshall, at your service, ma'am!
Feb 06
// Jason Faulkner
Elite: Dangerous continues to mature with the latest 1.1 BETA update. The addition of Community Goals adds missions for groups of players to work towards, like destroying x amount of enemies, or hauling a certain cargo t...
Out There: Omega Edition photo
Out There: Omega Edition

How long can you survive in Out There: Omega Edition?

Mi-Clos' roguelike reminds us how insignificant we are in the universe
Jan 29
// Rob Morrow
Out There: Omega Edition by Mi-Clos Studio is certainly a pretty little thing. Don't let its eye-catching pulp-comic appearance fool you, though. It's a difficult game. Think Oregon Trail meets FTL and you'll have a goo...
Star Wars on photo
Star Wars on

Are you ready for some X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter and X-Wing Alliance?

More Star Wars games on
Jan 20
// Jordan Devore
The re-releases of X-Wing and TIE Fighter were lovely, but they were only the start of's plans for Star Wars. Today, the DRM-free game distributor added six new titles: Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter + Balance of ...
Distant Star: RF photo
Distant Star: RF

Distant Star: Revenant Fleet is an Early Access title to keep an eye on

Blazing Griffin's Scott Boyd gives us some pointers on how to die less often!
Jan 09
// Rob Morrow
I've tried to keep one eye on Blazing Griffin's lovely looking real-time space strategy game Distant Star: Revenant Fleet for a while now, however, the slippery devil somehow managed to sneak past me and ...
Eve Online photo
Eve Online

Schadenfreude alert: EVE Online pilot loses $1,500 after attack on unarmored ship

PerPLEXing strategy
Jan 05
// Brett Makedonski
You know what seems like a sound strategy for getting robbed? Try taking $1,500 cash out of the bank and transporting it elsewhere by walking down the street at night and waving that money in everyone's faces. Oh yeah, do all...
Star Citizen FPS photo
Star Citizen FPS

Explore the majesty of the universe, then shoot some dudes in the face with Star Citizen's FPS module

I call my shotgun the 'prime directive.' Get it?
Nov 05
// Nic Rowen
Like the universe itself, Star Citizen's ambitious scope continues to infinitely expand. Chris Roberts himself, infectiously enthusiastic as always, was at PAX Australia last week to unveil the first public demonstration of ...
Human Orbit photo
Human Orbit

Human Orbit will let you indulge your rogue AI fantasies

Want to be SHODAN or HAL?
Oct 01
// Alasdair Duncan
Is it me or are all artificial intelligences on spacecraft always evil? GLaDOS, HAL, SHODAN, the ... steering wheel thingy from WALL-E -- all of them were pretty evil, or at least fairly negligent in their jobs and now it's y...
Heat Signature photo
Heat Signature

Heat Signature is already looking hot

I couldn't help myself
Sep 29
// Alasdair Duncan
Heat Signature was one of the games I most wanted to get my hands on at EGX. Designer Tom Francis was the guy behind Gunpoint, one of my favorites of 2013, and this next title similarly allows a great deal of player expressio...
Elite: Dangerous photo
Elite: Dangerous

Here's the digital goodies you'll get if you pre-order Elite: Dangerous

An extra ship? Sure, that sounds good
Sep 12
// Alasdair Duncan
While there's no firm release date, you can pre-purchase a copy of Elite: Dangerous from Frontier Developments. To sweeten the deal, if you order now you'll get some digital goodies like an extra Eagle Fighter ship which sou...

GoD Factory: Wingmen is a thing of beauty, now available on Steam

Arcade-like space sim allows for tactical multiplayer action
Aug 30
// Rob Morrow
Nine Dots Studio's gorgeous-looking multiplayer space combat game GoD Factory: Wingmen is now available on Steam. Wingmen is a 4v4 competitive arcade-like title where the goal is to destroy the enemy's 13km carrier...
Elite Dangerous photo
Elite Dangerous

Watch this crafty space pirate avoid the cops in Elite: Dangerous

It's like Smokey and the Bandit meets Red October. In space!
Aug 26
// Alasdair Duncan
Remember kids, crime doesn't pay. That is unless you find illicit liquor floating in space and decided to slowly sneak into a space station without the cops seeing you. In which case, it very much pays. YouTube user Isinona ...
Ancient Space photo
Ancient Space

Ancient Space is a new space RTS from Paradox Interactive

Dwight Schultz is in it! Murdock from the A-team!!
Aug 21
// Alasdair Duncan
If you're anxiously waiting for that Homeworld HD remake to arrive, we can console ourselves with another nice-looking space-based RTS game in Ancient Space which will dock with us later in the autumn for PC and Mac. Develop...
Star Citizen photo
Star Citizen

Star Citizen breaks the $50 million mark

All aboard your $350 luxury space craft
Aug 18
// Alasdair Duncan
Remember that animated .gif of Shigeru Miyamoto and Satoru Iwata holding a DS and proclaiming "It prints money"? You could probably do the same with a picture of Chris Roberts and his pet project Star Citizen. The ambitious ...
Star Citizen photo
Star Citizen

New Star Citizen teaser commercial centers on Constellation

Building better worlds...
Aug 18
// Brittany Vincent
The latest in the series of faux commercials for Star Citizen released by Roberts Space Industries focuses on the Constellation multi-purpose corvette, specifically the Aquila variant. The Constellation Aquila will be focuse...
Star Citizen multiplayer photo
Star Citizen multiplayer

This Star Citizen multiplayer crew gameplay demo looks amazing!

Suit up, gather your crew, and head into space in this latest Star Citizen demonstration
Aug 16
// Rob Morrow
Chris Roberts' ambitious space trading and combat simulator Star Citizen has come a long way since its crowdfunding beginnings back in 2012. In this latest footage from gamescom 2014, Roberts and his staff demonstrate h...
Freebies photo

Wing Commander III is free on Origin

Now I just need a joystick
Aug 05
// Jordan Devore
The next free game in EA's On the House promo for Origin is the classic space combat sim Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger. Add it to your account and its yours to keep. This is definitely something to check out for folk...
PS4 photo

Put a dinosaur head on your spaceship in Habitat: A Thousand Generations in Orbit

Newly announced for PlayStation 4
Jul 30
// Jordan Devore
"Habitat is the only strategic space survival game that uses orbital debris to build the future homes of humanity and where hope for survival relies on the creativity and resourcefulness of the player." This is one of those...
Elite photo

David Braben hopes Elite: Dangerous will be 'future proof'

I suppose we'll find out in 2024 if he's right
Jul 17
// Alasdair Duncan
Part of me worries about the three big upcoming space games No Man's Sky, Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous. I'm fearful they'll consume my life for years to come. Some of that is going to be down to DLC and expanded content...
Star Citizen photo
Star Citizen

Star Citizen launches Arena Commander for backers

Y'all ready for this?
Jun 04
// Jordan Devore
The bugs which led to the delay of Star Citizens' anticipated Arena Commander have been taken care of and the dogfighting module is now playable in an alpha capacity. If you're a backer, download it here, or simply update th...
Star Citizen photo
Star Citizen

Star Citizen Arena Commander dogfighting update delayed

There's still plenty of bugs to be ironed out
May 29
// Alasdair Duncan
As gamers seem to be more and more willing to play games in an unfinished state, it feels surprising to me when a developer decides to delay an update because of bugs. Of course unfinished games are buggy -- we expect that --...

Perseus 230 looks like the Star Fox game I've been wanting for years

Inspired by classics like Star Fox and Sin & Punishment
May 16
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
A new Star Fox game is about realistic as a new 2D Metroid game these days from Nintendo. So leave it to indies to capture the spirit of games from our youth. Whereas Axiom Verge is fulfilling our Metroid desires, Perseus 23...
Running with the devil photo
Running with the devil

Space Run is a hexagonal Planet Express sim

But without lobster doctors and potty mouthed robots
May 02
// Steven Hansen
Videogames like to get highfalutin with their space concepts. Everyone's a bounty hunter or ace pilot of magic jedi planet saver or whatever. What about the folks just trying to get by that make space the place for all those...
EVE Valkyrie footage photo
EVE Valkyrie footage

Can you EVEn handle footage of EVE Valkyrie on Unreal 4?

Muscle memory got me typing 'Valkyria'
May 02
// Steven Hansen
Destructoid's Brett Makedonski is over in Iceland for EVE Fest contributing to the over fishing and extinction of whales. He also brought us a meaty (not whale) preview of EVE Valkyrie and I'm not sure if I'll ever write it ...
Citizen Paid photo
Citizen Paid

Starstruck: Star Citizen crosses $43 million in crowdfunding

Next stretch goal is a 'mystery object'
Apr 29
// Steven Hansen
For the ambitious, crowd-funded space sim Star Citizen, it took four months to shoot from $30 million to $40 million. So $2.5 million a month. And in the last month and a half, it's reached $43 million, showing no signs of s...

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