Oh hi! I kind of enjoy these little features despite them being sporadic by nature; they’re also really a means of getting the word out on some games that might have flown under the radar for whatever reason. In this particular entry we’re talking waaaaaaay under the radar. Perhaps only under my radar because you’re already up to your tits in excitement for this game after having seen it when it first appeared nearly TWO DAMN YEARS AGO.
The space simulator is making a bit of a comeback – which is something that RedTide and I are particularly excited about. Wings of Saint Nazaire is another to keep an eye on. Interestingly, the game has been around and in development since before Star Citizen even became a thing on Kickstarter. While Star Citizen sits with an ever-inflating budget and a large team behind it, Wings of Saint Nazaire is more demure: it’s being developed by three guys in their spare time. Don’t let that fool you though, because Wings is looking wonderful. Any game that describes itself as being “in the vein of Wing Commander and X-Wing” automatically gets my full attention.
The whole shebang began life on a custom engine, but in April 2013 they switched across to Unity. The nice thing about that is that there’s potential for this game to appear on almost any platform. Heck, you can even play a demo build of it RIGHT NOW in your browser. Alternatively you can download a playable demo for PC, Mac, and Linux that clocks in at a whole 75MB.
If that size surprises you, then know that the game is taking its “in the vein of Wing Commander and X-Wing” very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that it uses 2D sprites. However, with some clever cockpit overlays and very effective use of lighting, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’re looking at a 3D game.
Insofar as the game’s fiction is concerned: there are two factions at war. The human side is where the game’s title comes from, as the command ship is known as the Saint Nazaire. There’s a very alien alternate faction, and you’ll be able to pick a side when you start the game. The alien ships have a remarkably different feel (you don’t say?) thanks to some trippy cockpit design. Check out two of them in action in these two animated GIF files, but be warned (especially if you’re on mobile data) they’re about 22MB in total.
There is a bunch of different ships planned, each with their own specs and weapon load-outs. The human ships are all named after snakes, which is extra cool because you’ll be able to fly things like the F-207 Boomslang. Pity it’s not green, but perhaps there’ll be some sort of ship customisation at a later stage?
Gameplay, according to the FAQ, is designed to be easy to pick up, but difficult to master. The guys working on Wings of Saint Nazaire have said that those who want to just get into a ship and blow stuff up will be able to do so, but those who want to control their ship’s power, manage the weapons, and really sink themselves into the simulator will be catered for as well.
There’s no release date as yet, and no platforms aside from PC, Mac, and Linux. What’s also interesting is that the team hasn’t ruled out the option of crowd funding, and they’ve also stated that the game will likely be free. That is, however, subject to change so keep an eye on the main website for more details.