It’s rather embarrassing you see, because this game has been around for over a year already. I’m tempted to throw in an obscure Star Wars reference about ships this small not having cloaking devices, and then liken Enemy Starfighter to the Millennium Falcon, but in explaining that analogy I have inadvertently obviated its need. So let’s carry on then!
Enemy Starfighter is another upcoming space simulator that’s gleefully riding atop the crest of the genre’s resurgence. I for one welcome our new space sim genre overlords because they remind me of my youth when I’d while away the weekends playing Wing Commander and X-Wing Vs. TIE Fighter. I’m waiting for EA’s inevitable realisation that space simulators are a thing once again, and for them to go on and announce a new Star Wars space simulator. That distant shrieking you’ll hear shortly after that announcement will in all likelihood be me as I spin around in circles, get dizzy and puke from excitement.
Enemy Starfighter, however, is not big budget. It’s nowehere near as gargantuan a project as Star Citizen, but that doesn’t mean that it’s something that should be ignored. Allow me to put this game firmly on your radar (assuming you were, like me, fast asleep and completely oblivious to its existence because we’re terrible, terrible human beings) by describing it as such: it’s pretty much Homeworld but you fly the space ships as well. OH GOOD GOLLY BUT IT HAS MY ATTENTION NOW.
Tiny studio Marauder Interactive is working on this game, and the team is being led by Mike Tipul. Tipul has worked with Pandemic on titles like The Saboteur, but he’s also worked at Bungie on the Halo games. Most notably, he was responsible for that amazing space combat section in Halo: Reach. And so now he’s making a space simulator of his own? Yes, pretty much.
Enemy Starfighter has taken some visual cues from Relic Entertainment’s Homeworld series. Space is bright and colourful, and even the ship design and textures harken back to Relic’s masterpiece. Interestingly, the game mixes space simulator combat with some strategy elements. You’ll be commanding a fleet via a strategy map that’s very reminiscent of Homeworld’s tactical map.
The premise for Enemy Starfighter is that you are the pilot of “the universe’s most mobile and lethal interceptor”. You’re also in charge of a fleet of warships. Your job is to jump into a new system, smash up its defensive blockades as quickly as possible, and then allow the rest of your fleet to warp in and take control of that area of space. Basically: “You are the Harbinger Fleet, waging a guerrilla war against the enemies of the Empire.”
You can check it out in action in the trailer below. The game naturally features full Oculus Rift support and will be playable at PAX in the coming days. Consequently you can expect some further hands-on features cropping up online once that event winds down.
While there’s no release to speak of, platforms that have been confirmed are: PC, Mac and Linux. Be sure to check out the game’s development blog; there’s a particularly interesting entry regarding how they’re planning to promote player orientation in space.