As you might expect, the studio behind a space combat game is comprised of folk who are big fans of space combat. Funny that. Anyway, in this week’s blog post, we thought we’d share with you some of our favourite space combat games.
Sam Bradley, UI Artist
I’ve played a lot of X-wing versus Tie fighter but for me my favourite space game had to be Home World 2. Everything about it just screamed a new level of quality; the epic fleet battles and the beautiful art style wrapped up neatly with simplistic controls and a clean UI. I spent many hours wrapped up in the campaign or playing skirmish games with my friends. There isn’t really much that can be faulted about the game in my view, it was an expertly crafted experience from start to finish. I think we definitely drew a lot of influence from Homeworld that naturally passed into Strike Suit whether it be the cut scene videos or fleet combat as a whole.
Jamin Smith, Community Manager
While not a space combat game in the traditional sense, my first experience with the genre was Starwing on the SNES. While it was on-rails and brought to life with talking animals, it introduced branching storylines and gave me my first sense of sitting behind the cockpit of a space craft.
My favourite space combat game, however, would have to be Star Wars: Rogue Leader. While I had no point of comparison in terms of the space games of yesteryear (by this point, Starwing was still the closest to a space combat title I’d played), I was thoroughly blown away by this ‘next-gen’ depiction of space. It was the cinematic feel of battle that impressed me the most; the feeling that I was taking part in one of the epic battle scenes from the films. I’d played few games that made me feel so insignificant (what with space being such a big place) and to be engulfed by space was a fantastic experience.
Greg Booker, Principal Engineer
The first space combat game to really catch my eye was Elite. It demonstrated remarkable depth for the time and my imagination, fuelled by Robert Holdstock’s included novella, filled in the gaps. It is one of few favourite games of yesteryear that stands the test of time, and one I can still lose a few hours in. Later games in the series added depth, but the relativistic combat didn’t have the same appeal for me. I can’t wait to get my hands on Elite: Dangerous, which looks to be embracing the spirit of the original whilst building on the scope of the later games.
Star Wars was a major influence on my childhood and the arrival of X-Wing took me back to those days, recreating those iconic film moments, balancing shields and dodging TIEs. Then TIE Fighter gave me the opportunity to explore my Dark Side, whilst expanding on the ideas executed so well in the original. Later, X-Wing Versus TIE Fighter filled many an office lunch break with LAN-based mayhem. Subsequent titles were still fun but didn’t seem to reach the dizzy heights of the first two. Come on EA, you know it makes sense to build a new X-Wing game, hell, take my money for a high-definition remake, although Oculus support would be nice!
EVE Online has a learning curve so steep it’s virtually a cliff, but find a good group of people to play it with and the unforgiving, harsh world CCP have built gives you an intense gaming experience with a real sense of risk/reward that is arguably unmatched by anything else out there. The depth of the game is simply breath-taking. EVE’s only shortcoming for me is that it can be so time-consuming, but if you have the time to put in it is so rewarding.
As a relatively new member of the Born Ready crew, I haven’t been involved in the development of the Strike Suit games, but these were the space gaming experiences that will shape the way I approach our future work.
Jim Mummery, Creative Director
Elite was my first proper space game – on the C64 – exploring the universe in vector style listening to The Blue Danube Waltz. And Elite was also the first game I played obsessively – filing every spare hour I had until I reached Elite status. I still have vivid memories of being pulled into witchspace for the first time. However Elite is less relevant to Strike Suit Zero and I can’t avoid the influence Colony Wars (on PS1) and Rogue Leader (on GCN) had on me. These games emphasized the shooter side of space combat – they were breathtaking to look at (for the time) and a joy to play. They made space combat exciting.
It’s fair to say everybody’s tastes and preferences within the studio have shaped the development of Strike Suit Zero, whether it’s the colour and vibrancy of Homeworld or the gunplay/shooting of something like Rogue Leader. We’ve played a lot of other games – and not just space games – while developing Strike Suit, however, and it’s going to be interesting to see how this influences our next project.