All of space is a battlefield. You fly a little tin pot ship and zap enemies as you zip past exploding wreckage. Watch out! Do a barrel roll to avoid that asteroid hurtling toward you.
Do you remember the last time you did that?
In my case it’s been too long. I remember blasting bad guys’ ships, watching them burn and turn into fine space dust in Wing Commander.
Then Privateer looked even better when my older brother played it on PC. In Privateer, I think you could upgrade parts of your ship. Imagine that! I’m accustomed to thinking you can only upgrade guns or armor. But games like Privateer let you upgrade the gun’s and armor of a ship. My brain exploded.
Then when I was old enough to fly a spaceship, I tried the Star Wars games. I couldn’t avoid them. Star Wars was everywhere. All the kids I knew had the toys. The games were special because they promised less time imagining battles with toys and more time flying as a rebel or imperial trooper. It’s not often you get to fly as the bad guy. I miss those Star Wars games.
Nowadays, I still play space games, but I don’t find myself flying often. I’m talking about role-playing games like Mass Effect. Sure, you were the captain of a cool ship, but you never pilot it during dogfights. I never got a chance to fly.
Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time also had fun spaceship moments. You could upgrade your ship and get into dogfights. But it was a small part of the game. And you fought the same baddies every time.
It’s time for better spaceship video games. We need to synthesize the strengths of Tie Fighter and Privateer and build something new and better. I know two new Star Wars games are coming out, but it would be nice to play something original.
Let me flesh out my ideal game a bit more. I would love a game that has nothing to do with George Lucas’ movies. Mass Effect with dogfights is a good starting point. I want a spaceship game where I’m flying the ship and fighting the battles. Please keep in me the ship most of the time. In between missions, it’s fun to upgrade everything from thrusters to things I can’t even fathom now. Surprise me!
Give me a great spaceship game to hone my fighter skills. Then I’ll save our galaxy from aliens – one dogfight at a time.