The space combat game genre for those of us that remember it was one of the few dominant genres during the 90s, they gave us a multitude of great games such as the iconic Wing Commander franchise, X-Wing and Freespace which were great games at the time but slowly they have been overshadowed by other genres or disappeared entirely from the gaming world which in it self is a great and tragic loss but just because they are gone doesn’t mean they can’t come back.
There is good news though, they are slowly trying to come back with kickstarter funded titles such as Star Citizen which was one of the many successful kickstarters with an astounding $41.7 million raised by the crowd funding site but we are going to need more than one developer to bring this long forgotten genre back from the gaming graveyard and there are quite a few that are stepping up to tackle this monumental task.
There are many indie developers that are capitalizing on the market because the genre is being ignored by big companies and its quite a smart move by the small companies if I do say myself because there are still fans of the genre even after decades and currently it’s paying off quite well.
At E3 this year there was a game called No Man’s Sky which is being developed by Hello Games and it is a space simulator with a procedurally generated open universe which is freaking cool might I add because it makes every play through different, the game is to feature planetary exploration, deep oceans, space-based battles and potential predators on the various procedurally generated worlds meaning each world has its own ecosystem with potentially unforgiving conditions.
Now when I saw this during the Sony presentation my mind was completely blown away because it wasn’t just another space simulator that only involved combat, it was a completely new and fresh take on the classic formula and if there was one game that I desperately had to buy a next gen console for, it would be No Man’s Sky…..that’s just how amazing this title is.
Games like this can not only bring a genre back into the limelight but it can completely reinvent the genre for a new generation and it’s clear the developers of No Man’s Sky have a burning passion about their game and this is one developer I would love to see succeed because they took a leap of faith and poured their hearts and souls into their title and I cannot wait to see more of this unique title because even though taking a chance on what some call a dead genre with great risk also comes great innovation and we definitely need some of that right now and it’s not just me that is excited about this game.
BBC News said that the game “stole the show” at this year’s E3 and the game also got “Best Original Game”, “Best Independent Game” and a “Special Commendation for Innovation” so in hindsight I cannot see anything but good times ahead for the developers.
If more developers with the same mentality as the No Man’s Sky development team starting making space games and they are pushing innovation to the max, then it might not be long till we see a entirely new breed of space simulator for example imagine a game where you pick a ship and explore the universe and unknown planets, could take on the role of a trader, pirate or freelancer depending on your style, trade with alien species, you could engage other pilots in dogfights and take them down to rob the wreckage to sell on a back market or upgrade your own vessel using the salvaged parts…..this is something I would definitely buy if it was made real.
And with multi player functionality, space games now would have a ton of new and exciting possibilities like new modes, persistent online economies and a ton of other things that people only dreamed of during the era of the early space games and more importantly could you imagine how incredible these games would be coupled with something like the Oculus Rift and Sony’s headset, holy crap I would not even want to stop playing but that’s just the direction I hope the genre takes now because it as good now as it was back during the days of the greats.
I want to see No Man’s Sky become the start of the return of the space game genre and I am sure many of you would probably agree with me on this, the space game fans are still here because we haven’t left, the applauding crowd at E3 for No Man’s Sky this year is proof of that, I have high hopes for space games now with No Man’s Sky on the horizon and I really hope this starts to encourage more developers to reach for the stars and develop the own space games….wow I just made a joke in my own writing about reaching for the stars anyway there is a tonne of potential with the genre now so I would like to see more developers join in on the action and make some amazing space games that can bring something unique to next gen gaming and and the gaming industry itself.
Anyway that’s about it from me but let’s not let this be the end of the discussion, I would love to hear what you guys and girls have to say about No Man’s Sky and the space game genre in general so I leave you people with a question….do you guys think this is the game we need to bring the genre back from the grave and back into mainstream gaming or do you think that the genre is long gone ?