Space Week: Bonus Battlestars

By Alec Meer on April 1st, 2008 at 9:21 pm.

Frak frak fraketty frak

Oh, the fates do align so. On Friday, Battlestar Galactica returns to TV (and, on Saturday, bittorrent) for its fourth and final series. And this week is space week on RPS. Which can only mean one thing – spurious linking between PC games and Battlestar Galactica. Yes.

I don’t have anything new to tell you if you’re already familiar with Beyond The Redline or Fleet Command, so you might as well post your “OLD! Shame on you RPS” blather without reading the rest of this story. If you haven’t, then hopefully you’ll appreciate a heads-up on two fun pieces of fan-service. The official game, released late last year, was an utter turd, but fortunately modders are more than compensating for it with bolder unofficial efforts.

I haven’t played Fleet Command since its first release, and sadly can’t revisit it now because it turns out my Homeworld 2 disc has been assaulted by some manner of betaloned, RTS-hating beast. One more for the RPSchive, then. Oh, I guess I should have explained that it’s a mod for Homeworld 2 before saying that. Um. So, it’s a mod for Homeworld 2. Even before you play the thing, it’s easy to visualise how neat a crossover with Nu-Battlestar’s Dradus and cold-but-epic space combat it is. Plus, Homeworld the first was a tribute to Battlestar the first, so this is a relationship that was always meant to be.

Fleet Command’s goal is to recreate the spaciest space battles of the series, plus a few only alluded to. The tutorial, for instance, documents Bulldog’s furtive sniffing around Cylon space, well before the fall of the 12 colonies. ‘Thorough’ is the watchword here. It’s now expanding to cover the original series too. Like I say, I’ve not tried the most recent couple of versions, but the release I did play was impressively slick. Here’s some footage:

Beyond The Red Line is a free-beer standalone game, a total conversion of the now freely-released Freespace 2 engine. That being the case, it’s a pretty arcadey affair, but hell, a Viper pilot should feel seat-of-the-pants thrills, not sombre tactical detachedness. BTR scooped Release Indie Game O’The Year for the 2007 Moddb awards, which bodes well for it one day making it past its current demo version status.

Again, it’s one of those mods that knock you for six a little with its polish. Check out the faithfully vocodered radio chatter here:

And here’s a sexy trailer:

Dodgy Bob Dylan covers or no, I’m super-excited about Friday now. One final video for you, the excellent, and surprisingly wry, official recap of the story so far:

“Papers don’t have corners and there’s more than one god.”

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28 Comments »

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  1. Will Tomas says:

    That summary of the show is fantastic.

  2. restricted3 says:

    Papers DO have corners, just not SQUARE corners.

    Just being a smartass :P

  3. Chemix says:

    My brain feels like it might just randomly explode after that recap, so much information. Then again, I already knew all of it except the bit about the Diana being shut down so I think I might be fine. So Say We All

  4. Veloxi says:

    With BSG premiering as well as Dr. Who the next day, it’s a great week to be a sci-fi geek, IMO. :) I need to dig out my HW2 disk and try Fleet Command. Thanks!

  5. Mario Granger says:

    A question clearly related to PC gaming:

    Does the Dr. Who premiere match the premiere date of the American debut on BBC America, or does it follow by a few weeks/months?

  6. Tim E says:

    “There’s a bun in the toaster.”

    :D

  7. John Walker says:

    Don’t forget that the first Dr Who is written by RTD, and therefore about as worth watching as hideously awful painting of growing grass dry.

  8. MeestaNob! says:

    “Girl fight.”

    That recap was ace, made me wanna watch the show.

  9. Jae Armstrong says:

    Not particularly looking forward to this series of Who.

    RTD has the opening and the last four episodes. “The Shakespeare Code”‘s Gareth Roberts is back, as is “The Lazarus Experiment”‘s Stephen Greenhorn.

    Somebody must have paying attention, though, as Moffat gets a double parter (not until episode eight, alas). Unfortunately, so does Helen Raynor, who orchestrated last year’s Dalek-milking.

    Unknown quantities appear in the form of James Moran and Kieth Temple (Mr Moran has apparently done work on Torchwood before, but I avoided that like the plague, so).

    Cornell doesn’t get a look in, alas.

    Anyway, BSG. I love it, Homeworld 2 and Freespace 2, so this should be like a dream come true. So many games, so little time…

  10. wcaypahwat says:

    Ahh, I wonder what I ever did with my toy of that robot bear/dog thing. And my Cylon ship. Damn not realising the value of toys as a child!

  11. sigma83 says:

    The amount of win in this thread is threatening to collapse into a wingularity which will remove all suck from the internet and condense it into a pile of matter no larger than a pinhead. Keep it up RPS!

  12. Faraday says:

    Oh good lord. I’ve never followed Battlestar Galactica, but decided to watch the recap anyway. Way too many Boomers, Deaths/Rebirths and President switches for my tiny mind to comprehend.

    Also as far as I can tell, everyone’s a Cylon.

  13. ran93r says:

    Can’t wait till friday, wooo!

    (well, torrentday)

  14. Fat Zombie says:

    Well, after watching that recap I am both slightly sad that I didn’t watch the new serieses before; and I now know enough to start watching them when they come back. Yay!

    Oh yeah, and the new series of Dr. Who is going to have yet more Daleks.

  15. Bobsy says:

    That recap has actually made me more confused. I guess I really ought to buy the dvds or something. I lack the patience for torrenting any more.

  16. Ravenger says:

    The Independence War games on the PC are just about the only space games that allow you to pull off the physics based moves you see in the dogfights in BSG.

    For instance, in the Resurrection Ship episode the Vipers strafe a big target by turning sideways while keeping their same direction of motion. You can do that in I-War, in fact it’s one of the main combat techniques in the game.

  17. Ging says:

    X3 also uses Newtonian physics to maintain ship momentum.

    In BSG it seems some of that effect comes from the use of the maneuvering thrusters to help maintain the speed /control during the strafe.

  18. Phil says:

    @Ravenger

    I seem to remember Star Lancer let you do something similar, it was also surprisingly BattleStarry and hard sci-fi with opposing capital ships smashing the bejesus out of each other as you nimbly picked off enemy torpedoes and bomber wings, life pods and spacy debris was left in your wake.

  19. AbyssUK says:

    FRAK!

  20. Sal says:

    can someone MOD Sins of a Solar Empire with BSG?

  21. Ginger Yellow says:

    Oh awesome. I’ve been dying for a BSG mod for Sins since it came out, but I didn’t realise there was already a HW2 one. I’ll be reinstalling it right away. Beyond The Red Line is technically impressive, but I just don’t find that style of gameplay all that fun, outside of a bigger picture context like Elite.

    Sal, work on a BSG mod is underway, but it’s probably going to be a long while before anything playable emerges. In the meantime, you could do what I did and replace the sound files with BSG audio clips. It works very well for things like phase jumps and battle alerts.

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