Evochron Legends Demo, Freeform Space Sim

By Jim Rossignol on February 6th, 2009 at 9:43 am.


StarWraith 3D Games have announced the launch of their new space game, Evochron Legends, along with a 50mb demo. From what I’ve played so far it seems a little rough around the edges, but the scope of it is quite startling – a full freeform universe with Elite style combat, complete with vast space stations and planetary surfaces. That combat does work, too, allowing you to go hurtle around in zero-G dogfighter combat. It’s time to break out the joystick and/or gamepad. The demo can be unlocked into the full game for $25. Trailer after the jump. (You’re going to want to take a look at this one, I suspect, as it shows off those planets and larger space structures.)

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62 Comments »

  1. Biggles says:

    This is one of those one-man-band efforts, isn’t it? I’ve been interested in this for a while but one thing I just can’t stand is the art style. It’s just plain ugly. I’m sure technically the graphics have lots of clever bells and whistles, but it just doesn’t look good. Those struts on the cockpit view for example, bloody hell!

    The other usual pitfall for these one man band games is the writing tends to suck. Anyone know how it stands up in this one?

  2. danielcardigan says:

    50Mb? I think I might just risk that as a download.

    Just what I need to break my X3TC addiction.

  3. Aldaris says:

    A continent of cookies to whoever mods this into freespace.

  4. SpaceCadet says:

    I bought the previous game, Evochron Renegades, and had a great time with it. I even met the developer in a multiplayer session who gifted me several million credits!

    @Biggles: Is it not a bit churlish to take an entire game that one man alone has brought into being, and then to nitpick small details like the writing (which looks fine to me) and the cockpit struts? And as for “ugly”? Okay it’s no crisis, or even X3: Reunion, but what’s there is perfectly serviceable, doesn’t interfere with the gameplay, and compresses nicely into a 50mb download, which the developer has repeatedly iterated is one of his main concerns.

  5. Owen says:

    Looks intriguing and thus I’m downloading it.

    Cheers Jim

  6. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Looks quite entertaining; I shall download and have a proper look, I think.

  7. Still annoyed says:

    I like the looks of this. But experience with these games tells me I should probably wait for a few reviews and/or patches before I go for it. Looking at the devs website, it seems that past games have received good post-release support, so I’m optimistic about this.

  8. ShaunCG says:

    Writing? A “small detail”?!

    Behold, steam shoots from my ears. You even made me interrobang.

  9. Melf_Himself says:

    I’ve just downloaded it and played through the tutorial.

    You can fly STRAIGHT FROM SPACE AND LAND ON A PLANET OMG. Sold.

  10. bansama says:

    I have been looking for a game that could rival Elite for decades. Frontier didn’t manage it, will this? Gonna have to grab that demo and give it a major whirl.

  11. LEEDER KRENNON says:

    i always prefered elite II frontier to the original elite.

  12. bansama says:

    Frontier had way too many bugs for my liking. Picked it up on the Amiga and never managed a single game without it crashing or other bugs (such as the auto pilot crashing into invisible planets) appearing.

  13. danielcardigan says:

    bansama says:
    “I have been looking for a game that could rival Elite for decades. Frontier didn’t manage it, will this? Gonna have to grab that demo and give it a major whirl.”

    The obligatory:
    http://oolite.org/

  14. yhancik says:

    @SpaceCadet :
    I think Biggles’ “ugly” was an aesthetic “ugly”, not a graphic whore “ugly”. Which might be nitpicking, especially for a one man effort, but still right ;)

  15. DeliriumWartner says:

    I’ll keep an eye on this, but I do agree that those are some pretty big bloody struts right there. I’d need an option for narrowing them, just to see out into space properly :)

  16. fulis says:

    could be great

  17. Chaz says:

    I’ve been meaning to give one of the Evochron games a proper go for a while now, so might as well start with the latest and greatest.

  18. Bananaphone says:

    Anyone know the differences between this and Evochron Renegades? Is it pretty much the same game with extras, or totally new?

  19. bansama says:

    danielcardigan, cheers for the link. For those complaining about the struts, there is a menu option to turn them off. The game looks interesting, sadly it doesn’t like my mouse – if I accidentally hit any of the hat switches, the game crashes >_<.

  20. Kestrel says:

    One thing this game incorporates which is teh awesome and should be default in every space sim but somehow isn’t – realistic inertia. You can blast off in one direction and spin your ship to shoot at pursuing enemies while still maintaining speed and heading. Worth picking up just for that, imo…

  21. SpaceCadet says:

    @DeliriumWartner

    The struts can be removed quite easily, actually. Just a matter of creating a text file in the game directory with the word “nostruts”, if memory serves…?

    @yhancik: Ah, point taken.

    And if anyone wants to try a game like Frontier but without the horrible control system, give Ad Astra a whirl:-

    a-astra.com

    It’s another one-man effort that deserves some time in the spotlight. And it also lets you land on planets from space, and even shoot the wildlife! :)

    Finally, for anyone wanting to revisit Frontier, take a look at FFED3D – a russian crew is retuxturing and remodelling the game, with some startlingly gorgeous results. It’s in beta just now and is a mite glitchy – just make sure you apply all the patches!

    http://www.frontierastro.co.uk/Hires/hiresffe.html

    Ah, space games. Can anyone tell I love ‘em? :D

  22. bansama says:

    Well. I come to the conclusion that this game is not for me. I can’t even get it to load unless I uninstall and reinstall it. Appears to only want to launch for me if it launches from the install dialog box. Ah well, looked interesting but it’s off my list. I guess I’ll have to keep hunting for the perfect space based game.

  23. Fodigg says:

    I’ll have to give this a go when I get home.

    I never played elite. I wonder how it will compare to freelancer or tie fighter.

  24. Conquests says:

    So what’s the player do in-game? Just shoot little flies over and over? Is there something at least peculiar to do? Any puzzle? Any interactive dialogue? Any escorting, refueling, ANYTHING beside shoosting?

  25. M_the_C says:

    @SpaceCadet
    Thanks for the suggestion. Just had a quick fly in Ad Astra, it has so much detail. It’s amazing. Not particularly pretty, but then most games of this type aren’t, this is exactly the kind of thing I want in a game like the X series.

  26. ShaunCG says:

    @Kestrel
    You’ve just reminded me of i-War. Any chance of a retrospective on that one, RPS?

    Who couldn’t love that 25-minute cutting-edge pre-rendered intro movie (with all the slapheads – this was before they could do hair)? Not to mention the outrageously complex control schemes and combat. I never managed to pick it up but, well, liked it all the same. It stood out.

  27. John F. S. says:

    @ Conquests

    Try reading the feature list — there is quite a few things to do, from trading to in an “interactive economic” system (We’ll see how that works out, few games are able to accomplish this to any great extent), to participating in military war-zone missions, etc.

    I played Renegades and had a blast with the demo, but I was sadly broke at the time and couldn’t afford to buy it. If this is any better, I just might have to go rob a convenience store or something.

  28. Theory says:

    As much as I’m in the mood for some hard sci-fi right now, this one’s just a little too esoteric. I played it for at least twenty minutes and achieved nothing!

  29. Rich_P says:

    At the very least, the trailer is pretty sexy.

  30. Lunaran says:

    This is a pain to get started in – the tutorial manages to be both a huge infodump and largely useless – but after 75 of the 90 demo minutes, I was jumping all over the system trying to see everything I could before I was booted. I do wonder if I wouldn’t have gotten utterly bored at the 110 minute mark, enough that I don’t feel like paying the cash to actually see the whole galaxy. It is my kind of game, though, and the guy deserves support, so I might buy it anyway just for that. (pity dollars? is that bad?)

    The art is rather ugly, though. Rocks and science fictiony bits are the only two kinds of assets you can get away with just wrapping a generic texture around, but it works better on rocks.

  31. jonfitt says:

    So you can fly from space to planet and it supports TrackIR. Awesome!
    I’m trying/buying this.

  32. Leeks! says:

    Neato! I was just thinking: Man, I really feel like playing something deep and science fiction-y. RPS delivers once again.

  33. Mark says:

    Before getting any PC game, I must ask: does this have any kind of computer-breaking stealth DRM on it? One can’t be too careful in the age of SecuROM.

  34. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    But is it crazy fun like Space Rangers (The 2rd)?

    Who knows? Might try it anyway.

    And I’m wondering if Biggle isn’t just being poopy for the sake of it.

  35. MetalCircus says:

    Are we still worrying about graphics?

    sigh.

  36. Caiman says:

    It’s pretty rough in the middle, not just around the edges, but it obviously is an ambitious game for a small developer. However, following this guy’s games over the years he’s clearly building on his own heritage and each version ups the ante.

    My big problem with this game is that unless you’re hard core into space sims, it’s enormously daunting at the start. A tiny bit of handholding for the first hour or so wouldn’t go amiss, just something to set you on your way. The tutorial is similarly inaccessible at a point where you just want to get in there and see if things go boom satisfactorily (isn’t that what a tutorial is for anyway?!). I am a big fan of this genre, but nobody has ever gotten close to the epic battles of Freespace 2 or the accessibility of Freelancer in the last few years.

  37. Elvisman says:

    For those that are worried about the “daunting” challenge of getting started, jump into multiplayer and get someone to show you the ropes. it takes no time at all to learn the nav systems and what not. This game kicks the piss out of Freelancer. There’s SOOOO much to do in it. Also, did anyone mention that it is MODDABLE? You can make your OWN cockpits. For each ship if you want. You can make you own galaxies and playable galaxy maps. It has a dedicated server that you can run your creations on. Seriously guys. I honestly do not understand how anyone that liked Elite, Freelancer, etc isn’t all over this like white on rice…?? In multi-player you can do things like capture the flag pvp, have races, join each other on missions to earn money (and there are NUMEROUS types of missions to do), you can craft equipment for your ship, mine, trade, have NPC escorts… it’s freakin ridiculous. Buy this game. NOW. It’s $24.95 for hell’s sakes. You can play with a joystick, a mouse… whatever the heck you want. Sure it takes a little more effort to learn than say, Freelancer. But we aren’t talking Falcon 4.0 here or anywhere near that. There’s much more to do in this game than Freelancer. I just shake my head that this game hasn’t taken off like a sky rocket.
    I would love for the MP community to blast off. But people have to buy it for that. If some of the talented people from Freelancer would take this up. . . sheesh.

  38. Melf_Himself says:

    Problems:

    1) Tutorial is too much info, tutorials should actually lead you through the start of the game
    2) It takes forever to fly anywhere without hyperjump
    3) With hyperjump, you often explode even when you’ve marked clear space on the nav map.
    4) You can’t see many things on the nav map (at least, I can’t) that would be interesting, eg space stations. Instead you can fly towards them manually, which takes about 10 of your 90 demo minutes.
    5) Uninstalled.

  39. BraveHart says:

    Evochron Legends is an awesome Space simulation and is well worth the money. The tutorial is there to give you a taste of the game…and there are plenty of helpful players in the forum and online that will help you master the space flight and navigate through the Legends universe. If any bugs pop up Vice is right on it to fix it and the download for the updated fix is FREE….Best Customer Support system that I have ever seen. I started with Evochron Renegades and absolutely Recommend Evochron Legends to all of you with doubts….This is a challenging Space Sim with Mass Effect appeal. Take the Challenge and be the Best You Can Be…..

  40. Gubbins says:

    Delicious astroturfing.

  41. Caiman says:

    I tried this game again today, but came across a technical issue. The first time I play after the install there’s no problem, but each subsequent start just gives me a blank screen. I restarted the machine, and nothing. I tried it on my laptop (Vista instead of XP) and the same effect.

    But if I uninstall the game and then reinstall it, it works fine… but only once.

    And now I can’t access the forums on the website- they just redirect to the main downloads page. (???)

  42. Caiman says:

    Ok, ignore that last bit about the forums not working. Actually, brain not working!

  43. BraveHart says:

    If your having any problems with launching and playing the game Join the forum and post your Questions and Vice will answer you and help take care of the problem….Some other pilots had the same problem as Caiman and Vice has been there to help them…This man really cares about his product and those that purchase his product, he is very quick to respond….his customer care is awesome.

  44. radio_babylon says:

    i loooooves this game… grabbed the demo last night and immediately bought it… been mining all night to build up some cash. i know it sounds silly but i love mining in space games, i always have, its super relaxing… its the space-sim equivilant of fishing :)

  45. Dae says:

    You know, it is a little on the daunting side. A tip for those in the tutorial, yes, it’s annoying to do this, but it’ll extend your demo time. Ignore what the instructor is saying and start flying around. The game is almost completely function in tutorial mode and takes no time away from your demo. The best thing I can say about Starwraith (Vice) is that his games are labors of love. Sure the production value is low, and yes, there are some fairly hideous textures. If anything just give it a go. Any questions will be answered usually within the hour on the Evochron Legends forum.

  46. Kong says:

    Do we play Egosoft’s X-series for the writing? The Graphics? Well… ok flying on space weed is nice with great fx. Sure thing.
    About time someone is challenging Egosoft for the crown.
    All who tried before have failed.

  47. thetiebers says:

    Evochron Legends IS the lastest and greatest in the series. It has all I need in a space sim. If I want slow action I can stay in safe systems but if I want to heat it up there are plenty of hot spots and I can go on-line (MP) to go against a live target (lol). I never have found everything in the prior Sim “Renegades” and now I have two to explore. All you people who have had problems need to post them on the games forum or check it out as most mentioned have been fixed and the others will be if detail is given to “VICE” who also is the best space pilot out there in my opinion.

  48. Sajmn says:

    A copy paste from the FAQ, on the website regarding DRM:

    “- Online verification check at the time of key entry (verifies each key is only being used on one computer at a time).
    - Offline verification check each time the game is launched (verifies the full version of the game is being played on the same computer it was registered on).
    - Multiplayer verification (prevents two or more copies of the game from connecting to each other if they are attempting to use the same key or an invalid key).”

    And more importantly:
    “No hidden external background programs or device drivers are used for the copy protection/key system. The game handles everything internally and only performs a key check when needed. So no system resources are consumed unnecessarily and no hidden applications/drivers are used. I don’t want hidden background programs or hidden drivers installed on my own computer, so I certainly don’t expect the players of my games to have to use them either.”

  49. Chis says:

    I was fascinated all the way up until I found that it has required, online activation.

    Sorry guys, I’ll head back to Frontier.

  50. Theory says:

    Erm, isn’t everyone who downloads the game online already by definition?

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