Space Demo! Space Video! Arvoch Alliance

By Alec Meer on November 18th, 2011 at 5:45 pm.

we break for nobody

It’s all been dragoning and mining and dildo-waving and warfaring this week, so let us not forget that there are many other places videogames can visit. Arvoch Alliance, follow up to the Evochron games, purports to be “the definitive 3D space combat game.” I do like a bit of space combat, although all the talk of Newtonian physics and an incredibly elaborate targeting system has me immediately worried I may be fluffy for this one. Find out for yourself though: a svelte 250MB demo is out now, as is the full game. But what does it look like, a man perhaps once bellowed in mild confusion at his cold, unresponsive monitor? It looks like this, silly.

I don’t think I’ve ever given any of the Evochrons a try personally – presumably there a few veterans here? Have we lapsed in not covering it to a more fulsome degree?

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34 Comments »

  1. tikey says:

    Can you fly the capital ships or only fighters are available?

    • JackDandy says:

      Fighters only.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      I got all excited when I thought I might be able to fly the capital ships.

      I want to be a six million tonne warship.

    • kulik says:

      Anyone remember the “Starshatter – The Gathering Storm” game? Not only you could fly cruisers, frigates, dreadnoughts, carriers and basically anything. It had dynamic campaigns where you had to plan your own missions.
      Once the campaign started nothing was per scripted you caused real damage and sustained real damage. You did recon mission not because somebody said so, but because you wanted to know where your enemy is. You played escort mission cause you needed that damaged capital ship for later.
      I would love to see this kind of things in a modern spacesim.

    • MisterT says:

      @Kulik
      Hells yeah I remember that one

    • Porkolt says:

      I would have genuinely shelled out to play this game if it were basically Battlestations Midway in space.

  2. JackDandy says:

    Ah, Starwraith games. They’re a good bunch. Basically, a middleground between Freelancer and the X-series. A sort of Jack-of-all-trades deal.

    They’re very nice. The combat isn’t hard to master, since you get a nice comprehensive tutorial at the beginning. Basically, by punching the Space button, you turn off your inertial dampeners and have “complete” control over your ship’s thrusters. That way, you can execute neat “Strafing” maneuvers where you only spin your ship while drifting in a straight line, blasting away at your enemies.

    But, they also show that one man can only accomplish so much. They always feel that with a little bit extra help or manpower, these games would be amazing. They’re great for being a one-man project, but they could be so much more, and that kinda disappoints me.

    Still, if you’re a fan of the space sim genre, you should give the demos a go and decide for yourself. I certainly had a good time with Evochron Mercenary. It also has a nice community and the game’s maker will answer any problems you have with it.

    I’ve been thinking of getting Arvoch Alliance, but it just seems like more of the same. I’ll have to think more about this purchase. Or play the demo a bit more.

    • JackDandy says:

      Another thing that bothers me is that he doesn’t seem ambitious enough.
      I mean, of course, making a game of this scale all by yourself is an amazing, ambitious feat by itself.

      But with a little bit more spit and shine, it could be.. freaking..THE BEST.

    • Waltorious says:

      I played Evochron Legends (the game before Evochron Mercenary) and I enjoyed it, but the main weakness I felt was in the “samey” feel of the universe. It’s a free-roaming space trading game, but all of the different systems were just so boring, and didn’t have unique identities at all. It’s probably more fun in multiplayer though.

      Arvoch Alliance, on the other hand, is apparently a mission-based game like Tie Fighter or Freespace. That could very well end up being more fun, as compelling scripted missions are probably easier to pull off than a compelling open universe. I’ll definitely check out the demo, and I’d recommend that anyone who’s enjoyed games like Tie Fighter, Freespace or Wing Commander check it out as well. Bring your joystick.

    • JackDandy says:

      You do have a point, but ultimately, the fights in the new game feel almost exactly like the ones in Evochron Mercenary. This time, it allows multiple battleships in skirmish areas, instead of just 2. But they don’t have that awesome “Presence” the capital ships from Freespace had.

      I think that if you have Mercenary, this won’t bring anything new to the table at all. But if you don’t.. well, you’ll probably enjoy this. Or maybe you’re just better off getting Mercenary.

    • quercus says:

      Very true.
      I really wish the Starwraith games felt more polished and slick, but as you said with one person driving it there is only so much they can do. Each time they release a “new” game it is just an enhancement of the existing one. I have tried a couple but they just don’t feel professional enough.

    • Tom De Roeck says:

      Sounds atleast better than DEREK SMART COMMANDER! I mean, Battleship 3000AD.

  3. caddyB says:

    Evochron Mercenary is nice. I liked the flight model a lot, haven’t had time to play it for long but I’ve enjoyed the few hours I’ve spent with it.

  4. Undermind_Mike says:

    You know what would be nice? Explosions that are occluded (?) by a ship’s hull. When those circular shockwaves go off and emerge from the opposite side of the ship it’s very obvious they’re just a single sprite.

    Yeah I know, not a priority :) just dreaming

  5. Arona Daal says:

    Can the HUD Color be changed?

    • westyfield says:

      No, but space is the new Afghanistan.
      Edit: oh bollocks, you changed your comment. Now this one will make no sense whatsoever.

    • Mirqy says:

      @ Westyfield – I’m going to say that to the next person who asks me a question I don’t know the answer to.

  6. Brian Rubin says:

    I am dying, DYING to play this. I love, love, love space games, and while I do enjoy the open-endedness of the Evochron games, a more focused experience can’t go amiss. :)

  7. Casimir's Blake says:

    Does this have activation protection again ? If so, I’ll continue to wait for Pioneer instead.

  8. fenriz says:

    omg beautiful. But i will need a cloche and a throttle. And 3rd person ruins everything. Just Yuck

    • JackDandy says:

      The 3rd person view is optional, and is less fun IMO.
      You’re better off with the awesome cockpit view. Pretty detailed and functional.

  9. QualityJeverage says:

    I have never heard of this, but the little boy in me who grew up playing Freelancer and Freespace cried tears of joy during that trailer.

    Downloading now. Please be awesome.

  10. jonfitt says:

    Space to planet without transitions?

    • Waltorious says:

      Yes. His earlier games have that too. The planets aren’t all that big and there isn’t much reason to visit them in those games though. But this one is not an “open-world” space game but rather a mission-based game like Freespace, so hopefully there are more exciting reasons to visit planets in this one. I’ll definitely be checking out the demo.

  11. Chiller says:

    Meh, Newtonian physics are so 19th century. I’d like to see a game with proper quantum physics in place.

    • vecordae says:

      I’m currently working on a space sim engine based on quantum physics. I’ve built in a sophisticated probability module that will correctly and realistically model quantum probability by randomly transporting your ship’s components around a galaxy-sized, procedurally generated star map. This was made possible by a bold and aggressive approach to mathematics I like to call “No Rules Freestylin’.”

  12. danimalkingdom says:

    I love that this whole series is basically one guy’s work, and in this current dirth of space games makes the evochron ones stand out. Also I love that you can just travel, like skyrim, from place to place instead of ‘jumping’ to different systems.

    BUT: Does it need to be so dry? I’ve played it, and it would be great to see some more inspiring art in there. Everything is metallic, the ships are all noughties-concept-ship generic, and it sorely needs a sense of humour. i think that’s something people forget about David Braben’s games, with their Newtonian physics and hard-science whatsits – they were funny and irreverent too.

  13. Kirrus says:

    In case it without audio is a little distracting:

  14. The Infamous Woodchuck says:

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    • Muzman says:

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  15. Belua says:

    Shit. Now I have the urge to play Freespace again.
    And to buy this.

    But somewhere, in the back of my head, I know I hardly have time to play Freespace, let alone an open universe space-sim…