By Alec Meer on October 24th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.
Hello, faithful word-consumer. Would you care to also consume images this day? I have been replaying post-Bullfrog outfit Mucky Foot’s wonderful 2001 management game Startopia, which recently saw a re-release on Steam (as well as having been on GoG for some time prior to that). It took a bit of fiddling, but I managed to get it running at 2560×1440 with a ton of anti-aliasing and, well, my God. It’s absolutely beautiful to behold despite its 12 year vintage. Partly that’s down to judiciously characterfully artwork and a strong sense of scale, partly it’s because the game has an uncommonly liberated camera, able to go pretty much anywhere. I’m no Dead End Thrills, in a great many ways, but I’ve rounded up a collection of screenshots which somewhat demonstate how breathtaking this game is at high resolution. I really do think you should take a look.
Particularly striking is the view from the bio-deck, from where the camera is able to leave the space station and gaze upon its marvellously detailed exterior, hanging like a battered jewel in a silent, colossal starfield. I could sit watching it for hours. Have done, in fact.
Take a look. You’re very much best off fullscreening this.
I had a mad moment earlier where I seriously considered bankrupting myself with a 4K monitor, purely to see Startopia looking even more dramatic. It is worth nothing that the in-game text is so tiny as to be problematic at 1440p, however, but a bit of squinting is well worth the visual majesty.
If you’re planning on doing similar yourself, you will need the widescreen mod else the game will stretch or crop. You’ll also need to force on anti-aliasing and anistropic filtering in your graphics card drivers. You may get display errors and crashes alas, Startopia’s somewhat temperamental on Windows 7&8, though I seem to have made it stable here for now.
I’ll be bringing you words on how Startopia plays, by today’s standards, in a few days. Hint: it is lovely in almost every conceivable way.