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Space Week: Bonus Battlestars

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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Who am I?

Alec Meer

Senior Editor

Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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