Naumachia: Space Warfare


Quite a few of my fellow space-warriors have mailed us links to Naumachia: Space Warfare in the past few days. I’ve only just got around to watching the video, and crikey. You can check it out below. Anyway, it turns out that this indie space ’em up was properly unveiled at the Italian Videogame Developers Conference, which took place in Milan last week. It’s looking like some seriously pacey first-person space combat, and the visuals are bang on: fast, colourful, with the kind of vibrancy space combat seems to have been missing of late. Anyway, we’ll get in touch with the four man development team at AureaSection and see what they have to say for themselves. In the meantime, go see things explode.

76 Comments

  1. Dave says:

    That is the dustiest and most confusing and prettiest space game I have seen in a while.

  2. MrMud says:

    Can I has Freespace 3?

    Seriously though, that was a pretty confusing video. But in a genre that is pretty much dead, ill take anything.

    • Goomich says:

      No.

      Looks like it has normal physics like I-War games.

    • Springy says:

      Inertia in space combat simulators scares me, but having been starved of any good examples for so many years I think I’ll take whatever I can get.

    • KP says:

      If it’s like I-War I will weep with tears of joy.

  3. Geoff says:

    That was a bangin trailer. I havent been excited by a trailer in itself as cool for a bit. The music fade in was nicely done. Anyone know the name of the track?

  4. Ira says:

    Freespace3 indeed. Or at least it looks similar. I like what I’m seeing.

  5. westyfield says:

    Space war is pretty.

    Looks interesting, I’ll try and keep an eye on this one.

  6. Ninjas says:

    I have been following this since the first video and I am still super excited.

  7. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Interesting indeed. Looking forward to hearing more about this one.

  8. Schaulustiger says:

    They should’ve used more than one space background in the trailer. Especially since this one is particularly boring with its dusty greenish tone.

  9. Chris R says:

    That looks like crazy fun chaos.

    Reminds me of the excellent HL2 space mod: Eternal Silence. It’s on steam, go play.

    Very briefly: You spawn in your space battleship, walk to the hanger, jump in a fighter/bomber/heavy fighter/inteceptor, fly into space, kill all their player controled fighter/bomber/heavy fighter/inteceptors, take out their 3 NPC defending space ships, board their space battleship and attempt to destroy 3 substations (weapons/shields/hangar) that will disable/blow up their battleship.

    Good clean fun and is equal parts FPS (when defending or attacking battleships you are on foot and have shooty guns to shoot), and space sim (when defending or attacking the 3 NPC defending spaceships you have spaceships to fly and shoot).

    • fearian says:

      “Yo Naumachia, you look really interesting; Imma let you finish, but Eternal Silence was one of the best space combat mods of all time!” – Chris R

    • Arathain says:

      I just played Eternal Silence for the first time and I confirm it’s awfully good fun. As a Freespace/X-Wing vet it was quite lovely to be back in the cockpit again.

    • Stromko says:

      I was extremely underwhelmed by Eternal Silence’s first few versions, but maybe it’s gotten better. It felt too floaty, too pointless in the incarnations I played.

  10. Dominic White says:

    Looks a lot like Project Sylpheed on the 360, which was a full-on physics based space combat game with a ridiculously overblown plot and a focus on killing capital ships. Often dozens of them in a single mission, as your basic weapons became so absurdly godlike that you could easily clear out 10-15 fighters in a single shot.

    • Will says:

      Project Sylpheed was very entertaining, and I thought the demo did it a big disservice by being too confusing. The main game introduces the elements at a slightly more reasonable pace. It marries very western space game sensibilities with cool Japanese stuff like multiple-lock-ons and space suits with high heels.

      Around here it’s been heavily discounted for a while, but I don’t regret paying near-enough full price for it soon after it came out.

  11. Heliosicle says:

    That was massively pretty, confusing combat though

    • Heliosicle says:

      odd, i think the blurryness of the non hd version makes it look better than it actually is, graphics wise at least, sharper video means you can see blurry textures on the ships *nitpicking*

  12. Subject 706 says:

    Very impressive I say, especially considering it is only a four man team.

  13. DXN says:

    I’ve been built up and let down by space-fighty sims so many times I don’t even know what the heck it is I’m looking for out of the genre any more, except that I know Elite 3 came damned close to it and I wish someone would just remake that with modern technology. One vast, contiguous, procedural (?) universe without artificial divisions, living and dynamic and with an interesting storyline threaded into it? Trademark Elite-esque freedom to make a living and achieve your goals in any manner you please, whether shady or otherwise? More-or-less Newtonian physics, even while travelling and fighting between stars? Actual spinning, orbiting (?) planets that you can fly down onto directly from space and find living, cities without having to go via warp and load-screen? Yes, please. Oh, yes please.

    Sure, some games (especially of the indie variety) have made some pleasing steps a little way in this direction – but then I just get frustrated at how tepid, lifeless and sterile their storylines and characters inevitably are. We have a hundred-plus years of gloriously human, epic, dramatic space-operas to draw from, people! Firefly, BSG and others have shown it can be done! There’s really no need to still be generic and pointless and soulless about the whole thing.. !

    … I know, I know, I want the moonbase on a stick and then some.

    Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, this looks pretty and lively, at least. Maybe I’m a sucker for abuse, but I’ll look into it, so thanks for the tip!

    • DXN says:

      (If this ‘reply’ doesn’t work, it’s an addendum to my previous comment):

      By the way, all that was achieved in 1993!

      And having said all that, I would settle for a smaller-scale space-brawler like this appears to be if it’s done well, and it does look like they’ve captured a nice combination of pretty, visceral, hefty feel and hectic but (hopefully) somewhat structured free-for-all dogfighting. Although I do wish (and this is a minor, geeky gripe) that people would abandon the whole ‘lasers work like bullets’ thing. One or the other, people!

  14. Shalrath says:

    I really, really want a space combat game that has actual space-like-physics, I.e. you don’t ‘stop’ suddenly, you can fly backwards and fire, you can strafe easily, etc.

    • Vinraith says:

      I trust you’ve played the Independence War games?

    • Wolfox says:

      Try Evochron: Legends.

    • Dominic White says:

      Aformentioned Project Sylpheed also has proper space physics, although there is a speed cap so you can’t go thundering around everywhere at relatavistic speeds.

      It’s really fun to throw yourself full-burn at a capital ship, cut engines and strafe alongside it, picking off turrets though.

    • Vinraith says:

      That’s 360-only, right Dominic? No chance of a port, I suppose?

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, 360 only. By Square-Enix, of all studios. Weird, huh?

      It’s pretty much one of a kind – it has the most amazing power inflation I’ve seen in a game. In the first mission, you’re struggling with handfulls of enemy fighters. By the end, you can kill entire squadrons in a single shot, and bring down carriers in seconds. You get some absurdly huge guns to slap onto your ship near the end.

      The plot is totally ripped straight from the original Mobile Suit Gundam, too. Cheesy as hell.

    • DK says:

      Try Starshatter: The Gathering Storm – it’s a space sim, with the option of flying fighters, bombers, capital ships, commanding the entire battlegroup from the bridge of a carrier as well as fly atmospheric. And all of that with Freespace style arcade physics, Freelancer style semi-newtonian and full blown newtonian options.

  15. Jae Armstrong says:

    :O

    Beautiful. Hopefully this will jumpstart a genre revival, because if there’s any genre that died for no good reason it’s space combat sims.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      I’m sure development parallels can be drawn with the millions of unwashed dullards playing FIFA and Halo clones coming way in first in terms of game design, instead of something vaguely imaginative and ambiguous as… a game in SPACE!

      I guess I’m just bitter. Why didn’t they make some more Colony Wars games? :(

  16. Serenegoose says:

    That's interesting. Should keep an eye on this.

  17. Matosh says:

    YES! OH GOD YES!

    …It’s been so long…

    • Torgen says:

      “You purple bastard!”
      (throws the finger)
      (explodes in confetti)

  18. jackflash says:

    Um …. that. looks. awesome.

  19. army of none says:

    Freelancer 2?!

  20. Fullbleed says:

    Dog fighting looks fun at least and that’s deffinately enough to get me interested, all I really want is Battlestar Galactica the game.

    • bonuswavepilot says:

      Well, its not finished, and the homepage for the project shows worrying signs of a chunk of their team having left for pastures greener, but there’s a demo at least that might help keep the BSG cravings at bay:

      ‘Tis ‘Beyond the Red Line’ being a mod of Freespace 2:
      link to beyondtheredline.net

      Not updated for a while, sadly. The homepage for the above site just gives an ‘under construction’ msg, but there is some content in other sections of the site.

  21. Sartoris says:

    Finally, a space game that looks fun. It seems to have everything I looked for in EVE and didn’t find, namely fast-paced action and dogfighting.

  22. DK says:

    That’s the prettiest nebula I’ve seen since Freespace 2. So thick you can get lost in it.

  23. Tei says:

    Nice Gratitout Space Battle :-)

  24. lumpi says:

    aaaaand it’s MP only. Damn. :/

    At least not an MMO.

  25. GibletHead2000 says:

    Oh please let this have been designed around playing with a joystick, rather than the mouse.

  26. Shalrath says:

    Probably the only thing I’d change would be the abundance of pastel green and neon orange, haha.

  27. Meatloaf says:

    @DXN

    Sir, you need a dose of Evochron Legends.

    link to starwraith3dgames.home.att.net

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      As long as you don’t mind a dose lined with “activation arsenic”. Has a bit of a kick, didn’t like it, wouldn’t recommend. ;)

      (Seriously, very good game – at least based on the demo – but… fuck activation.)

  28. Alexej says:

    It’s not fully newtonian physics. The hud shows sometimes “inertial” and sometimes “normal mode”, reminds me of Tachyon

  29. Monkeybreadman says:

    I want a combination of Homeworld, Eve, Elite, and this. And i will pay 1 million pounds for it

  30. Gabanski83 says:

    Sexy trailer. Colour me interested.

  31. Feet says:

    *dusts off joystick*

  32. Railick says:

    @Feet – naughty !

  33. Scythe says:

    Purdyyy. Here’s hoping for freetrack support.

  34. Schmung says:

    I was going to waffle on about it this a bit, but apparently team RPS have already mailed the devs, so you can get it straight from Filippo and Lorenzo. They’ve been quietly beavering away on it for years (I think I have some concept art form ages back kicking around somewhere) so it’s nice to see things finally come to fruition and them getting a bit of attention. Oh, for those that played it they were also behind popular HL mod The Specialsits.

  35. Railick says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    Try Starshatter: The Gathering Storm – it’s a space sim, with the option of flying fighters, bombers, capital ships, commanding the entire battlegroup from the bridge of a carrier as well as fly atmospheric. And all of that with Freespace style arcade physics, Freelancer style semi-newtonian and full blown newtonian options.

    I can NOT believe I've never heard of this game before! Is it any good? Is it high quality or does it crash a lot? I'm seriously shocked I've never seen this before as I've been searching for a good game like this for a while. X3 and X3 Terran conflict crash on my system constantly and lag out making them unplayable. Evochron Legends is okay but I like to command capital ships (as you can in X3) This seems like a good balance between the two though it doesn't appear you are free to explore (though I could be wrong) you just get random missions in each campaign ? do you get to pick what capital ship you want to fly and also can you refuse command and stay in a capital ship if you want?

  36. Andy says:

    The music reminds me of some other game, can’t quite place a finger on it though…

    As for the game: please tell me it’s designed to be played with a joystick. Flying with a mouse is like aiming in an fps with a game pad.

  37. Railick says:

    Some people claim to be better with a game pad then a mouse ( My old boss claimed this. He used his X-box 360 controller in CS:Source versus me with a mouse and found out he was F@#$@# WRONG MOTHER F@#$@#$) lol

  38. goodgimp says:

    I would like to give these people money.

  39. Lambchops says:

    I’ve been looking for a reason to dust off the old joystick for ages. Hopefully this will be it.

    i haven’t picked up my joystick since finally getting round to playing the genius that is Freespace 2 about free years back. Freelancer was just a disappointment; I would have much rather had the contrained but awesome military campaign with cool characters and brilliant set pieces of Starlancer than the occasional nice set piece but otherwise repetitive side missions of Freelancer’s more open world.

    Speaking of Starlance reminds me that after my bitiching about demos earluer that it had hands down the best demo for any game ever that I’ve played. It’s the only time that on my second playthrough of the game itself i actually took time out to revisit the demo first – it was a superb mini campaign.

  40. Will says:

    This is the first space sim in ages that I really really want to play. Can’t wait.

  41. Jack says:

    That looks fun.
    I like the music.

  42. bill says:

    Space combat with a mouse sucks.
    Space combat with a gamepad sucks.
    Space combat with a joystick rocks, but no-one has one anymore, and no shops in tokyo sell them.

    :-(

    • megaman says:

      And with what gear do you play games with vehicle action like Battlefield 2 (choppers, planes) in Tokyo? Must be a strange land where you’re coming from :p

  43. Glove says:

    That colour desaturation does wonders for the look of the thing. Combat looks aesthetically and instinctively hectic; very fun indeed.

  44. pignoli says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    It’s not fully newtonian physics. The hud shows sometimes “inertial” and sometimes “normal mode”, reminds me of Tachyon

    Ooh, I loved the dogfighting in that game. Using the 'inertial' button was key to winning a lot of the time if I remember correctly (spin round to shoot behind you, strafe capital ships etc).

    This game is now officially on my radar, if it can tread the fine line between the awkwardness of full newtonian and the wrong-feelingness of arcadey physics, it looks like it could be great fun.

  45. Quercus says:

    Am I the only one who wasn’t terribly impressed by that?
    The graphics look good from what I saw but if that is the extent of the game I’ll pass.

  46. Durkan says:

    Has anyone mentioned X series yet?

    Although I have to admit that X as a series has always been slightly disappointing. It’s got all the right bits from Elite – but somehow not in quite the right order – soulless.

    EVE is probably the best space game I’ve played in recent history.

    Hmm I feel a few games might get a reinstall… where’s that I:WAR disk gone…:D

  47. Paul Moloney says:

    “awkwardness of full newtonian”

    Oh god, I remember Elite 2 now. An planetary overshoot simulator.

    P.

    • Dominic White says:

      That, right there, is why I never want to see ‘real’ space physics in a videogame again. It was interesting on paper, but it does NOT make for a fun game at all.

    • Guhndahb says:

      It’s a matter of taste. I find real physics to be significantly more fun. I would say the best example of it was in Terminus, which had it perfect. I-War was excellent too. The learning curve is steep, however. Until you get it down right, you end up with jousts where you whiz past one another over and over. I agree that’s not a lot of fun. But once you get skilled at it the fights turn out to be more interesting than atmospheric-style dogfights because there’s so much more flexibility in your movements. Of course, you also have to get good at controlling a bunch of new axes of movement. With a HOTAS setup, I use stick for elevator and yaw, throttle for main engine and reverse engine (on either side of a detent), rudder for roll, and then 1-1/2 hats to control +/ – for the x, y and z thrusters.

    • Guhndahb says:

      (Correction: you just need 1 hat since the throttle is handling one of those axes. Sorry, it has been a while since I’ve played a good proper-physics space sim.)

  48. Railick says:

    I don't see any reason why you can't have a game with good physics which is also easy to fly. It is the future for god's sake we're not going to be fighting each other with apolo rockets with guns on them zipping back and forth with controlled bursts from the engines trying to kill each other :P

    With computer assistance and fly by wire controls I don't see why you can't have a game where the computer auto adjusts your flight path for you so it feels like you have more control. (Still I don't understand why games have a max speed in space for any reason. I think it'd be much better if you just got an auto-pilot that speeds you up constantly until you're half way to your target then starts to slow you down at the half way point so that when you arrive you're going really slow again)

    • Guhndahb says:

      Actually, most space games that have realistic physics do have flight assist. For example, the one in Terminus is excellent. However, that still does not make it like atmospheric flight. The thrusters on the craft would have to be unrealistically powerful, in a similar order of magnitude to your main engines, to make flight assist give you atmospheric flight. One could posit some sci-fi-y explanation of course. Let’s say that the craft can gain purchase on the mass of dark matter. That’s fine and good, but it also assumes that’s what you want. In my opinion, limiting yourself to atmospheric-style flight when you can have Newtonian physics is a bad thing.

  49. Brass Gerbil says:

    FAQish: “…maybe TrackIR too.”

    Better be. No TrackIR = No Sale. I don’t look around with my fingers any more.

  50. Paul S says:

    Drum ‘n’ Space. But the game itself looks good.