Make Space For: Evochron Mercenary


A new version of Evochron, this time called Evochron Mercenary, has just been released announced for the autumn. It’s another iteration of StarWraith’s ongoing 3D freeform space sim project, this time with a reworked graphics engine, and some serious new options for multiplayer, including player-built (and destroyed) structures for multiplayer games. Seems interesting, and I’m going to take a closer look when we can get hold of a copy. Trailer showing a bunch of the new stuff is embedded below decks.

26 Comments

  1. Mithrandir0x says:

    It could be great if they integrate in touch displays so you can interact with in-game mini-HUDs. A tad useless I think if we compare it to the versatility of a keyboard.

  2. aldo_14 says:

    I really wish they’d get a better artist for their spaceships. It’s what’s always put me off the game(s).

    • Kommissar Nicko says:

      Funny you should mention it, but I thought the same. In the back of my head, all I could think of was:
      “This is starship Wide Load, requesting docking, over.”

    • Biggles says:

      Definitely the biggest problem with his games. I think he does all of the artwork himself, so can’t get too pissy about it, but these games would be so much better if he brought someone onboard dedicated to spanking up the textures. They’re seriously uninspired at the mo…

  3. Premium User Badge

    DollarOfReactivity says:

    This looks good. I tried Evochron before, and after face-planting into a few terrestrial bodies and failing a bunch of missions, I decided to wait for a new version. Finger crossed this one delivers the goods!

    I keep hope alive for a 3000AD-ish game that looks good and works.

  4. Casimir's Blake says:

    Still the same copy protection. Still not interested.

    (But I’m glad RPS are posting about games like this, now post the UFO Two Sides beta already!)

  5. Terry says:

    The biggest problem I had with Evochron is that the universe feels pretty dead. If Freelancer got one thing right, it’s the illusion of a living universe – a constant flow of NPC ships, fighting parties, radio banter etc. If the guy can improve on that at some point, I’ll try it again…

  6. Tagert says:

    Released, or announced?

    If released, I find no place to exchange my international tender for entertainment!

  7. Vogon says:

    It seems the graphics have definitely improved. Some of the models are looking pretty good already, but I agree that some of them are still too boxific. I’m ok with those textures, however. Also, the new environment FX are looking tasty!

  8. Jim Rossignol says:

    iirc you can import your own ship models to this? I know James who did our Mount & Blade event did a HUD mod for it, at least.

    • Zenicetus says:

      IIRC, it’s only cockpits that can be modded unless something has changed.

      I bought the last version but didn’t stick with it long. It’s yet another “let’s re-hash the Wing Commander flight model” with speed caps and tail-chase combat. Independence War 2 was the last cockpit-level space game I really enjoyed, because it had a sense of speed and distance scale. People need to re-think how combat in space would actually work. I would buy a game with poor graphics that wasn’t just trying to the same-old thing we’ve seen for too many years…

  9. jackflash says:

    Glad there’s a new game out that supports my TrackIR. Still, this guy needs an art team.

  10. RichT says:

    Best flight modle out there. love the series, yes its a bit basic but the flight and the jump mechanics really do rock.

  11. Raum says:

    Is this the same game you posted that planet fly-by video from a couple of months back?

  12. Malibu Stacey says:

    AI:War was launched with developer created visual elements & once Arcen could afford to hire a graphic artist they overhauled all the visual stuff from the ship sprites to the UI with update patches. Don’t see why that couldn’t be applied to most indie devs such as this.

  13. Durns says:

    Did Jim just have a reply fail?!?

  14. wat says:

    @Terry: Exactly, I bought Evochron: Renegades on a whim and found it pretty boring. At least in Renegades, there was simply nothing going on, and the only activity was doing the same set of simple missions again and again.

    Unless they rectify this, I’d rather play FreeSpace 2 mods (Blue Planet and Derelict 2.0 have luckily supplied my space game fix over the last year or so).

  15. Quercus says:

    Still the same underlying game with the same underlying issues. I really want to like this game as I am a big fan of the freeform multiplayer space genre, but it is just not that easy or fun to play and I refuse to shell out more money on yet another iteration of the same old thing, no matter what extra bells and whistles are used to decorate it.

  16. Tycow says:

    Aww… I had my credit card ready to buy this! Damn you Jim! *fistshake*

  17. KungFuMassa says:

    Totally agree about the ship textures. They’ve always been so very dark. Kudos to the developer for being so amazingly versatile however.

  18. Lazarus says:

    Evochron’s not to everyone’s tastes, I’ll admit, but I love it. Even if you’ve played it before and didn’t like it, I suggest trying the demo when it comes out in the fall. Mercenary isn’t just shinier graphics, honest!

  19. Hank says:

    I enjoyed (and still plan on enjoying as a break from Solium Infernum) Evochron Legends because I like exploring. The combat is fun and the economics side exists (numerous ways to make money) but the challenge of navigating the world is the best part.

  20. Waltorious says:

    @Zenicetus,

    I’m a little confused by your criticism of the flight model; it’s one of my favorite features of the game. To me, it feels COMPLETELY different from Wing Commander et al. You have an Inertial Dampening System (IDS) which limits your top speed and tries to keep you moving in the direction you’re facing, which can be useful for certain types of maneuvering, but most of the time (especially in combat) you need to turn it off. If you try to fight with it on, you will get destroyed very quickly, as missiles can track you easily and it’s easy to hit you with gunfire.

    WIth it off, things feel much more Newtonian. You can build up very high speeds (it’s technically capped, but REALLY fast), flip around and fly backwards or sideways. The best way to fight is to approach enemies at an angle, and fly by them sideways, strafing with cannons. It’s absolutely NOT “tail-chase” combat. Turning off your IDS is also key for avoiding missiles, which are quite powerful and can easily destroy you with only a few hits. Missiles track your engines and also your heading, so going really fast, cutting your engines and drifting sideways confuses the missiles quite a bit, and is key when there’s a pack of ships unloading their missiles at you.

    That said, I definitely had criticisms of the last Evochron game (Evochron Legends) that are more in line with what others have been saying, i.e. the universe feels a bit empty and boring. The new one may go some way towards fixing that with the new multiplayer options though. Players can now construct stations and control territory persistently in multiplayer. With enough people, it could start to feel alive, where rather than flying cut-n-paste stock missions, or trading the same generic stuff over and over again, you’d actually fly missions for other people, that have more meaning in the long-term. I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye on this one.

    Any chance of our Rock, Paper, Shotgun heroes doing an in-depth report on this when it comes out? It will be hard to get a sense for the full range of new multiplayer options from the time-limited demo.

  21. Diogo says:

    can you navigate big ships?