Up In The Sky! – It’s An Excellent Enemy Starfighter Trailer

Until mankind has explored and shot all of space in the face, we cannot - will not - be satisfied.

It is the year 2014, and somehow on our wobbly stacks of gamerly plates we have more space games than we know what to do with. I refuse to look this (largely crowdfunded) gift horse-shaped starship in the terribly located exhaust port that resembles a mouth. That said, many of said spacefarers – Star Citizen, Elite Dangerous, Limit Theory, etc – are shooting for the stars with massive Do Everything Be Everything universes, and there’s something to be said for focus. That’s what the brilliant-looking Enemy Starfighter offers in spades. Each level sees you pre-plan your leap into a system from a top-down strategic map and then execute it from the cockpit with squad in tow. It’s a magnificently svelte concept, and there’s a new trailer of it in action below.

The Oculus-Rift-enabled space smart-o-blaster is being developed by ex-Bungie developer Mike Tipul, and it looks to be coming along swimmingly.

Here’s the basic premise, for those only just leaping into Enemy Starfighter’s geosyn-kill-nus orbit:

“The Penitent Crusade has lasted for 30 years and you’ve led the Emperor’s Harbinger Fleet for most of it. Your mission is always simple: Jump ahead into a system where you will most certainly be outnumbered, cripple it, and pave the way for the Armada to hang in the skies above the enemy home world like storm clouds and offer terms: submit or be purified.”

I bet the player character will be a Really Nice Guy.

Enemy Starfighter still doesn’t have a release date, but I personally am hoping for tomorrow, two hours ago, or the day the Sega Saturn released in North America.


  1. Gap Gen says:

    I really love the aesthetic of this one. Reminds me a lot of Homeworld.

    • feday says:

      Sweet, sweet Microgramma

    • SuicideKing says:

      I was thinking of FreeSpace…but never played Homeworld.

      The trailer in general reminded me of this.

      • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

        Play Homeworld and you’ll see why people compare the aesthetics of Enemy Starfighter to it.

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          Or just head on over to youtube. As amazing as Homeworld is to play, I could spend hours just watching other people play it.

    • Corb says:

      should be renamed to “Homeworld: Taiidan Crusades”

  2. karthink says:

    Anyone know if Track-IR is the only head tracking setup this supports?

    • demicanadian says:

      Freetrack / FacetrackNoir support not only freetrack protocol, but also emulate TrackIR and this microsoft thingy.

      • karthink says:

        As I understand, they don’t anymore because TrackIR changed their APIs to make it harder to reverse engineer.

        Elite Dangerous supports TrackIR but not Freetrack, for instance. This is why I want to know.

  3. hewhosayszonk says:

    Good lord it’s Homeworld from the cockpit! EAGER.

    • Cinek says:

      It is until they start shooting. Then whole impression of awesomeness disappears. :( Combat in Homeworld feels 10 times more interesting and realistic than this thing here.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        I’m not saying I love or hate the combat in this – I haven’t watched the trailer yet!
        However, did you really come into this expecting it – or anything – to beat Homeworld for space combat?
        Nothing ever has, nothing ever will.

    • minmsjohn says:

      I’ve been doing a little space sim soul searching lately. I just installed this mod for Freespace 2 the other day: link to youtube.com

      While it’s incomplete and all the sound effects clip, it was still some of the most fun I’ve had in a space shooter in a while.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Other FS2 SCP mods you may want to try: Blue Planet, Wing Commander Total Conversion and The Babylon Project.

  4. dE says:

    Concerning nice guy, there was a bit of controversy, because the game actively encourages you to seek out and shoot down escape pods. There’s a blogpost about this on the Devs page. He likes that it makes people feel uncomfortable while playing it, which is good in my books. You’re definitely not the good guy here.

    Enemy Starfighter is still my most anticipated space game. None other has me nearly as hyped.

    • Solgarmr says:

      If I as a writer, pen a story down where something such as that happens, I’m just that a writer with a tale of twisted morality. But when a developer does that, he’s the one who’s souls is twisted . . . Get a grip people.

      But okay I get it video games are different, it allows you to do those vile things you can otherwise only read about, but still it somehow okay to kill waves of henchmen, wicked aliens and vile monsters.

      • EPICTHEFAIL says:

        I quite like that the game lets you indulge in a bit of grimdark actually. Besides, I thought we would have moved away from the viyulint vidya gaems nonsense by now. Evidently not.

        • dE says:

          I feel like it’s a good thing actually. Push people out of their comfort zone and make them reflect a bit.

    • Zenicetus says:

      There is a precedent for this in air combat games. I think it was one of the LucasFilm games — Battle of Britain or SWOTL, maybe both — where you could shoot down the parachutes of pilots who had bailed out. The chutes would collapse and the pilots would plummet to their death. It was just eye candy and entirely up to the player whether they did it or not. There were no in-game penalties.

      I remember it led to some heated forum discussions about the ethics, especially when flying over Germany and knowing a German pilot who successfully bailed out would be flying again the next day. Escape pods would be in a similar situation if they were in home territory, I guess.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      Huh. Did people actually judge the dev for that? That’s pretty ridiculous.

      That said, I’m not sure I actually want to play a game where you’re a hardcore villain. I mean, I suppose it depends! I had no problem with the GTA games, but they clearly cast you as a lowlife in a world of lowlifes–all the factions and NPCs were corrupt, and the random citizens were vapid and moronic, so there wasn’t really a “good guy” to set yourself against. That, and you didn’t really have the option to commit atrocities beyond whacking people in the hit points until they died.

      But playing the pointman for an empire of Space Nazis subjugating or genociding innocent civilizations? I dunno if I’m up for that. I get that it’s supposed to make me uncomfortable, and in a sense that’s admirable, but the real world is already really damn uncomfortable. I play video games to escape from that.

  5. Vacuum Boogie says:

    Yes, but will ES let me encounter rastafari cats, hippos, crocodiles and stowaway tucans in space? I don’t think so.

  6. Spacewalk says:

    Oh my stars these graphics are sex with my eyes.

  7. SanguineAngel says:

    I look forward to smothering this delicious morsel with the greasiest tips on my eager, questing finger limbs.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      Continuing with / pushing this vein(y) of comment to its logical extreme, I too cannot wait to thrust myself into a the soft folds of a yielding cockpit, and wrap my hands around the stick of a mighty pulsing conductor of manful power. I’m ready to ram my thrusters into full and shoot arcs of white ejecta across the smooth, glistening hulls of other men, whilst getting my rear spattered by the shots of my willing opponents.

      Am I doing this right?

      • Monkey says:

        There was a line you know.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        This one has tickled my emotional cortex with its playful arrangement of linguistic units. A glistening stream of liquid mirth pours freely from my gaping ducts; moist droplets of joyous expression wrung from those places ordinarily reserved for the reception of illuminous radiation to leave a salty sweet trail thinly layered upon the fleshy coverings of my sensory array.

      • EPICTHEFAIL says:

        I want this to be the default RPS response to all future space sim news. Also, a top comment.

  8. Harlander says:

    How do you undertake a penitent crusade?

    “Sorry about this…” *BOOM* “It’s really nothing personal.” *ZAPZAPZAP*

  9. Hanban says:

    Definitely my most anticipated space game! Looks so swell!

    • Spakkenkhrist says:

      My most anticipated space game is SPACE: The Final Space – Rising.

  10. Velko says:

    Looks and sounds great, but I can’t help wondering if they couldn’t have come up with a liiiittle bit more imaginative name.

    Eagerly looking forward to “Enemy Starfighter: SpacePlanet Battle”.

    • Harlander says:

      Nah, that’s out of date now.

      It’d be called Enemy Starfighter: Full Spectrum Operations

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      I really love the name? Mayhap it’s just me.

  11. EPICTHEFAIL says:

    This looks excellent, if a bit samey, given that SC is already doing the painfully-slow-lazorz-space-WW2 thing. That said, it does look neat, and some of the ships do have a Battlefleet Gothic look to them. That and the small bit of backstory sounds very 40k-esque. Which is definitely a good thing.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I would love to play some space combat sim games based on some of the more theoretically plausible ideas of what combat in space is likely to look like. I imagine such games might play more like silent hunter though and, whilst this appeals to my delight intake glands, I am also of the opinion that there is no such thing as too many Painfully-slow-lazorz-space-WW2 space sims.

      • EPICTHEFAIL says:

        There is at least 1 in development (don`t know the name though), though you can always try a few KSP or Orbiter mods I guess.

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          You are quite possibly thinking of Rogue System, my good sir/madam.

      • Diatribe says:

        One of my pet peeves is when people assert that “realistic space combat” would be like submarines, or dogfights, or basically anything remotely comparable to terrestrial war.

        “Realistic space combat” would basically be run by the computers on your ship. You’d tell the ship where to go. There might be a couple other minor decisions made by people. The computer would run the sensors, aiming, calculations, etc. The only similarities it would share to terrestrial war would be intense boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror.

        Some info on stealth in space: link to rocketpunk-manifesto.com

        Thought exercises and physics in regards to sci-fi and space fighting in general: (warning – may be educational) link to projectrho.com

        I’m all for submarines in space, but it’s no more “realistic” than the current crop of dude-bro shooters.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          I appreciate where you’re coming from but my use of the word plausible was intentional. I’d like to see other, grander concepts explored in sim form. We see a vast number of varying visions for space combat throughout science fiction literature – particularly in the so called hard science fiction – and it’d be fun to get a few sims exploring those concepts. Whilst they may be no more ‘realistic’ than ww2 in space they would, I think be handily described as more plausible.

          The silent hunter reference was really as a point of reference for likely gameplay rather than a direct comparison between spaceships and subs. Another point of gameplay reference might be something like flight of the old dog!

          Thank you for the links, I have seen the stealth stuff recently but it’s all good. There’s plenty of room for ideas in fiction and entertainment

  12. Armante says:

    This just keeps looking amazing. Sweet Chris Foss inspired art direction with a great Homeworld vibe, and great sound design too.

    Couple this with its Oculus Rift support and I’ll be lost to the world.

  13. DatonKallandor says:

    ” Each level sees you pre-plan your leap into a system from a top-down strategic map and then execute it from the cockpit with squad in tow.”
    Yeah I’m not sure that’s the case anymore. If you read the blog there’s a post about the new pursuit system, and the streams of the game don’t have the planning mode.

  14. Stardreamer says:

    I look forward to the day when I may once again sail the stars as a mighty Space Bastard, kicking Copper Nitrogen Terbium Silver’s in the bawbags wherever I find them.

    This looks mighty fine. I, too, wish this to release today.

  15. HiFiHair says:

    What is that font? It’s a Strong Font. And the System Shock 2 / Homeworld font, or at least very similar to it, if memory serves.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      It’s nice isn’t it? Looks like sort of 80’s sci-fi computer system font. Like it should be written on a terminal of a homicidal mainframe computer saying “Life support systems: Terminated”

    • Gap Gen says:

      Feday above identified it as Microgramma.

  16. Tei says:

    I love the style, reminds me of homeworld and Syd Mead designs. Clear, simple .. yet very stylish and deadly.

  17. ZappaBappa says:

    Saying this looks like homeworld would be an Understatement. This is pretty much Homeworld in first cockpit view, even the sounds are very similar to homeworld, the color scheme of the ships, the whole ambient feel shouts homeworld. Which definitely isn’t a bad thing, but sadly seeing how the game’s name is Starfighter, i doubt we’ll be piloting anything else but Starfighters. This would be gold if it had a Multiplayer where players pilot every vessel in the battle, from Capitals to Frigate to Starfighters. One can dream!

  18. BlocParty says:

    Yay, I love games where Really Religious People fight the Really Misguided Heathens and conquer them in the name of The Big Guy Up There.