Ixnay On The Acespay Oirnay: First Space Noir Gameplay

Space is the place

Why is Space Noir named so? Because it’s set in space, and the story’s noir. But what happens when you remove the space and the noir? Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world; and the first gameplay trailer for N-Fusion’s spaceship-y shooter arrives. The sample does exactly what it doesn’t say on the tin: it’s light on story so we don’t get a sense of the game’s noir, and goes down within a planet’s atmosphere so we can’t see about its space.

What we can see is five minutes of a ship pulling fancy acrobatics and blowing hordes of enemy fighters out the sky with zapbeams and lock-on missiles in arcade-y combat, if we forgive the egregious deception long enough to look.

While the game does have noir and space and all that, for this first peek the Deus Ex: The Fall devs show off a planetary mission to defend a ship depot. A spaceship depot, I’d wager, crammed full of ships ready to blast off into space and get into noir-y adventures. The big teases!

Space Noir is due to launch this summer. Here, have a look:


  1. JiminyJickers says:

    It looks interesting for a arcadey space shooter, but with such a title, I was hoping for some kind of space private eye type of thing.

  2. BobbyDylan says:

    Man, that instant turn around looks like the ships having some kind of fit.

  3. aperson4321 says:

    Why in the world do all the developers who has ever made a casual tablet/phone game end up being so unprofessional in their presentation of their games.

    This Noir game got a almost pure carbon copy of the basic gameplay of Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge on Xbox. Only difference is that it lacks the polish and quality feel of Crimson skies on Xbox.

    And in their list of games they got “inspiration” from they did not mention Crimson skies on Xbox. Even with that being the only game with that distinct gameplay, even the air manuvers is a bad rippoff of Crimson skies on Xbox.

    I am sure this is a big bet from them to make this game when they got mainly casual games under their belt, and it might be some sort of dream game from them to make, but it is in really bad taste to not at least give a arcknowledgement to crimson skies (Xbox) when their entire bedrock basic gameplay is a low quality ripp off off Crimson skies on Xbox.

    (Ps I mentioned “on Xbox” all the time as one Crimson skies game also got released on pc and was much truer to the Crimson skies fluff, while the game on xbox while having AAA quality and original gameplay is seen as heretical by some due to it not caring much about the fluff in the Crimson skies setting).

    • drinniol says:

      I see more Rogue Squadron than Crimson Skies. Did the Crimson Skies devs ever in their list of games they got “inspiration” from mention it? Probably not.

      • aperson4321 says:

        I was 8 years old when Rogue Squadron came out! I does look a bit the same, but I can’t see any air maneuvers like crimson had in the Rogue Squadron youtube videoes i looked at.

        Air maneuvers in Crimson skies was that you burned some energi to do a fixed quick turn or barrel roll etc, It was a great mechanic.

        I just love crimson skies to bits and this game sort of accidentally pissed on my memories, and like the drame queen and fanboy I am I sort of freaked out. But it still looks like a shitty crimson skies, :(

        • drinniol says:

          That mechanic goes back to Lylat Wars, which predates even Rogue Squadron :)

          • aperson4321 says:

            I did have a nintendo 64 and played Star Fox 64 Lylat Wars a ton! that was a great game! But I was 8 and don’t remember much at all from it, :( So that means the noir dev is making a star fox style game, which is stupid as Crimson skies solved alot of the gameplay problems in the 3d space pewpew genre, and is the most “modern” 3d space pewpew game even if its not in space, but you could fly a helicopter upside down (and sideways) be still in the air and then use a rocket boost, so the game really a space style game, even with the american steam punk theme.

          • Chaz says:

            I was thinking it reminded me of Star Fox on the SNES. I never had a 64 so no idea what it was like on there.

            As for Crimson Skies, I always played that in first person, so this looks quite different to me.

          • Reapy says:

            I was thinking rogue squadron and terminal velocity while I was watching for note comparison. I didn’t think of star foxes due to them mostly being on rails. Didn’t think crimson skies at first because of the theme, but definitely similar there.

      • frightlever says:

        Pretty sure the inspiration was this:

    • roryok says:

      one Crimson skies game also got released on pc

      The original Crimson Skies, and still the best, was released for PC back in 2000. The xbox game was released 3 years later. Both were very good, although I prefer the PC original for its dedication to the “fluff” as you call it.

      If anyone hasn’t played it, try and imagine Firefly meets The Rocketeer meets Flight Simulator meets Interstate 76. It is the best of games. I really hope MS wakes up and makes another Crimson Skies game.

      • Feste says:

        You forgot Porco Rosso. Not sure how much of an inspiration that was, but there’re similarities. It possible though that the Xbox version has a stronger resemblence though.

      • corinoco says:

        MS would have to make another flight sim first. I believe they are working on it, it’s due after Dantean Reverse Cycle, Yogurtification of the worlds oceans, the settling of Venus using frogs and writing a decent OS that people will like.

  4. Caiman says:

    Perhaps it’s not coming across in the video, but the combat just doesn’t look particularly exciting. Line up target reticle, press fire. There doesn’t seem to be much need for evasive manoeuvres, and even those shown don’t look particularly… well, interesting. There’s no sense of danger or excitement, no sense of speed. Admittedly they do say it’s one of the quieter side missions, and perhaps it would be better with full sound, but first impressions and all that! And yeah, showing us neither space nor noir doesn’t seem particularly wise.

    • aperson4321 says:

      It does show how boring the “make a fps style game where you are a space ship and can fly while having fps dude controls” way of making space shooters are.

      Space engineers having newtonian momentum is a great direction to take it! Having game play that is quake with fly cheat is a really really bad game design.

    • Feste says:

      The thing that I noticed was that barrel rolls (and they did them a lot), moved you across by about the width of your spacecraft. As exciting evasive manoeuvres go, it’s a little limp.

    • neolith says:

      The gameplay reminds me a bit of Aquanox. Unfortunately that is not a good thing.

      • Alzu says:

        And here i thought i was the last person on earth to remember Aquanox. Sad to see i’m the only one who still likes it.

  5. Gap Gen says:

    I knocked back the space whisky from the space tumbler. Comet ice chinked against the nanodesk as I felt the firey cosmic radiation hit my throat. My door creaked open. My space door. A dame, all legs. Fifteen thousand separate limbs, all chittering at once. Her eye shadow flickered as a hundred million prehensile eye lashes winked at me. Her gaze burned a hole in my heart, and her secreted acid my floor. Her legs went all the way down, if you know what I mean. And if you don’t, I mean they extended all the way to the cosmic microwave background. And then some.
    “GZORPLOBABABAAAAAAAAGH” she said, coyly, wrapping a multi-jointed clicking proboscis over my desk.
    The space day was just about to get interesting.

    • SuicideKing says:

      All i could think of was a giant spider. :/

    • Feste says:

      Ooo, is that an extract from the marvellous ‘Farewell, my chitinous monster’? Or is it from ‘The Maltese Space Falcon’, I get Space Noir mixed up all the time.

    • dontnormally says:

      I love this. This is the best thing I’ve read all week.

      Also, since I only want to leave one comment: No offense meant at all, but is their art director an, er, adolescent?

  6. Skid says:

    First person view? Joystick support? Triple monitor (Eyefinity/Surround) support? If your making a space shooter for PC, and the answer to these questions are no, then your doing it wrong :P That said there no information on any of that, but the fact they’ve explicitly implement XBox controls, not generic pad controls is a bad sign, if your making it for PC the least you can do is say “We will have keyboard and mouse controls”.

    Edit: Come to think of it, Unity has native triple monitor support, so they would have to break something so that it wouldn’t work.

    • aperson4321 says:

      If they forget to add ca one lines of code for the GUI when it comes to the width of the screen then you will get a stetched HUD even in unity, most small unity games got that problem.

      Multi mon might be small, but its like 30 sec of coding to please that group.

      Ps: love your work Skid!

      Edit: tried to write some psuedo code to help my argument but unsuprisingly the web page removes it. I really should have seen that coming : p

      • Skid says:

        I get your point, HUD spanning or worse stretching is easy to bugger up, I more meant that Unity as an engine is natively horizontal plus on the FoV, which is the main thing, HUD I can ignore more the time. In my view stretching the UI to fit the screen is just bad design, as it means it will only ever look right at the aspect ratio it was designed for. Spanning is easier to forgive and harder to work around, although the lazy way to fix it is to position the UI relative to the centre, and max it to a set aspect ratio, the best way to fix it is to let the user select the area the UI should render to, ie BF3&4 and Strike Suit Zero.

        And thanks, I love the fact I support a niche but yet people keep popping up that’s seen me about ^^

  7. corinoco says:

    You play a male character. Cool, that’s a potential 50% of your market gone.

    Are there no women in space? I seem to recall Ripley, Yar, Troi, Sun, Servilan, Sarah Jane, Cally, Jenna, Sooyin, Josie, Leia, Starbuck, Sam Carter. They were in space, all of them.

    How come they aren’t in space that is Noir? How come gamers who want to be these women can’t be in Noir? How come practically no one (Bethesda excluded) can let women be women in games?

    Is it STILL 1982?

    • DatonKallandor says:

      The much, much bigger problem is that the game just doesn’t look fun. Let’s try and make sure devs make a fun game first and then we can worry about which gender the characters are.

    • dsch says:

      Is this sarcasm? I really can’t tell on RPS any more.

  8. w0bbl3r says:

    I hope they mean it when they compare it to rogue squadron.
    Or was it rogue squadron 2? The gamecube exclusive one played. I never had a gamecube, but my mate did, and I loved playing that game at his house. Flying the hoth defense in a snow speeder against AT-AT walkers and shit was great.
    Would love a game that is half that, and half freelancer style open world (open galaxy?), where you can go take on merc missions, go mining for ore, scavenging derelict wrecks, and trading around the whole galaxy.
    This looks interesting, hope it lives up to it.

  9. Quickmetal says:

    OMG. I’ve been reading for RPS for a while now and I finally had to sign up just to post this.

    THAT IS NOT A BARREL ROLL. I’m surprised I’m the first one. Come on guys.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      It’s a video game barrel roll(tm), a legally distinct entity from the real(tm) barrel roll.

    • Feste says:

      Ooops. Thank you, very interesting.